Little League roundup: Pittston Area repeats Major softball title

By Tom Robinson - For Sunday Dispatch
Second baseman Isabella Giardina led the Pittston Area Little League softball team defensively to capture a major softball title. - Sunday Dispatch file photos
Ava Callahan is the catcher fort the Pittston Area Little League All-Star softball team. - Sunday Dispatch file photos

The Pittston Area Little League softball team has taken on a new form, but it’s back on the championship level.

Pittston Area successfully defended its District 16 Little League Softball Major title with the help of a large influx of players from the program’s 10-11-year-old team that finished third in the state last summer.

That combination was too much for Nanticoke during a 15-0, 18-3 sweep of the best-of-three district championship series.

Mike Callahan, a coach on last year’s Major team that won a district title, has taken over as manager and has Isabella Giardina, Ava Callahan and Jaylee Jenkins back.

It was Giardina, a second baseman, and Callahan, a catcher, who combined on the defensive gem that ended the 5-4 district championship game win over Mountain Top a year ago.

Joe Mihalka, who managed the 10-11-year-old team last season, is serving as an assistant coach, along with Joe Antal.

Cassie Hintze, Olivia Walter, Emma Rinaldi, Maura Mihalka, Abby Nowakowski, Katie Wywoda, Natalya Soto, Alyvia Doran and Riley McCawley were all part of the third-place state team on the younger level.

Adams opened up the championship series June 24 by striking out eight in a four-inning, no-hitter while going 3-for-3 at the plate.

Giardina, Callahan, Maura Mihalka and McCawley each added two hits.

The offense overwhelmed Nanticoke in Tuesday’s game to capture the district championship.

Callahan had four extra-base hits with two triples and two doubles. Adams also had four hits, including a double and triple.

Marina Antal added three hits, including two doubles. Hintze and Walter each had three hits.

Giardina, Jenkins and Mihalka added two hits each.

Adams allowed just one hit while striking out 13 in 5 1/3 innings. Wywoda finished up in the circle, getting the last two outs.

The team advances to Section 5 play Monday through Saturday at Old Forge and will play the host team at 5:30 Saturday to open the four-team event. The other two spots in the field will be filled by the winners of games between Greater Wyoming Area-Back Mountain and Wallenpaupack-Tripp Park.

DISTRICT 31 MAJOR SOFTBALL

Greater Wyoming Area dropped two straight games after its 2-0 start in round-robin play, but made it into the championship game on a three-way tiebreaker when Northwest edged Kingston/Forty Fort, 16-15, Monday.

Northwest, Kingston/Forty Fort and Greater Wyoming Area all finished 2-2, but Greater Wyoming Area’s 12-1 win over Northwest in its second game wound up making the difference in the three-way tiebreaker.

Kingston/Forty Fort had played its way back into contention June 22 with an 8-5 win at Greater Wyoming Area.

West Pittston forfeited its final game the same night and finished 0-4.

Back Mountain defeated Greater Wyoming Area, 12-2, June 24 to finish perfect in four games of round-robin play.

The championship game was rained out Wednesday and was scheduled to be played Saturday night.

DISTRICT 16 8-10-YEAR-OLD SOFTBALL

Mountain Top secured a spot in the Eastern Regional Tournament, being hosted by Jenkins Twp. July 28-Aug. 3, when it defeated visiting Pittston Area, 19-9, in five innings in Friday’s championship game.

Jordan Andrews had four hits and four RBI to lead the win.

Nora Callahan and Samantha Herbert had two hits each for Pittston Area.

Pittston Area reached the final with Thursday’s 19-9 win over Plains when Liliana Hintze struck out seven and had a hit.

Grace Callahan led the offense with three hits. Nora Callahan and Herbert added two hits each.

Pittston Area had battled eventual champion Mountain Top during an earlier round when the winning runs scored in the sixth inning of a 7-5 game.

Hintze struck out nine in the loss.

Grace Callahan had two hits for Pittston Area, which tied the game by scoring five times in the fifth inning.

DISTRICT 31 8-10-YEAR-OLD SOFTBALL

Arianna Gaylord struck out 15 and had a pair of doubles Thursday when Greater Wyoming Area defeated Harveys Lake, 3-1, to finish round-robin play at 2-1 and reach Sunday’s 6 p.m. championship game against host Back Mountain.

Back Mountain won the first meeting between the two teams, 14-0, June 24.

