Titans blanked by Everett in D-5 playoffs | Local

A few simple mistakes in the first inning came back to bite fourth-seeded Tussey Mountain (10-10) during Thursday afternoon’s District Five Class 2A semifinal at top-seeded and unbeaten Everett. The Warriors (20-0) took advantage of those miscues to build an early advantage and then let junior ace Olivia Hillegas and the defense do the rest. Hillegas struck out nine and allowed just one hit as Everett rolled into next Wednesday’s championship game with a 5-0 victory.

Thursday’s win marked the Warriors third against the Titans this season. Everett squeezed out a 1-0 win at home April 11th and then crushed the Titans 16-1 in five innings April 25th at Saxton.

Everett will face second-seeded and defending District 5-2A champion Chestnut Ridge next Wednesday at Bedford in a rematch of last year’s district championship. Ridge advance to the title game after topping third-seeded Windber 3-0 in yesterday’s semifinal.

Tussey ace Alayna Clark scattered seven hits on the afternoon, while striking out three and yielding three walks. Clark also had the Titans’ lone hit, a one-out double in the fourth. She was the Titans only baserunner in the game.

“I was proud of the way we played today,” commented Tussey Mountain head coach Kevin Reed. “We had those mistakes early, but if you take those away and put some pressure on Everett, anything could happen. But, I have to credit Everett, they took advantage of those opportunities, plus we only had that one hit. Alayna pitched very well and kept us in the game. But, Everett also got the hits when they needed them.”

All three Tussey errors occurred in the first inning. Cloe Price opened the home half of the frame with a base hit and moved up on a dropped third strike to Ella Hinish, putting runners on first and third. Hillegas popped up, but Price scored when the throw back to the pitcher went over her head. Makenna Richards doubled home Hinish and a dropped fly ball in the outfield allowed Richards to score.

However, Clark and the Titan defense held the Warriors in check over the next four innings. Price had a double in the second for Everett and reached base again in the fifth. The first five innings of the game lasted just 45 minutes.

The warriors added their last two runs in the sixth. Richards belted her second double of the game and Marissa Hillegas singled to put runners on second and third after stolen bases. Tussey got the next two batters out, but Lainie Treece singled to right field to plate both runs.

“I’m pleased with what we put on the field this year,” concluded Reed. “It could have been better after we went 6-2 in the first eight games, we went through a little slump. But, the girls gave us their all. Overall, I can’t complain. We lose three seniors, but have our pitcher back next year. we just need to work on our hitting and get ready for next season.”