Horlacher captures sectionals
The Bob Horlacher Little League Major softball team claimed the Section 5 championship Sunday morning, beating Carbino Club, 11-1, in five innings.
As if on queue for the 10-run difference, a church bell in the distance from the Miles Street Park in Old Forge rang 10 times just a few moments after the girls rounded the field with their sectional pennant.
The ringing, however, was because it was 10 a.m.
The game got moved to Sunday morning because Thursday’s game to decide Horlacher’s opponent was rain delayed to Saturday, and the winner had to be named promptly as the state tourney opens in Greensburg - not too far from Pittsburgh - this week.
Although Horlacher’s Hope Jones got eight strikeouts, the game was tight for the first four innings.
Her twin sister Faith Jones led off the game with a triple, but she got stranded on third as three teammates flew out.
In the bottom of the first Carbino’s Julia Cuozzo walked, but she worked her way around the bases and finally got home as her teammate Emily Yontas got Carbino’s lone hit off Jones.
It stayed 1-0 until the top of the fourth when Hope Jones got a single, stole bases, and made it home when Erin Dunn’s bunt got her safely to first with an errant ball following.
That tied the game.
But Carbino seemed rattled in the fifth, and nearly every Horlacher player made it across home plate in a 10-run outburst.
The bottom of the fifth got Carbino on first as an errant pitch hit a batter.
However, Jones then struck out two more and the runner attempting to steal second was tagged out to end the game.
Doug Jones said he was proud of his seasoned ball club, and knew they would find their rhythm.
The 11-12 major girls are the District 31 representative from Monroe, Northmoreland and Noxen townships in Wyoming County.
They are essentially the same team that won state Little League titles in 2012 as 9-10 girls, and in 2013 as 10-11 girls.
The only player not to return from those title teams was Delaney Romanchick. In her absence, the team this year has added Gabby Rosental.
Jones said that the state Little League Major Softball tourney opens Thursday at 2:30 p.m.
Eight teams will be competing through Sunday in a double elimination format.
The tourney could be extended to Monday, if weather interfered.