Red Land softball recovers, tops Mifflin County
LEWISTOWN >> Both Red Land coach Jason Munns and Mifflin County coach Jack McCurdy won't be showing footage of Friday's Mid-Penn Commonwealth softball game to aspiring players.
In fact, they'll probably both have nightmares of the game marred by nine total errors.
Madi Christiansen doubled and scored the go-ahead run in the top of the sixth and Taylor Artery pitched four scoreless innings of relief to turn an ugly start into a 10-7 victory for Red Land over Mifflin County. It marked their first victory over Mifflin since the Huskies joined the league in 2013.
The win also keeps Red Land's hope alive of catching Cumberland Valley (15-2, 11-1) for the regular-season division title.
"I don't know that there necessarily was a turning point," Red Land coach Jason Munns said. "We've gotten into a lot of battles this year. These girls, it seems regardless of situation find a way to come through. The turning point may have been the first inning Artley came in to pitch, and they struggled with her a little bit. We came back and once it got to 7-7, I saw the expressions on the bench change and I could see that confidence was back."
Red Land used a hit batter and a Darcy Wilson error in the top of the first to assume a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third, the wheels came off for Red Land in the field. A throwing error on a sacrifice bunt allowed two runs to score.
Caitlyn Smith and Allessa Morrison added RBI singles to give Mifflin County a 7-3 advantage after three.
Just as Red Land assisted Mifflin County in the four-run third, the Huskies returned the favor in the top of the fourth.
The Patriots had the bases empty with two outs in the inning. Alyssa Munns hit a grounder to short and reached safely when the first baseman dropped a throw.
Back-to-back singles from Brittany Carroll and Christiansen loaded the bases with two outs and Artery delivered a two-run single.
Hannah Breitigan added a run-scoring single and another run scored on a Mifflin County error to knot the game at 7-7 after 3 1/2 innings.
"It's a pretty mature team," Jason Munns said. "We try to recreate some of those situations in a practice environment and beyond that, (it was) just pure will."
Artery gave up a pair of two-out singles in the bottom half of the fourth and not much more as she earned the victory.
Christiansen doubled to open the top of the sixth and scored the go-ahead run on Breitigan's second straight RBI-single.
The Patriots added two more runs and Artery sat the Huskies down in order to finish the game off in the bottom of the seventh.
"It was an awesome job," Jason Munns said. "I have a lot of confidence in both my pitchers, but they don't match up to offenses equally. Lyss in the first few innings was getting hit and we were making some errors. I know Taylor is always up to the challenge, she warmed up very well tonight. We didn't hesitate to put her in and she just does what she does."
Red Land (12-4, 8-4 Mid-Penn) pulls to within a game of Mifflin County and within three of first-place Cumberland Valley.
"It's huge, this is our first win against Mifflin County since they joined the Commonwealth (conference) so it was a double-whammy there," Jason Munns said.