By Jim Hunter
Cambridge Springs showed its gritty mindset Tuesday night: Never give up.
Trailing Cochranton the entire game, the Lady Blue Devils sent the game into extra innings on Kristen Kargol’s game-tying, three-run home run in the seventh inning and rallied for three runs in the 10th inning for a thrilling 10-7 win in Region 3 softball action.
In the 10th, Kiersten Skelton broke the 7-7 tie with a run-scoring single and Kayla Parkin followed with a two-run single.
The Spa definitely earned the win. The Lady Blue Devils overcame 3-0 and 7-2 deficits.
Obviously, Cambridge Springs coach Angela Mumford was thrilled with the come-from-behind victory.
“My kids never give up and it showed (tonight),” she said. “Our outlook is simple ... one ball at a time, one batter at a time.”
The Lady Blue Devils’ patience at the plate was evident in the seventh.
Trailing 7-4, the Spa’s Cameron Schmidt led off the seventh with a walk and McKayla Zilhaver followed with a single. With one out, Kargol put a charge into the Blue Devils’ dugout by launching a three-run home run to deep center field.
New ball game.
“Kristen definitely came up big for us,” said Mumford.
Until Kargol’s blast, it looked like the Lady Blue Devils were going to open Region 3 action with a “L” as Cochranton held the upperhand for the most part.
Highlighted by Sam Kinter’s two-run double, the Lady Cardinals jumped out to a 3-0 first-inning lead and struck for three more runs in the fourth to take a 7-2 lead. April Smith lined a RBI double and Kinter stroked a run-scoring single in the fourth.
Cochranton pitcher Natalie Brock also was dominant early — retiring the first 11 batters she faced.
Brock didn’t fare as well in the latter innings.
Kargol’s round-tripper wasn’t the Lady Blue Devils’ only long ball. In the fifth, McKayla Zilhaver blasted a two-run home run to get the Spa within 7-4.
Two innings later, Kargol got the Lady Blue Devls even with Cochranton with her towering shot.
The Kargol-and-Zilhaver heroics might be a sign for the future for the Spa as they are only sophomores.
A reason Mumford is always smiling.
“We are very young and I think the future looks very bright,” she said.
It sure looks like that.
The Spa’s hitting standouts: Kargol (two-for-four, three runs scored, three RBIs, double, home run), Zilhaver (two-for-five, two runs scored, two RBIs, home run, stolen base), Skelton (two-for-five) and Parkin (two-for-five, three RBIs).
Speaking of Parkin, the promising freshman hurler got stronger as the game went on — retiring the last 11 batters and 19 of the last 20.
Cochranton’s hitting stars: Abby Clulow (three-for-five, three runs scored), Katy Dunn (two-for-four, one RBI, stolen base) and Kinter (two-for-five, three RBIs, double).