By: Tim Birney | | May 17, 2021


ATHENS — There are comebacks, and there are comebacks.

North Penn-Liberty scored 11 runs in the second inning to take an 11-5 lead, and led 14-9 after 4 1/2 innings, but Athens scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to pull out a wild, 16-14, win here Monday afternoon in NTL Large School Division softball action.

“Our kids never quit, we just kept chipping away,” said Athens coach Mickey Farrell, who noted his team’s defense put them in an early hole.

“We did not play well defensively in the outfield, and we had eight errors overall,” he noted.

Athens improves to 15-4 on the season. The 15 wins are believed to be a school-record .

“Before the game, we told the kids let’s get back to what’s gotten us to this record,” said Farrell. “And that is having fun.

“We had been pressing too hard because of how important these games are,” noted Farrell. “We just wanted them to play hard and have fun; whatever happens, happens.  !

“We now have the most wins in a season at 15,” added Farrell.

Athens took a quick 5-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.

Senior Harley Sullivan walked to lead off the game, and junior Audrey Hatch followed with a single. Junior Caydence Macik drove both runners home with a two-run triple, and scored on a grounder off the bat of senior Mallory Mummert.

Sophomores Addy Repsher and Aliyah Butler followed with RBI singles to cap the rally.

The Lady Mountaineers sent 15 batters to the plate in the top of the second, turning six hit, three errors, and three walks into 11 runs. Payton Chapel’s three-run home run capped the rally.

The Lady Wildcats got three runs back in the home half of the second, trimming the deficit to 11-8.

Sullivan led off the inning with a single, and Athens used a pair of walks, and outfield error and a pair of passed balls to plate their runs.

Macik led off the bottom of the fourth with a double, and scored on a one-out RBI single by Repsher to pull within two run, at 11-9.

NP-Liberty scored twice in the top of the fifth on a one-out bases-loaded single y Megan Spohn and a walk to Saige Lehman to make it 13-9, but Macik, who came on in relief in the second inning for the Lady Wildcats, registered a pair of strikeouts to avoid further damage.

Sullivan led off the home half of the fifth inning with a double, and scored on a one-out RBI single by Macik. After Macik stole second, she scored on an RBI single by Mummert to make it 13-11.

NP-L scored an unearned run in the top of the sixth to up its advantage to 14-11, but the Athens offense kept hitting.

The inning didn’t start well as the first two Lady Wildcat batters struck out. With two outs, Sullivan ripped a double, and Hatch followed with a single. After an intentional walk to Macik, Mummert and Repsher hit back-to-back two-run singles to give Athens a 15-14 lead. Butler’s RBI double provided the final margin.

In the top of the seventh, Macik retired the side in order to preserve the win.

Macik had three hits, including a tripled and a double, scored five runs, and had three RBI, while Repsher stroked three singles, scored three runs, and drove in four runs, and Sullivan belted two doubles and a triple, and scored four runs to pace Athens’ 17-hit attack.

Mummert singled twice, scored two runs, and collected four RBI in the win, while Hatch singled twice and scored two runs, Butler doubled and singled, and drove in one run, and freshman Ashlyn VanFleet and senior Carly Simpson each added a single.

Athens travels to Wyalusing Tuesday in a key battle for the NTL Large School title.


About the Author

Tim Birney Author Bio
Tim Birney

Tim Birney is the founder / owner of River Road Media Group. He was born and raised in the Valley, graduating from Waverly High School in 1984.

Birney earned an Associate's Degree in Journalism from SUNY Morrisville in 1986 and a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism / Public Relations from Utica College of Syracuse University in 1988. He began his newspaper career at The Daily Review in Towanda in 1989, before moving on to The Evening Times in 1995. He spent more than 10 years at the Times, the last four as Managing Editor.

River Road Media Group includes five sites in "The Sports Reports" family that cover 24 school districts in five counties: Valley Sports Report (launched Aug. 10, 2009), Tioga County (NY) Sports Report (Aug. 13, 2018), and Northern Tier Sports Report (Aug. 31, 2020); Northern Tier West Sports Report (March 15, 2021) Southern Tier Sports Report (Aug. 16, 2021).