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NTL SOFTBALL: WYALUSING TOPS CANTON TO STAY IN DISTRICT PLAYOFF HUNT (2024-05-11)

BY CHRIS MANNING
Northern Tier Sports Report
CANTON — Wyalusing kept their district playoff hopes alive as they pulled away from a pesky Canton, 13-7, during NTL softball action Saturday.

The Rams led 4-2 when they had a 5-run fourth inning to go up 9-2. A 4-run top six saw them extend their lead to 13-2. 


The Warriors extended the game, though, with a 2-run bottom of the sixth. They pushed three more runs across in the seventh but it was too much to overcome.


“It feels good at this point,” Wyalusing coach Brett Jayne said about being alive for districts. “We’ve had some ups and downs, the girls have played some real good ball, and then we’ve played some ball that wasn’t as good as it should have been. Hopefully they can keep it going and make it in.”


The game was long by softball standard, going over two hours and lasting longer than the adjacent baseball game that went into extra innings.


Wyalusing’s pitcher Addison Fluck, though, went the distance, throwing 159 pitches for 15 strikeouts, four walks, seven hits, and seven runs scored.


“She needs to get conditioned so she can got that distance,” Jayne said. “It’s going to make her stronger for the future.”


It didn’t affect Fluck at the plate, though, as she went 2-for-5 with a home run and 5-RBI while Danielle Wilson (2-for-3) had an RBI.


Treanna Nickeson (1-for-3) had a triple with three runs scored, as Kylie Pickett (1-for-4) had a double with a run scored, and 4-RBI. 


Allie Liddick (1-for-3) scored and drove in a run, as Addisyn Bly (1-for-4), Josie Ferris (1-for-4), Kirra Millard (1-for-2), Kenda Millard, and Madison Adams all crossed home. Raelea Harvey scored twice.


It was the second game in a row for Canton where they got down big but fought their way back. Coach Darryl Jannone it’s a sign his young team is finding their footing.


“It’s rewarding because they’ve been sticking to fundamentals,” he said. “I’m very proud of the girls, they stay in it no matter what the situation is. Every rep, every swing, every pitch matters, and they know it.”


Errors played a big factor in the loss, as they finished with 10 against Wyalusing.


“We’ve just got to reduce our errors, not turn one mistake into two,” said Jannone. “We’ve just got to play ball the way we know how to play ball, and not get nerved up and let the situation take advantage of us.”


Jaylee Ward (2-for-4) had a home run with three runs scored, and 2-RBI, while Rylin Graham (2-for-3) and Nevaeh Vroman (2-for-3) both scoring. Tara Gilbert (1-for-4) had a hit, Cyra Hugo scored and drove in a run, with Tiffany Acla also finding home. 


Morgan Wesneski chipped in with an RBI.


Gilbert got the start, and took the loss, going five innings with four strikeouts, one walk, eight hits, and nine runs, one of which was earned.


Ward went two-thirds of an inning with one strikeout, four walks, one hit, four runs, one of which was earned. Acla pitched the final 1 1/3-innings with one strikeout, one hit, one walk, and no runs.


Both teams scored a run in the first as Nickeson reached on a walk, then was driven home by Pickett to put the Rams up 1-0.


Canton got that run back in the bottom half as Ward reached on a lead-off single, then scored on a passed ball.


In the second Ferris would score on an error off the bat of Carpenter to make it 2-1. The Rams made it 4-1 in the third as Nickeson led off with a triple. 


After two outs she scored on a Fluck hit. Harvey, Fluck’s courtesy runner, then scored on a Wilson hit to make it 4-1.


In the bottom half Ward took Fluck’s opening offering and put it over the centerfield fence to make it 4-2.


Then came Wyalusing’s big inning, all with two outs. Bly and Nickeson reached on back to back errors, with Bly scoring. Nickeson later scored on a Pickett double, followed by Liddick doubling in Pickett.


Fluck then hit a 2-run home run over the left field fence and it was 9-2 Wyalusing.


In the sixth Kirra Millard led off with a hit, then scored on an error off the bat of Fluck. After a walk and hit by pitch loaded the bases Harvey would score on a wild pitch to make it 11-2. 


Kenda Millard scored on a passed ball, then, with two outs, Pickett drew a bases loaded walk to bring in Adams for the 13-2 score.


In the bottom half of the inning Canton went with two outs as an error off the bat of Addi pepper scored Hugo, followed by Ward scoring on a wild pitch to make it 13-4.


In the bottom of the seven the first five Warriors reached, with Graham and Vroman hitting lead-off singles. An Acla walk loaded the bases, setting up Hugo getting hit by a pitch, which scored Graham.


Wesneski then drew a walk to bring in Vroman to make it 13-6.


After an out Ward drove in Acla with a fielder’s choice for a 13-7 score. Fluck got the ender with a strikeout to secure the win.


Wyalusing (9-10) needs one more win to guarantee themselves a spot in districts, though it is possible for them to get in with a below .500 record if their rating is above a team that is .500.


Still, they would like to do it themselves when they host Tunkhannock on Thursday for their Pink Game.


“Tunkhannock is going to be very tough,” said Jayne. “They’ve got good pitching, they’ve got good defense, and they’ve got some good hitting, so we have to be on top of our game all the way, which we should be anyways.”


Canton (4-13) has three games left next week - all on the road - beginning with a trip to Towanda on Monday. All three of their opponents are playoff teams so Jannone knows it’ll be a good test for his team.


“Without a doubt I’m very proud of the girls,” he said. “They continue to fight every game, in every situation we’re in there’s no quit. I’m proud of that.”


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PHOTO CAPTION: Wyalusing’s Treanna Nickeson watches her triple…PHOTOS BY CHRIS MANNING




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