Loyalsock rallies past Mustangs late to stay undefeated

May 2—MIDDLEBURG — The Midd-West softball team has proven over the last two years to be among the top teams in District 4 Class 3A.

What the Mustangs haven't done is come up with that signature victory. It looked for a while that Thursday's Heartland Athletic Conference-Division III showdown with Loyalsock could be that win.

However, the Lancers took advantage of three late Mustangs' miscues to score two runs in the top of the seventh, and Loyalsock remained undefeated with a 4-2 victory at Sports Boosters Athletic Park.

"I thought the girls battled. They showed a lot of heart, a lot of character," Midd-West coach Pete Voss said. "We have to clean up some things, obviously, but to get to the next level, we are going to have to beat a Loyalsock or a North Penn-Liberty."

Things started out pretty well for the Mustangs as pitcher Miley Beachel was dominant and the defense made plays through five innings. The only downside — the Mustangs had plenty of base runners, but struggled for a key hit.

Beachel was nearly flawless. She took a no-hitter into the fifth after having lasted just 2 2/3 innings in a 12-2 loss to the Lancers on April 16.

Bella Mileto reached on an error when Beachel threw a two-out bunt attempt down the right-field line. Laryn Moser tracked down the ball in the corner, and, after a relay throw to second baseman Briahna Keister, the strike to catcher Storm Wilt got Mileto in a rundown. Wilt was able to make a diving tag for the third out of the inning.

Loyalsock's Sofia Mileto tripled with two outs in the fifth, but Beachel got the next hitter looking to end that threat.

The Mustangs (7-3 overall, 7-2 HAC-III) built a 2-0 lead, scoring a run in the fourth when Cali Sauer doubled and scored when the Lancers threw away Mckennin Voss' sacrifice bunt. Wilt added a solo homer to open the home fifth, but the lead could have been bigger. Midd-West left 13 runners on base, stranding the bases loaded twice.

"We didn't hit well against South (Williamsport in a 16-1 loss Monday), so we hit a little better tonight," Pete Voss said. "We just got to keep working on that."

Trailing 2-0, Loyalsock (13-0, 8-0) tied the game in the bottom of the fifth. A walk and an infield single put runners on the corners, and the Mustangs opted to intentionally walk the Lancers leading hitter Katie Ryder to load the bases. After a wild pitch scored the first run of the game, Alexa Luxenberger then hit a grounder to shortstop Rachel Keister, who made a great back-handed play in the hole. Her only play was to the plate, but her throw hit Bella Mileto in the back to tie the game at 2-2.

Midd-West would load the bases in the bottom of the sixth, but a bunt back to the pitcher led to a force out at home. Loyalsock reliever Lydia Kreshock got a strikeout to end the threat.

Sofia Mileto singled to open the top of the seventh, and the ball was misplayed and she took second. Ava Damiano popped up a bunt to Wilt, and Beachel got a strikeout for the second out. However, back-to-back dropped fly balls — one in the outfield and one in the infield — brought home Sofia Mileto and Shyla Fulp.

The Mustangs have nine games left over the final two weeks of the season, and they still have a decent lead in the power rankings over Lourdes Regional for the final home game of the opening round of the District 4 Class 3A playoffs. So Midd-West can't let Thursday's tough loss carry over.

"I told them, 'Don't hang your heads; we have three games next week,'" Pete Voss said. "'We just have to play one game at a time, and bring the same energy to every game.'

"I know they have that energy inside of them, and I know we are going to show up Monday ready for Greenwood."



Loyalsock;000;002;2 — 4-3-2

Midd-West;000;110;0 — 2-9-5

Sophia Miller, Lydia Kreshock (5) and Maddie Luxenberger. Miley Beachel and Storm Wilt.

WP: Kreshock; LP: Beachel.

Loyalsock: Sophia Mileto 2-for-3, run, triple.

Midd-West: Wilt 3-for-3, homer (5th, solo), run, RBI; Teagan Schreffler 2-for-4; Cali Sauer 1-for-3, double, run.