PHOTO: Mia Butka, shown pitching earlier in the postseason, limited Lampeter-Strasburg to one earned run Monday. (Zachary Allen Photo)
West Scranton battled with Lampeter-Strasburg, one of the state’s most successful softball programs in recent years, after yielding two runs in the top of the first inning Monday.
The Lady Invaders, however, could never break through and had their historic season come to an end.
Lampeter-Strasburg locked up its third straight Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class 5A championship game appearance with a 3-0 shutout that kept West Scranton from extending the team’s first trip to the state playoffs.
West Scranton, coming off its first-ever District 2 championship, went to Patriots Park in Allentown looking for a third straight state tournament win and second straight at that site.
Keiva Middleton tossed a four-hitter to stop the West Scranton winning streak at eight games. She walked three and struck out five.
West Scranton (14-4) put two runners in scoring position in the fifth and sixth innings and others in the first and fourth.
Similarly, Lampeter-Strasburg (26-1) had multiple threats in addition to the two innings in which it scored.
Mia Butka, who tripled for West Scranton in the bottom of the first, also contained the offense of a team playing in its fifth straight state semifinal with her pitching performance.
Butka allowed just one earned run despite not having a 1-2-3 inning until the seventh. She gave up eight hits and four walks while striking out six.
Second baseman Amelia Noll started an inning-ending double play that shortstop Madison Maloney turned.
Olivia Dougher, Isabella Summa and Tori Herne had the other hits for West Scranton.