ORWIGSBURG Williams Valley scored in just one of 13 innings against Marian pitcher Kayla Knight this season.
But what an inning it was!
The Vikings ripped four extra base hits and scored six times in the second inning to defeat the Fillies, 6-4, in the semifinals of the District 11 Class A softball playoffs Friday night at Blue Mountain High School.
The victory avenges a 1-0 regular season setback to Marian and sends Williams Valley into the District 11 title game against Minersville.
"One inning ... that was obviously the difference in the game," said Marian coach Joe DeAngelo. "They hit some balls hard in that inning and we had a couple of missteps.
"Against a team with as many big bats as Williams Valley, if you give them an extra out or two, they can really make you pay."
With Marian leading 2-0, the Vikings bunched five of their six hits and scored all their runs in the second inning. The Fillies also had two errors in the frame and a couple of slips in the field that contributed to the outburst.
"You can't ask for more than Kayla (Knight) gave us," said DeAngelo about his senior pitcher. "In two games against Williams Valley this year, she only allowed them to score in one inning. That's a very good offensive team to hold down.
"Unfortunately, we weren't able to limit the damage a little better in that one inning."
Facing a 6-2 deficit, Marian battled back with two runs in the fifth inning and had several other opportunities to get closer, but could never quite get even.
In the fifth, Abbey Hill and Gabby Green both drilled RBI singles for the Filles. But with the bases loaded and two out, Ashley Donlin was thrown out at the plate as she tried to score on a wild pitch. The Fillies, who stranded seven baserunners in scoring position in the game, also got the tying run to the plate in the sixth inning but couldn't cash in.
So despite nine hits, two walks, a hit batsman, and three Williams Valley errors, the Fillies were never able to completely dig themselves out of the early hole.
"I was proud of the way we battled," said DeAngelo. "We had some really good atbats, we scored four runs, and had the opportunity to score even more.
"But Williams Valley made the pitches and the plays when they needed them. We had our opportunities. We just couldn't get that big hit when we Vikings (18-2) were able to do in the second inning.
In that frame, Cassidy Pinchorski had an RBI double, Kylie Doyle had an RBI single, and Kallsie Davis ripped a two-run triple. The other runs scored on a ground out and a wild pitch.
"We were a little more patient against Knight in that inning," said Viking coach Lee Reiser. "We left 14 runners on base in our loss to Marian during the regular season and a lot of that was because our girls were just too anxious.
"Knight throws a lot of breaking balls on the outside part of the plate and we were jumping at the pitch and trying to pull it. In the second inning, we made her throw a few more pitches and that patience allowed us to get balls we could hit hard."
Knight was able to regain her control over the Viking batters after the big inning as she allowed just one hit and no walks to the final 17 batters she faced.
But the Fillies offense came up a little short of taking advantage of that.
"It was a great season," said DeAngelo. "We won 16 games, won a division championship, and reached the semifinals of what has to be the strongest Class A district in the state.
Shannon Skotek, Knight and Hill all had two hits in the game for Marian (16-4).
Marian 200 020 0 - 4 9 4
Williams Vy. 060 000 x - 6 6 3
Knight and Hill; Machamer and Davis. W-Knight. L-Machamer.