MERCERSBURG >> On two different occasions Thursday, Greencastle Antrim's softball team rallied to tie James Buchanan.
But both times, Taryn Miller responded for the Rockets – in the biggest way possible.
Miller ripped two home runs for James Buchanan, including a two-run no-doubter in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the Rockets past the Mid Penn Colonial Division rival Blue Devils, 6-4. It was JB's first win over Greencastle since 2010.
"It feels amazing," Miller said. "It was such a great team effort. We've been preparing for this game all season."
Trailing 4-3 in the top of the seventh inning, Alison Shockey worked a leadoff walk for Greencastle (3-1, 1-1 MPC). After a passed ball put Shockey on second, Jess Root moved her to third with a sacrifice bunt, and Morgan Wagaman tied the game with a fielder's choice.
In the bottom of the inning, Shania Fogelsonger, who finished 2-for-4 and scored twice, singled into leftfield with one out for the Rockets (5-0, 2-0 MPC). That brought up Miller, and she rocketed a 3-1 pitch deep into left-center field.
She said, "They were throwing a lot of pitches inside, and the first strike I got was a little too close for me. The next one kind of drifted closer to the middle, and I just hit it."
Greencastle catcher Katie Gelsinger said, "We never really talked about walking her there, but looking back, maybe we should have. Taryn is such a great hitter and player. It was a good game, and I don't think we should hang out heads over it."
Miller's first long ball was also a big momentum shift.
In the top of the third, Root and Ally Brown both drew walks, and Gelsinger followed with a double to the right-centerfield gap. Root and courtesy runner Ali Sherman both scored, Gelsinger went to third on a bad throw to the plate and scored when the throw to third sailed into the outfield, tieing the game at three.
"I love to come up when something is on the line," Gelsinger said. "I'm confident in myself at the plate, and I thought that really got us back into the game."
But Miller quickly snatched any momentum the Devils had, taking the second pitch of the bottom of the third over the fence in dead centerfield. She finished 3-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBIs.
Miller, who also got the win in the circle, said, "I started to walk a couple people there, and I was just a little off my game, so I wanted to come back and pick the team up for my mistakes. That was really my main goal, to help the team win, because I know everyone wanted this."
"That's just what Taryn does," Rocket coach Eric Reed said. "She does whatever she can to help the team, and it was no different today."
James Buchanan took advantage of a Blue Devils' error to score three runs in the first inning.
Fogelsonger and Miller both hit one-out singles, and Abbie Doyka walked to load the bases. Charity Miller then hit a hard ground ball that the defense couldn't handle, scoring both Fogelsonger and Taryn Miller, and Nina Shatzer ended the rally with an RBI single to give the Rockets an early 3-0 lead.
Greencastle coach Mark DeCarli said, "We've really struggled with errors lately, but I was very proud of the girls for turning it around after that error in the first. I'm very proud of our effort today."
James Buchanan 6
GreencastleJames BuchananabrhbabrhbRoot rf2110Pittman cf4000Wagamn cf2001Fglsngr ss4220Brown p3010TMiller p4333Shermn cr0100Doyka c1100Gelsinger c2112CMiller rf3001Bontagr ss4000Piper 2b3010Zeger 1b3000Shatzer 1b3011Hoover dp3000Cmmngs lf2010Shockey 2b2100Bender 3b3010Walck lf0000Totals24443Totals27685
E: GA 1, JB 4; LOB: GA 7, JB 5; 2B: Gelsinger, Cummings; HR: Miller 2 (3); SAC: Wagaman 2, Root; SB: Cummings 2.
J. Buchanan pitching
WP: Miller; PB: Doyka.