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Repshis’ Bat Helps Doom No. 3 Seed Hanover Area

May 21, 2019

HANOVER TWP. — West Scranton center fielder Tatum Repshis stepped on the field and immediately played like a standout softball player. So immediate, in fact, that the first pitch of Monday’s District 2 Class 4A quarterfinal at Hanover Area hadn’t even been thrown. “Even in warmups, she was crushing the ball. I know it was only soft-toss, but still — she just crushed the ball,” Hanover Area head coach Kathy Healey said of Repshis. “She had a great game.” That greatness spelled defeat for Healey’s Hawkeyes, who watched the junior Repshis go 3 for 4 with three RBIs, two stolen bases and a home run in West Scranton’s 6-3 win. While the records and seeds suggest Monday’s result was an upset, E.J. Dougher, head coach of No. 6 West Scranton (9-8), said otherwise. “If you look at our year ... we hit the ball on the nose all the time; and it’s always at people,” Dougher said. “We had five one-run losses this year to some really, really good teams.” One of those teams was No. 2 Scranton Prep, which beat No. 7 Dallas, 6-2, on Monday, setting up a West Scranton at Scranton Prep semifinal game Thursday. In their most recent meeting April 29, Scranton Prep beat West Scranton, 4-3. But in order to secure its place in the semifinals, West Scranton needed big performances from Repshis and several teammates, including the pitcher-catcher battery of Caitlyn Woyshnar and Emily Rose. Woyshnar kept No. 3 Hanover Area (15-5) on its toes, picking her locations and never letting West Scranton fall behind after taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Woyshnar’s effectiveness in throwing a complete game, according to Dougher, was partly a product of her work with Rose. “It doesn’t show up in the box score, but she is phenomenal back there calling pitches,” Dougher said of Rose. “Everybody in the world has their coaches call the pitches, but she’s like having a coach on the field. She really is.” After Repshis’ RBI single scored Kamden Miller for the Invaders’ first run, they tacked on another in the second inning with McCae Dougher hitting a leadoff double and scoring when Olivia Dougher ripped a double to the right-center gap. Trailing 2-0, Hanover Area led off the fourth with Sara Whitesell’s walk. Sarah Tuzinski legged out an infield single, followed by a pop-up and then Lindsey Mendygral’s single that loaded the bases. Kasidy Slusser singled, scoring Whitesell and cutting the Hawkeyes’ deficit in half — but they tried sending the tying run home, too, only to have it thrown out at the plate. After West Scranton scored again to make it 3-1 in the fifth, Hanover Area countered with Riley Corbett drawing a leadoff walk and navigating her way on the bases before stealing home on a wild pitch to make it 3-2. However, that’s as close as Hanover Area, which was battling some injuries, would get to tying the game. “We would have done things differently if we had more than one sub,” Healey said. “Moving people around — when you expect to play with your starting-nine all season — in the playoffs is tough for everybody. But I thought the kids came in and performed well in a playoff situation.” Dwn 6-2 in the bottom of the seventh, Hanover Area showed some life with Ally Sheridan’s solo home run from the No. 9 spot. “We’ve been the comeback kids for a couple games,” Healey said, “so I was hoping that this was it.” Whitesell hit her second double of the game and advanced to third on a wild pitch, but Hanover Area’s rally ended in the next at-bat and closed the door on the Hawkeyes’ season. The win had been many years in the making for West Scranton, which is led by seniors McCae Dougher, Rose, Woyshnar, Shelby Reese, Neveah Ross, Maeve Cast and Maura Turi, who, coach Dougher said, started as freshmen. “Hats off to the girls,” Dougher said, highlighting that in addition to its pitching and hitting, West Scranton played error-free defense Monday. Despite having nine of District 2’s 14 teams designated in Class 4A, the Wyoming Valley Conference will have just one team in the tournament’s semifinals: the winner of today’s game between No. 1 Tunkhannock and No. 9 Lake-Lehman. Contact the writer: mbufano@citizensvoice.com; 570-821-2060; @CVBufano on Twitter

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