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NTL SOFTBALL: WYALUSING SHOWS IMPROVEMENT THROUGHOUT 2024 CAMPAIGN (2024-06-01)

BY CHRIS MANNING
Northern Tier Sports Report
Things weren’t looking so good for Wyalusing softball early in the year but the young Rams buckled down and finished the season strong with a playoff berth.

“For what I looked at as a rebuilding year I felt good how we finished up,” said coach Brett Jayne. “At the start of games it didn’t look like we would have a chance to make playoffs, but we did, and got to play two games. After a rough start the girls settled down and played much better ball - after Kylie (Pickett) started pitching, which gave us more options to work with, and taking some pressure off of Addison (Fluck), it seemed like the girls started playing better.”


Wyalusing went 9-11 on the year to earn the ninth seed in districts.


They opened with three straight losses that saw them lose by a combined score of 52-4.


However, after a 2-week layover due to rain they went 5-2 over their next seven to get back into things.


It started with a 15-0 win over Wellsboro. After a loss to NPL they had back to back wins over Williamson (6-5) and NEB (9-6) - both playoff teams.


After another loss to NPL they picked up two non-league road wins against Central Columbia (16-6) and Susquehanna (18-2).


Then came a tough stretch of games as they loss to Towanda (4-3) in a walk-off, followed by losses to Troy and Athens. 


Home wins over Northwest (8-1) and Wellsboro (9-0) saw them get back to 7-8.


After a loss to CV they defeated Sayre (15-4), then lost a tough one at Athens. A 13-7 win over Canton gave them a shot to finish .500, but they ended up finishing up the regular season with a 5-3 loss to always tough Tunkhannock.


They opened up district play at East Juniata, and won 9-2. In the quarters they lost to eventual district champs, South Williamsport.


“Treanna (Nickeson) moving to a different position, and Allie (Liddick) going back to catching really helped strengthen the team,” said Jayne. “With victories over Williamson and Northeast the girls’ started believing in themselves. They played much better games agains Towanda, Troy, and NP the second time - having two freshmen and four sophomores starting, they started settling in.”


Jayne credits his team’s defense for the turn around.


“Some great outfield play by Josie (Ferris), and Emily (Johns), and upperclassman Rachel (Wilson) helping with good guidance. The field of Kyla (Carpenter), Treanna, Addisyn (Bly), Kylie, and Addison Fluck settled in and played much better. With Allie catching and Danielle hitting well, and Danielle playing wherever needed they looked much better.” 


The team hit 10 home runs on the season, powered by Liddick’s five as they also batted .300 as a group.


“Treanna ended with just one error playing multiple positions - catcher, second, and shortstop,” said Jayne. “All girls contributed to our later success, with all players improving through the year.”


Bly led the team with a .431 average behind seven doubles, 13-RBI and a team high 25 runs scored.


Johns hit .355 as a freshman, while Fluck batted .346 with a team high 17-RBI. Pickett (.321) and Liddick (.317) also hit over .300. Pickett had six doubles and 15-RBI as Liddick also had 15-RBI to go with five home runs.


Fluck got the lion’s share of innings, spending 64 in the circle with 73 strikeouts. Pickett pitched 44 innings with 31 strikeouts.


“Playing a tough schedule early, and some good teams at the end, I feel the girls definitely improved with even our 5-3 loss to Tunkhannock,” Jayne said. 


They return eight of their 10 main players next season, and so expect them to hit the ground running come March.



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