SOFTBALL: Wyoming Seminary Survives Wild Game Vs. Redeemer
KINGSTON — The team that scores first in a softball game usually ends up winning it.
That was no different Friday for Wyoming Seminary, although the Blue Knights took an unusual route — a frustrating, lead-losing, fan-interfering, heart-pumping but, ultimately, triumphant route — to their destination.
After Tiana Wren blasted a mammoth home run to lead off Sem’s three-run first inning, Holy Redeemer gave it all it had to take the lead, only to see Sem senior Aubrey Mytych smack a game-winning single in the bottom of the sixth inning that lifted Sem to a 7-5 win in the District 2 Class 3A semifinals.
“It was really a rush,” said Mytych, a four-year starter for Sem’s softball and field hockey teams who will play the latter at Penn State.
“It’s like the same way with field hockey — everybody has to be mentally focused, together. I think this game was a great learning experience for us because it was 100% mental. If you were not mentally focused, it 100% showed on the field. We went back-and-forth. We each made errors. We each made really bad plays. And, I think it worked itself out in the end.”
No. 1 Sem (18-3) advances to play for a district title Wednesday at a site and time to be announced. It will play the winner of today’s game between No. 2 Mid Valley and No. 3 Dunmore.
The season is over for No. 4 Redeemer (10-12), which had appeared in six straight district finals, albeit mostly with players who are no longer on the team.
Redeemer was overmatched Friday, but still managed to outhit Sem and remained competitive after falling behind 3-0 in the first inning.
“Honestly, they played their hearts out,” said Redeemer head coach Jerry Paulukonis. “Both sides.”
Sem was about to take a 4-2 lead in the second inning when Sem’s multi-purpose turf field, which has many different-shaped and multi-colored lines drawn all over, caused some confusion.
Akira Kopec scored on an error made in the field, but the umpires ruled the inning’s third out because a spectator along the first-base line touched the ball while it was well in foul territory, but technically still in play.
“It’s tough when something like that happens,” said Sem head coach Steve Mytych. “But it is what it is. You kind of just gotta move on and stay focused.”
After a scoreless third inning, Redeemer went ahead 4-3 in the fourth. Sem came up in the bottom of the inning, answered with two runs of its own, and regained a 5-4 lead.
Redeemer senior Taylor Josefowicz whacked a game-tying solo home run to the right-center gap, though, tying the game 5-5 in the fifth.
The game was decided in the bottom of the sixth, which started off well for Redeemer after retiring the first two Sem batters.
But then Kopec reached on a hard-hit grounder at the shortstop, officially ruled an error, and the freshman stole second to put herself in scoring position with Mytych at the plate.
“The approach was to get on base, just to put the ball in play,” Aubrey Mytych said.
Mytych, a lefty, pulled a single to right field that scored Kopec from second base to go ahead 6-5. Mytych came around to score an insurance run when Campbell Kelly’s single was misplayed in the outfield, putting Sem ahead 7-5 going into the seventh.
“She’s a Mytych,” said coach Steve Mytych, Aubrey’s older brother who wrestled collegiately at Drexel. “So, she’s been trained like that her whole to come through in those clutch situations. That’s what you train for. You want to be in that position. Some people might not want to be in that position, I think Aubrey and myself, we want to be in that position. We want to give our team an opportunity to win and go for it.”
Redeemer had the go-ahead run at the plate with one out in the top of the seventh, but Sem ended the game with a 2-3-2 double play capped by Kelly, the catcher, holding on to the ball during a collision at the plate for the final out.
Holy Redeemer Seminary
ab r h bi ab r h bi
Dolan ss 3 0 1 1 Wren ss 3 2 1 1
Pekarovski dp 4 0 0 0 Kopec 2b 2 2 1 1
Laiuvara cf 4 0 1 0 Mytych cf 4 1 2 1
Josefowicz c 3 2 1 1 Kelly c 2 0 1 2
Mendrzycki 3b 2 1 1 0 Maxwell cr 0 1 0 0
Stochla pr 0 0 0 0 Romanchick p 2 0 0 1
McDermott 2b 4 2 1 1 Hanson-Richart cr 0 0 0 0
Santuk p 3 0 2 1 Kehl 1b 3 0 0 0
Baird c 3 0 1 0 Bean rf 2 0 0 1
Murray lf 3 0 0 0 Dunn 3b 3 0 0 0
McIngvale rf 0 0 0 0 Kolbicka pr 0 1 0 0
Fletcher lf 3 0 0 0
Totals 29 5 8 4 Totals 24 7 5 7
Holy Redeemer 020 210 0 — 5
Wyoming Seminary 300 202 x — 7
3B: Liz Mendrzycki (HR).
HR: Taylor Josefowicz (HR), Tiana Wren (Sem).
Holy Redeemer IP H R ER BB SO
Santuk 1/3 2 3 3 3 1
McDermott, LP 5 2/3 3 4 1 4 1
Wyoming Seminary IP H R ER BB SO
Romanchick, WP 7 8 5 3 3 8
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