Bucktail softball survives early scare to advance to District Title game

By: KEVIN RAUCH

For The Express

The Bucktail softball team overcame early adversity in a comeback extra inning victory on Friday against Galeton.

After trailing 6-0 in the first inning, the Bucktail softball team was about to pull off a hat trick of plays that gave the school one of the best endings their fans have ever seen.

Bucktail trailed Galeton the entire game after falling down big early when they took their last at bats in the bottom of the 7th down 8-7.

Bucktail’s Sara Kepler notched a base hit to left with Kayli Casper standing on second and rounding third as the ball was heading in from the outfield. Casper collided with Tiger catcher Kate Kulish who was trying to locate the throw. Kulish went flying to the ground as Casper tagged the plate, tying the game at 8-8 and forcing the D-4 semi final game into extra innings.

Galeton tried to go back up quickly as Briel Kalasinski picked up a hit down the right field line and ended up on third with no outs.

Katie Pagano dribbled a grounder to third where third baseman Emma Poorman picked up the ball and checked back on Kalasinski, surprising the runner and getting her into a rundown.

Bucktail’s fundamentals were on full display as short-stop Emily Cross covered third and ran down Kalasinski, diving at her to tag her out as she tried to out run Cross to the plate. With a cloud of dust surrounding the play, Cross suddenly emerged from the ground and the dust, firing a strike to second where Pagano was trying to reach in the confusion.

The Cross throw was as perfect as her rundown execution, as the Bucks had just turned a double play and ended the rally.

Bucktail would answer with their own runner on third when Jordan Burrows stood just feet away, representing the game winning run. Burrows had actually initially been called out while trying to take third, but it was clear that third base umpire couldn’t see the ball lying on the ground so coach Mike Poorman’s protest proved successful.

With one out Myka Poorman strode to the plate and hit a liner to short, too hard for the short-stop to make the play as Burrows scored in the 9-8 thriller. It was the only time that the Bucks led in the entire game.

“I cannot stress enough how proud I am of these girls, they were down to 6-0 but never gave up” Poorman said following the game for the ages. “Whether it’s the juniors cheering on the seniors or the other way around, this team amazes me how they root for one another, every play”.

When asked what Poorman thought of the Cross double play, an emotional Poorman said simply “I lost my mind”. Poorman pointed out how everyone involved in the play did exactly what they should have done in the ultra stress-filled play.

“Even though we were down 6-0, we could not have asked for a better situation, the top of our order coming to bat in extra innings, I’d take that every game” the coach finished.

Myka Poorman came on in relief in the top of the first and although the rally continued, Poorman would only allow 2 more runs in the final 7 innings of play.

Bucktail will now play Montgomery for the D4 Championship Thursday in Turbotville. Montgomery also took their game to the wire where a walk off three run home run gave them a 6-4 over Northeast Bradford.

Bucktail and Montgomery exchanged ten run rule wins in the regular season.

Bucktail 9, Galeton 8

(F/8 Innings)

Galeton 601 010 00–8 9 4

Bucktail 105 100 11–9 9 2

Bucktail: E. Poorman, M. Poorman & J. Burrows

Galeton: R. Fuller & K Kulish.

Top Hitters:

Galeton: Brielle Kalacinski 4-4, 2B, 3B, RBI; Jessie Evans 1-4, RBI; Haylee Ludington: 1-4, 2 runs; Kate Kulish1-4 RBI; Katie Pagano RBI.

Bucktail: Emily Cross 2-5, 2B, 2 RBI, Myka Poorman 1-4,3 RBI, Run; Kayli Casper 1-3, RBI, run; Jordan Burrows: 1-5, 3 runs; Sara Kepler 1-3, 2B, RBI.

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