The GWA Junior Softball All-Star Team, picture at the state tournament, from left to right, first row, Sarah Coolbaugh, Heather Nametko, Lauren Maloney, Jules Scappaticci, and Bree Bednarski; second row, Coach Barry Przybyla, Lindsay Carey, Drew Bednarski, Adrienne Przybyla, Coach Tracy Carey, Megan Bresnahan, Nicole Cumbo, Nicole Turner, and Manager Robert Bresnahan.
The Greater Wyoming Area girls’ junior softball all-star team was in a position they had not been in during the Section 5 Little League Junior Softball Tournament. They were behind.
Having dominated the first three games in the tourney, GWA trailed 5-4 entering the top of the seventh in its title game against Carbino Club. But there was no quit in the District 31 champions, and Greater Wyoming Area scored six runs in their final at bat to enable a 10-7 win and the Section 5 Championship at the Plains Little League last Saturday night. The victory put GWA into this past week’s Pennsylvania State Championship at the Indiana Little League in Indiana, PA.
“The one thing about these girls is they never quit. Never, not once,” said GWA manager Rob Bresnahan. “We were trailing going into the last inning and we had a huge rally and got the win.”
The GWA offense did as they have done so many times before when they took an early lead.
Lindsay Carey led off the inning with a sharp single to left field. She then stole second base and scored on RBI double off the bat of Bree Bednarski. Nicole Turner then singled and stole second base giving GWA runners on second and third with two outs and Adrienne Przybyla at the plate.
Przybyla then cashed in both Bednarski and Turner with an RBI double off the centerfield fence. GWA held a 3-0 lead after three innings of play.
Carbino Club came roaring back in the fifth.
With the bases loaded and nobody out in the inning, Carbino Club leadoff hitter Kelly Mecca roped a two-RBI single. Mecca scored later in the inning on a two-RBI double off the bat of Claire Sebastianelli. Morgan Caselli capped the five-run fifth with an RBI single to left field. Carbino Club held a 5-3 lead after five.
GWA cut the Carbino lead to just one run in the top of the sixth. Nicole Turner led off the inning with a double to left-centerfield. She then advanced to third on a groundout by Przybyla. Then with one out in the inning, Emily Wolfgang brought home Turner on a beautiful squeeze-play bunt down the first base line, and Greater Wyoming Area tailed just 5-4.
The seventh inning proved to be the turning point in the game.
Megan Bresnahan started the one-out rally with a line drive single to right field. Nicole Cumbo and Bree Bednarski then drew back-to-back walks loading the bases for GWA with Turner at the plate. Turner then struck out, but GWA wasn’t about to roll over and quit.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Przybyla laced a bases clearing double to give GWA a 7-5 lead after being just one out away from being forced to play another game as the winner’s bracket champ in the title series.
Wolfgang then cashed in Przybyla with an RBI single to left field. Sara Coollbaugh then contributed to the two-out parade with an RBI single to left centerfield. Jules Scappaticci capped the seventh inning offensive explosion with an RBI-single to centerfield.
Carbino Club gave GWA a scare and rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh. However, 10-7 was as close as Carbino came in the game.
Przybyla led the GWA offense with two hits and four RBI. Carey, Coolbaugh and Turner all had two hits for GWA.
“I tell them all the time to be patient at the plate and today they were patient and we came through,” Bresnahan said. “Nicole Cumbo also battled throughout the whole game and pitched great.”
GWA 6, Bristol Boro 0
Greater Wyoming Area continued to dominate at the Pennsylvania Little League Junior Softball Championships as the locals won by shutout for the second straight game, 6-0, over Bristol Boro on Friday night at the Indiana Little League.
Nicole Cumbo went the distance, allowing just two hits and two walks while striking out 13 to earn the win. She also drove in four runs, including a three-run double.
Heather Nametko added a two-out, two run single in the fifth for GWA.
The District 31 and Section 5 champs will play in the State Semifinals as the East Pool No. 1 seed today at 1 p.m. against the West Pool No. 2 seed. The title tilt will take place today at 7:30 p.m.
Should GWA win two games today, they will be the Junior League Softball Pennsylvania Champion advancing to the East Region Tournament in West Haven, Connecticut from August 5 - 11.
GWA 10, Caln 0
Greater Wyoming Area opened the Pennsylvania Little League Junior Softball Championships with a 10-0 win over Section 7 champion Caln on Wednesday at the Indiana Little League.
Nicole Cumbo and Lauren Maloney combined to throw a four-hitter with Cumbo earning the victory for GWA with three strikeouts in four innings. Maloney struck out two in two innings. She also added a two-run single in the second inning.
Nicole Turner led the offense with two hits and three RBI, and Adrienne Przybyla smacked two hits with a triple and two RBI. Megan Bresnahan also added two hits, and Julianna Scappaticci chipped in with an RBI-single.
While the offense paced GWA in its first game, assistant coach Tracy Carey indicated the team’s defense has been outstanding.
“The biggest story has been our defense,” said Carey in an email. “Our pitching has been solid and is not walking a lot of batters. They are forcing ground balls and timely pop outs, and we have no errors so far.”
The state championship tournament was rained out on Thursday, with Greater Wyoming Area’s game with Marion Center moved to Friday night. GWA then had Saturday off and would play in Sunday’s semifinal if they qualified. The title game is slotted for Monday.
Dispatch Staff Writer Rick Notari contributed to this report.