By Tom Robinson, NEPASportsNation.com
UNIVERSITY PARK – Beaver scored an unearned run in the top of the ninth inning, then turned a double play in the bottom of the inning Thursday to end the game and spoil a dramatic Tunkhannock comeback with a 5-4 victory in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class 4A state softball championship game.
Down to its final out and down two runs, Tunkhannock rallied to force extra innings in its attempt to claim the first state championship in school history.
Beaver recovered to complete an unbeaten season with the win at Penn State’s Beard Field.
Tunkhannock, the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 and District 2 Class 4A champions with six sophomores and a freshman in the starting lineup, did not have a hit for five innings. The Lady Tigers, outhit 12-6 in the game, trailed 4-1 going to the bottom of the seventh.
Hannah James got the rally started with a leadoff single.
Elaina Kulsicavage, the ninth hitter in the order, worked out a walk.
Ella McNeff followed with an RBI single and the runners moved into scoring position.
After two outs, Nicole Howell doubled over the center fielder’s head to drive in the tying runs.
Hannon then got a strikeout with two runners in scoring position in the top of the eighth to keep the game tied for one more inning.