Portage softball coach Bryan Jubina said after his team’s 3-2 win at Windber on Thursday that he anticipated his squad – the defending WestPAC titleholder – to play in a lot of close games this season.
How his Mustangs (4-2) reacted to adversity and opportunity in their North Division win over the Ramblers (1-2) might be an encouraging thing if they can make it a trend.
“It’s the little things,” Jubina said. “Aggressive baserunning, which we try to do all the time, and it just worked out. I gotta give (Windber) credit. Very good team. Very good defensively. We’re lucky to score three.”
Windber held a 2-1 lead after an inning, but could not crack Portage’s Hailey Heidler for a third run, despite having runners in scoring position in the third and sixth innings.
Portage plated its first run by taking advantage of a pair of Windber errors. The Mustangs’ Katie Nolan reached base when Danielle Campbell bobbled a throw by Taylor McKee. Nolan scored three batters later when McKee’s misplay of a Kaitlin Jubina’s grounder to second.
Windber went ahead in the bottom half of the first when Cassie Wentz reached on a fielder’s choice before coming around to score on Hanna Tomlinson’s single to left. Tomlinson, who took second on the attempted throw to cut down Wentz, scored a batter later on Meghan Moore’s single up the middle.
Courtney Jubina drew a walk to open the Portage second and scored on Nolan’s single to right-center.
Windber’s best shot at regaining the lead came in the third as Wentz singled before taking second on a passed ball. On Tomlinson’s single to left, Wentz broke for home but was thrown out at the plate when Kaitlin Jubina fired a one-hop throw from left field to catcher Courtney Jubina, who swept her glove on Wentz to complete the play and end the Ramblers’ third.