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NTL SOFTBALL: CALLEAR TOSSES GEM BUT NEB FALLS SHORT AGAINST MUNCY (2024-05-28)

BY CHRIS MANNING
Northern Tier Sports Report
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT — Northeast Bradford’s Makenna Callear tossed a gem but NEB but just couldn’t get the hit they needed as they fell to Muncy, 1-0, during the District IV, Class AA softball semifinals Tuesday.

The Indians got a big 2-out single from Taylor Shannon in the first inning and made it stick as both teams threatened but didn’t score.


“We did have the one hit but it was pretty early in the game and no one was on,” said NEB coach MaKaylah Leljedal. “When we were able to get a couple base runners on we didn’t get them in. It was a tough loss, but much better than last year.”


Muncy rolled them over last year behind their big lefty, Nolah Moyer, who struck out 12 while allowing three hits and three walks.


The Panthers made her work, though, as she threw 116 pitches on the day.


Callear finished with six strikeouts, six hits, three walks, and one earned run.


“Our pitching was amazing today,” Leljedal said. “Makenna really kept us in the game.”


At the plate Melanie Shumway (2-for-3) reached on all three at bats, while Toni Herb (1-for-3) had their other hit.


Defensively it was their best game of the season, with no errors and plenty of brisk fielding.


“We were definitely very strong defensively today,” said Leljedal. “Melanie made some great plays in centerfield, and shortstop, Kelsea Moore, she was crushing it out there.”


NEB’s best chance to score may have come in the first, as well, with Callear drawing a lead-off walk. She was out at first on a Shumway fielder’s choice.


With two outs Shumway would steal second. Then, there was a pick-off attempt on her and the ball got into the outfield, and even got by the centerfielder. 


Shumway, though, didn’t realize it until the centerfield got to it, and was held up at third.


Moyer was then got the final out to get out of the jam.


In the bottom half of the inning Muncy’s Casey Fry also drew a lead-off walk, then took second on a passed ball.


Callear struck the next two batters out but a Shannon hard hit ground ball got through the infield, and Fry just beat Shumway’s throw at home plate for the 1-0 lead.


NEB would threaten again in the second with getting runners on second and third but Moyer got out of the jam with a strikeout.


In the top of the sixth Shumway led off with a bunt single, then was sacrificed over to second. Berger then drew a walk to put two runners on with one out.


Moyer, though, got back to back strikeouts to end the threat. NEB would go down in order in the top of the seventh as the Indians advanced to the finals.


Leljedal credits her team’s positivity for them playing through some adversity, not only against Muncy but the weather did them no favors as they had a small rain delay in the middle innings.


“The girls, they were in there singing and just having a good time, celebrating being a team,” said Leljedal. “They brought it together.”


NEB ends this season much like last one - a playoff opening win at CV, then a loss to Muncy in the semifinals. This come after a regular season that was a little more up-and-down for NEB than Leljedal would have liked.


“I think that we got a little comfortable having so many wins last year, that they weren’t fighting as hard as they needed to be,” said Leljedal. “But after a few losses they definitely realized they needed to get back in the game, and they did. I’m very proud of them, I told them before, give 100-percent, that’s all I can ask and they did it again.”


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PHOTO CAPTION: NEB’s Makenna Callear delivers to home…PHOTOS BY CHRIS MANNING



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