Greater Wyoming Area came back to reach the final by beating Northwest, 8-4, Tuesday at the Exeter Lions field, then going on the road to defeat Harveys Lake.

Renee Haddock had three hits, including a double, against Harveys Lake. Madison Spittel had two hits.

DISTRICT 16 MAJOR BASEBALL

Duryea/Pittston City is off to a 2-0 start in its effort to land a spot in the championship game it will host July 9.

Avoca/Dupont, also in Pool A, and Township Baseball, in Pool B, are both 0-2.

Duryea/Pittston City shut out Avoca/Dupont, 6-0, Thursday, then clinched a berth in the district semifinals with Thursday’s 7-5 win over Mountain Top.

Pool play concludes Sunday to finalize pairings for Thursday’s semifinals.

Winning pitcher Mickey O’Malley had three hits while Chase Montigney and Nick Borgia added two when Duryea/Pittston City defeated Mountain Top.

O’Malley homered and drove in three runs against Avoca/Dupont. Montigney added two hits to help support winning pitcher Sildio Giardini.

Tyler White had a hit for Avoca/Dupont.

Avoca/Dupont also lost its Friday home game to Plains, 10-4.

Kyra Winters had two hits and scored twice for Avoca/Dupont.

Township Baseball lost 14-10 to South Wilkes-Barre and 8-7 to Hanover in seven innings.

Hanover used three home runs to get past Township Baseball, which got two homers and four RBI from Drew Delucca.

Anthony Ranieli, who had two hits, and Dean Horensky also homered in the loss.

Horensky was 4-for-5 and Delucca had two hits in the South Wilkes-Barre game.

DISTRICT 31 MAJOR BASEBALL

West Pittston and Exeter are 2-1 and tied for second in their respective five-team pools.

West Pittston will settle a semifinal berth when it plays Kingston/Forty Fort, the other 2-1 team in Pool A, Sunday at 9 a.m. at Harveys Lake.

Both West Pittston and Exeter started out with two wins.

West Pittston defeated Swoyersville, 8-6, June 23, and topped Harveys Lake, 4-2, at home Monday, before losing at unbeaten Back Mountain, 14-0, Friday.

Joey Colarusso and Thomas Chervenitski combined for 11 strikeouts in the win over Harveys Lake.

Matthew Little tripled and Colarusso doubled in the opener.

Colarusso had the only hit in Friday’s loss.

Exeter beat West Side, 3-2, June 23; shut out Back Mountain North, 10-0, in a Thursday home game; then lost to Back Mountain American, 12-7, Friday.

A.J. Delucca, Dave Schutter and Christian Pugliese had multiple hits in the loss to Back Mountain American.

DISTRICT 16 SENIOR BASEBALL

Hanover Area swept Pittston Area, 10-6 and 9-4, in the best-of-three championship series Wednesday and Friday.

Tyler Sebula had three hits and an RBI in Friday’s loss.

DISTRICT 16 9-11-YEAR-OLD BASEBALL

Brycen Martin had three hits to lead Township Baseball to a 15-2, four-inning win over South Wilkes-Barre when the tournament opened Thursday.

Winning pitcher Drew Cisney and Jake Aftewicz each had doubles while Christopher Scavo had two hits

Plains defeated Duryea/Pittston, 11-1, in another opener.

Josh Lentkowski and Jimmy Noone had singles and T.J. Johnson scored the only run for Duryea/Pittston.

DISTRICT 31 9-11-YEAR-OLD BASEBALL

Greater Wyoming Area and West Pittston fell to Back Mountain teams in Thursday openers.

Back Mountain American edged Greater Wyoming Area, 3-2, and Back Mountain National shut out West Pittston, 10-0.

Second baseman Isabella Giardina led the Pittston Area Little League softball team defensively to capture a major softball title.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_dispatch2_faaCMYK.jpgSecond baseman Isabella Giardina led the Pittston Area Little League softball team defensively to capture a major softball title. Sunday Dispatch file photos

Ava Callahan is the catcher fort the Pittston Area Little League All-Star softball team.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_LL2.CMYK_.jpgAva Callahan is the catcher fort the Pittston Area Little League All-Star softball team. Sunday Dispatch file photos

By Tom Robinson

For Sunday Dispatch

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-991-6405 or by email at sd@psdispatch.com.

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-991-6405 or by email at sd@psdispatch.com.