LEWISBURG — Mifflinburg pitcher Vanessa Martin is a proven commodity when it comes to her success inside the circle for the Wildcats the past four seasons.
However, the Mount Saint Mary’s recruit has also become a potent hitter, and she showed as much during Tuesday’s nonleague game against Union County rival Lewisburg.
Martin not only pitched a complete-game for Mifflinburg, but she also batted 4-for-6 with three doubles, seven RBI and two runs scored as Mifflinburg took a 16-7 victory over Lewisburg at the Pawling Athletic Complex.
It was the second four-hit, seven-RBI day in a row for Martin, who also recorded her 100th career hit versus the Green Dragons.
“It was a good day for everyone, and I feed off of people so when the people in front of me hit well I’m like, ‘okay, I’m going to hit well, too.’ We feed off each other, and that’s how I hit well. I have Libby (Whittaker) in front of me, and I feed off of her,” said Martin.
“Getting 100 hits means a lot to me. It makes me realize how much I developed (into a hitter) over the years from the coaching (I received). I’ve grown into a well-rounded player, and so have all my other teammates. They are all close to a 100 hits.”
Martin didn’t get her first hit Tuesday until the fourth inning, but it was a big one — a two-run double to left field that gave Mifflinburg (6-1) a 5-2 lead. Jaden Keister followed with an RBI single that made the score 6-2. Brook Karchner hit an RBI triple to get the fourth started for the Wildcats.
“The girls really hit the ball well (Monday against Penns Valley) and today,” said Mifflinburg coach Ron Hernandez. “Vanessa hit a grand slam (Monday) and tonight she crushed everything she swung at, so she’s seeing the ball good and she’s staying under control at the plate.”
Martin then added an RBI double to center in the fifth to build Mifflinburg’s lead to 8-2, and in the sixth she hit a two-run double to center to highlight the six runs the Wildcats scored in the frame to open up a 14-2 lead.
Whittaker also had a two-run double in the sixth and Keister added an RBI single to go along with a bases-loaded walk drawn by Delaney Good that helped Mifflinburg get out to a double-digit lead.
A big key to the Wildcats’ offense on Tuesday was the fact they swung early, and often, during their at-bats.
“We’ve really been focusing on not letting those nice, first strikes go by. We have to attack the ball and hit it, because they usually don’t happen again,” said Martin. “We need to jump on (the ball), and then you’ll get to run the bases all you want.”
Martin’s final hit came in the seventh — a two-run single that was blooped to center — to give Mifflinburg 16-5 lead.
The Wildcats needed those late-inning runs after Lewisburg (1-5) got a bunch back in the sixth and seventh innings.
The Green Dragons scored three times in the sixth and twice more in the seventh on RBI singles by Kiersten Koons and Kendall Murphy, as well as a couple of groundouts.
“Lewisburg kept fighting. They are a good team and they weren’t going to give up,” said Hernandez. “It’s been that way every time we played them. We kind of knew that was coming.”
Karchner finished with a 4-for-6 day for Mifflinburg, plus Good and Keister both batted 3-for-5 and Whittaker and Abby Underhill added two hits apiece.
For Lewisburg, Brynn Wagner led the way with a 4-for-4 day that included a double, two RBI and two runs scored. Rylee Dyroff and Murphy both added two-hit days for the Green Dragons.
“Mifflinburg is a good-hitting team, so there wasn’t much you can do about that. They just hit the ball. We played decent defense, and we had some hits, too, but we didn’t have as many,” said Lewisburg coach Ken Wagner.
“Two-thirds of our hits were probably in the last three innings, but Mifflinburg is a tough team and you have to give them credit. They hit some shots off us and they put a lot of runs on the board, and they’re going to do that all year.”
Mifflinburg next hosts Selinsgrove at 4:30 p.m. Thursday for a HAC-I contest and Lewisburg will host Montoursville on the same day at 4:30 p.m. as well.
Mifflinburg 16, Lewisburg 7
Mifflinburg 020 426 2 — 16-19-2
Lewisburg 101 003 2 — 7-13-1
Vanessa Martin and Vanessa Boop. Sydney Hoffman, Brynn Wagner (6) and Erin Field.
WP: Martin. LP: Hoffman.
Mifflinburg hitters: Delaney Good, 3-for-5, 2 RBI, 2 runs; Brook Karchner, 4-for-6, triple, 2 runs, 2 RBI; Libby Whittaker, 2-for-3, 2 walks, HBP, 2 runs, 2 RBI; Martin, 4-for-6, 3 doubles, 7 RBI, 2 runs; Vanessa Boop, single; Jaden Keister, 3-for-5, RBI, 2 RBI, run; Abby Underhill, 2-for-5, double, 2 runs; Kira Hackenberg, 2 walks, 2 runs; Camryn Murrey, walk, 2 runs.
Lewisburg hitters: Kara Koch, single; Field, double, 2 runs; Wagner, 4-for-4, double, 2 RBI, 2 runs; Rylee Dyroff, 2-for-4, 2 runs; Kendall Murphy, 2-for-4, RBI; Lily McBride, single, run; Grace Rosevear, double; Kiersten Koons, single.