Back Mountain went all the way to the winners’ bracket semifinals of the state tournament before suffering its first loss in 9-10-year-old softball. After all the steps it had taken, it was beaten by a neighbor.
Tunkhannock, which competes in District 15 with Wyoming County leagues and those in several counties to the west, edged Back Mountain, 4-2, Wednesday.
“It was a good game,” Back Mountain manager Tom Hudak said. “It was back and forth.”
Both teams were trying to get to extend their season to the highest level in the age group with a return to home or close to it.
The tournament, which will qualify a team for the East Regional Championship beginning August 6 at the Back Mountain Little League Field, opened Tuesday in Wellsboro.
Tunkhannock won the game with two runs in the top of the fifth, breaking a 2-2 tie.
Back Mountain had scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the first. Tunkhannock scored twice in the third to take the lead before Back Mountain tied it in the fourth.
Winning pitcher Kaya Hannon struck out nine. Hannon, Ella McNeff and Sydney Huff had hits for Tunkhannock.
Victoria Spaciano struck out six for Back Mountain while going 2-for-3 with a double.
Ella English, Madison Kerdesky, Brenna Hunt, Amber Zimmerman, Chelcie Strobel and Abby Berger each had singles in the loss.
Back Mountain rallied from two runs down to win its first game, 5-2, over defending state champion Morrisville.
A four-run second inning started the team on its way to victory.
Spaciano had two doubles and was the winning pitcher. She threw a three-hitter and struck out 14.
Ava Hudak also went 2-for-3 while Kerdesky and Hunt had hits.
Section 9-10 softball
Back Mountain remained unbeaten through two tournaments when Spaciano threw a two-hitter with 13 strikeouts in a 6-0 championship game shutout of Pittston Area.
Allison Vitanovec had two hits to lead the offense.
Ava Smith drove in a run.
Amber Zimmerman, Hudak, Hunt and Spaciano added hits.
State 9-10 baseball
Back Mountain American split its first two games at the state tournament in Bradford, losing 13-1 in five innings to Ridley Area in the Tuesday opener, but bouncing back to beat Rostraver Township, 13-2, in an elimination game Wednesday.
BMA scored six runs in the top of the fifth inning to break open its game against Rostraver Township.
Section 5 10-11 baseball
Abington American defeated Back Mountain National in back-to-back games Sunday and Tuesday to avenge an earlier loss and win the Section 5 title.
Going into Sunday, BMN had already beaten AA, forcing AA to win two straight games in order to win the title and advance to state play.
AA pulled that off with a 7-6 win Sunday, matching the extra-inning win BMN had produced in the winners’ bracket final.
Gavin Adamski’s two-run homer gave BMN a 6-5 lead in the top of the sixth.
BMN had also led earlier, including 4-1 after 2 ½ innings.
AA jumped in front in the decisive game on the way to an 11-1 win in five innings.
Nick Spencer hit a solo homer in the second to cut into a 6-0 deficit.
BMN reached the final by winning the first two games in the four-team, double-elimination tournament.
Mountain Top hosted the first round before the tournament moved to Back Mountain.
BMN beat Carbondale, 8-2, July 21, then edged Abington American, 7-6, in seven innings in the winners’ bracket final the next day.
Cole Kaiser hit a game-winning homer in the seventh inning against Abington American.
The homer was the second of the game for Kaiser.
Gary Weaver struck out eight in 4 1/3 scoreless innings for the win.
Spencer also homered and finished with two hits and two RBI.
Ryan Osipower, Adamski, Mike Cumbo, Cole Morio and Ethan Leone also had hits.
Osipower and Kaiser each had two hits, two runs and two RBI against Carbondale.
Adamski added a single, double and run scored. Cumbo had a double and drove in two runs. Weaver scored on run and drove in another.
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