NEPA Sports Nation

Pittston Area hands Tunkhannock first defeat in softball showdown

Pictured above: Pittston Area first baseman Gabby Gorzkowski. (Tim Drewes Photo)

Eventually, Pittston Area and Tunkhannock will get around to trying to prove they are still the best Class 5A and 4A softball teams in District 2.

If successful, they will turn their attention to navigating the state tournament road back to Penn State for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association finals.

First, however, they need to settle Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 supremacy, something Pittston Area complicated by evening their season series with Wednesday’s 5-1, home-field victory at the Pittston Area Primary Center in Hughestown.

Kallie Booth went 3-for-3 while Bella Giardini and winning pitcher Gianna Adams drove in two runs each as the defending state champions Lady Patriots outhit the previously unbeaten Lady Tigers, 10-3, while avenging their only loss of the past two seasons.

Adams struck out 13 in a three-hitter, working her way through five walks and 138 pitches against a dangerous lineup that came in producing more than a dozen runs per game.

Pittston Area did not quite catch Tunkhannock. The Lady Patriots moved within a half-game of the lead, but they caught the Lady Tigers in the loss column, which, until somebody else in the division proves they can handle the two leaders, is the category that counts most.

Tunkhannock is 8-1 in the division and 12-1 overall while Pittston Area is 7-1 and 11-1, leaving Lackawanna League Division 1 leader Valley View as the district’s last unbeaten. Tunkhannock, Valley View and Pittston Area started the day 1-2-3 among Big Schools in the Riverfront Sports Super Six Softball Power Rankings of District 2 teams.

It was Pittston Area that ended last season and started this season ranked No. 1. The Lady Patriots showed why in a game that was scoreless through four innings.

Pittston Area stranded runners on second and third in the bottom of the first inning.

Adams did not allow a hit until after the Lady Patriots went ahead in the bottom of the fifth.

Booth led off the fifth with a double and Adams followed by drawing a walk. They both moved up on an Ava Callahan bunt.

Giardina’s double drove in both runs, giving Pittston Area a 2-0 lead before Kaya Hannon got the last two outs to end the inning.

Ella McNeff drew a walk to lead off the top of the sixth, then Gabby Wood singled to left field to break up the no-hitter.

Paige Marabell’s hard single through the left side not only broke the shutout, but put the tying run in scoring position and the go-ahead run on base.

An infield error loaded the bases with none out.

Adams recovered to get a pop up and two straight strikeouts to keep Pittston Area ahead, 2-1.

Gabby Gorzkowski singled with one out in the bottom of the sixth and moved up on a groundball for the second out.

Booth kept the inning alive with a two-out walk.

Adams and Callahan then delivered consecutive triples. Adams drove in two runs and Callahan one more to make it 5-1.

McNeff singled with two out in the sixth and Wood drew a walk.

Adams got a game-ending strikeout to ruin Tunkhannock’s perfect record.

Booth reached all four times, going 3-for-3 with a walk and scoring twice.

Callahan and Giardinia each added 2 of the team’s 10 hits.

Adams also had two runs.

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