SAEGERTOWN — Saegertown left fielder Jenna Peters appeared to have made the play of the season, snagging a fly ball barehanded after it caromed off the glove of the Panthers’ center fielder Hilary Hunter on Friday against Maplewood.

Unfortunately for Peters and her teammates, however, the web-gem wasn’t enough to overcome the flashy glovework of Heidi Young and outstanding pitching from Jessica Burnett.

Maplewood continued its surge back into the Region 3 title race yesterday with a 6-2 win over the Panthers. The win was the Tigers’ fourth in sixth games and second straight over a title contender, after knocking off Union City on Thursday.

The Tigers improved to 9-6 overall and 8-5 in the region. Saegertown, meanwhile, fell to 10-5 overall and 8-5 in Region 3 and is now three games back of league-leading Cambridge Springs.

“The last few games, they have really been playing well,” Wood coach Bill Singleton said of his team. “They’ve been hitting the ball like they haven’t all year. And I knew that they could do that.

“Now we just have to keep playing game by game.”

Saegertown took a 1-0 lead over the Tigers in the third inning when Nicole Harmon, who smacked a one-out single, scored on a misplayed grounder off the bat of Natasha Beatty.

Maplewood erased that lead in the fourth inning when Haley Marvin scored on an RBI single by Angela Groshner. Groshner, who advanced to second on the throw to the plate, added the second run when Saegertown catcher Lauren Hunter’s throw to third base on an attempted steal sailed into left field.

The Panthers knotted it up in the fourth with an RBI single by Kami Crum that scored Cassie Esler. But that was the last time Saegertown would find the scoreboard. In fact, Saegertown collected just one more hit the rest of the way.

“That was a very bad display of desire there,” Saegertown coach Bob Beatty said. “They came out flat and got caught up in this slow-pitch stuff that they were pulling on us. It went mental after that.”

Maplewood, meanwhile, was just getting started.

The Tigers scored the go-ahead and eventual game-winning run in a four-run fifth inning. Samantha Taylor scored the go-ahead run on a two-run single by Young that also plated Addie Parker.

Young and Megan Groshner scored the final runs of the game on a fly ball hit by Marvin that glanced off the glove of Crum in right field.

Saegertown rallied in the sixth inning when Lauren Hunter hit an infield single and Christy Lilly drew a walk to put two runners on with one out. Young, however, made a lunging catch from first base on a blooper just behind the pitching circle, rolled over and flipped the ball to second base for the double play to end the threat.

The Panthers also put two runners on in the seventh inning with one out. This time Burnett snagged a line-drive up the middle and struck out the next batter to seal the game.

“We tried a couple different times to rally back, but we just couldn’t break the ice,” Beatty said. “We had a chance there in the bottom of the sixth. But we had that little bloop there and they got it.

“They made the plays. We didn’t come to play (last night).”

Burnett was outstanding on the mound for the Tigers, allowing just one earned run on five hits and three walks with five strikeouts.

“These teams … They’re smart coaches; they’re smart players,” Beatty said. “They changed things up on us (from a pitching standpoint) and our players didn’t pick up on it and they fell into the trap.”

Offensively for Maplewood, Parker and Megan and Angela Groshner all had two hits each.

Erin Egley took the loss on the mound for Saegertown. She gave up three earned runs on seven hits and four walks with seven strikeouts.

React to this story:


This Week's Circulars