The Comets fell, 2-1 to Hazleton in a 10-inning marathon in the first round of the PIAA Class AAAA playoffs on Monday, June 6, 2016. By John Buffone.
WILKES-BARRE- Penn Manor’s season came to an end on Monday after dropping a 2-1, 10-inning thriller to Hazleton in the opening round of the Class AAAA PIAA softball playoffs.
In the bottom of the tenth, Hazleton centerfielder Rebecca Rossi converted a squeeze bunt that sent teammate Jessica Bernotas racing across the plate to send the Cougars to the state quarterfinals and the Comets home.
Penn Manor took the initial lead in the top of the third when Brittany Hook roped an RBI double that scored Danielle Wright.
Hazleton would answer in the fourth when Celine Podlesney hit an RBI single, which scored Megan Trivelpiece.
As the game flowed into extra innings, both teams had opportunities to close the door in the eighth when Penn Manor couldn't capitalize on two hits in the top of the frame and Hazleton could get a runner in from third base with zero outs.
After the ninth, the tie-breaker rule came into effect which puts a baserunner on second base for each team at the beginning of each inning.
When the Comets couldn't manage anything in the top of the tenth, the Cougars bunted Bernotas over to third and then Rossi’s heroics put the game in the books.
Hazleton will now face Perkiomen Valley in the next round.
Monday’s loss ends a Penn Manor season that included a Section One title and appearances in both the L-L and District 3 Championship games.