Northern Tier Sports Report
CANTON — After two close calls Canton softball was able to seal the deal, rallying to beat NP-Liberty 10-9 in 8-innings for their season’s first win Saturday. 

Jill Shay was the right person, right spot as she hit a 2-out bases loaded single to right field to score Keri Wesneski, giving them the win.

“It was exciting,” Shay said about getting the game winning hit. “It was intense. I just wanted to get a base hit.”

Hitting wasn’t a problem for either team on Saturday as they both had 14 hits, though the Warriors showed off their power with five extra base hits, including a home run by Alexis Baldwin. That was enough to overcome 6-run top first by the Lady Mountaineers, as Canton chipped away by scoring in six of the eight innings.

“We were kind of nervous,” Shay said about NP-Liberty’s strong start. “But we didn’t let it overcome us, and we came back on top.”

The Warriors are no strangers to close games, though they’ve been on the other side of two 2-run losses to start the year.

“It’s been kind of frustrating, but we pulled it together, and was able to get a win,” said Shay.

Emmi Ward led the team at the plate, going 3-for-5 with two doubles, 2-RBI and three runs scored.

Five other players had multi-hit games: Tara Acla (2-for-4), Keri Wesneski (2-for-5), Molly Ward (2-for-4), Allyson Butcher (2-for-5) and Baldwin (2-for-4). 

Baldwin had a double to go with her home run, with two runs and 2-RBI, while Wesneski had a triple with two runs and an RBI.

Ward knocked in two runs while scoring one, as Butcher also had an RBI. Acla crossed home as well.

Shay (1-for-5) had a run scored to go with her RBI.

Shay started, but only went an inning and one-third, allowing seven hits, one walk and seven earned runs.

Wesneski came on in relief to get the win, going 6-and-two-third innings, striking out four while allowing seven hits and two earned runs.

Alexia Kshir (2-for-4) had 3-RBI for the Mounties as Hayley Ridge (2-for-5) and Mckenzi Tice (2-for-5) also had multi-hit games.

Jenna McMullen started but only tossed an inning, striking out one with six hits and five earned runs.

Tice came on in relief and scores the loss, striking out three with eight hits, three walks and five earned runs.

NPL had five straight hits to start the game, scoring two runs in the process. A bases loaded walk made it 3-0 before Canton was able to record an out.

NPL would tally three more runs in the first before a ground out ended their at bat.

The Lady Warriors came out strong themselves as Emmi Ward led off with a single. Two batters later Molly Ward singled in Emmi, then saw herself score off a Butcher single to cut it to 6-2 after an inning.

The Mounties would score three more runs in the top of the second on a 2-out rally. A Peyton Chapel double scored a run, followed by a 2-run single from Kshir to make it a 9-2 Mounties.

The Warriors responded, though, as Baldwin led off the at bat with a double, followed by a single from Acla.

An Emmi Ward scored both to cut it to 9-4. Emmi Ward then scored on a Wesneski ground out to cut it to 9-5.

NPL was 3-up, 3-down in the third, while in the bottom half of the inning Baldwin hit a 2-out, 2-run home run to make it a 2-run game.

Canton cut it to 1-run in the fourth as Emmi Ward scored on a pass ball at home plate.

The comeback was complete in the bottom of the sixth as Wesneski led off with a triple, then was singled home by Molly Ward to knot the game up at 9-all.

Neither team threatened in the seventh, with NPL going down in order to start the eighth.

In the bottom half of the inning Wesneski got the rally going with a 1-out single. After Molly Ward drew a walk Butcher singled to load the bases. 

NP-Liberty managed to get the second out on an infield fly to set up Shay’s big moment. On a 2-1 count she found space on the right side of the field to bring in Wesneski for the win.

The Warriors (1-2) will look to even up their record as they travel to Sayre on Tuesday, with a 4:30 p.m. start.

CUTLINE: Canton’s Jill Shay makes contact on her game winning single against NP-Liberty…PHOTOS BY CHRIS MANNING.

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