Warwick keeps pace atop Section One standings Softball

By on April 10, 2013

By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor, Staff Writer

Vanessa Strohm and Shannon Grodzicki each had three hits and scored three runs to lead the Warwick softball team’s offensive attack in a 15-0 three-inning whitewashing of McCaskey in a Section One game in Lititz on Monday afternoon.

Winning pitcher Tessa Eckman extended her scoreless innings streak to 15, including a 4-0 shutout of Manheim Township last Friday. The junior right-hander whiffed six, walked none and tossed a three-inning no-hitter.

The win for Warwick (4-0 L-L, 5-3 overall), combined with Hempfield’s 5-4 come-from-behind win over Township on Monday, set up a first-place showdown of unbeatens on Wednesday after deadline.

Although the Lady Warriors had no problems earning their fourth Section win of the season Monday against the Red Tornado, coach Don Miller said his squad still has areas in which they need to improve.

Right now, we’ve been our own worst enemy," Miller said. "We’ve been making a lot of base running mistakes — very uncharacteristic base running mistakes. That’s probably the number one thing we’ll focus on in practice (Tuesday) is base running. We’ve made some errors. None have been real, real costly, but just things we really need to clean up if we’re going to beat good teams. I like the way we’re playing though and we’re getting good pitching. We’re making good contact and getting good at-bats. We kinda just ran ourselves out of some big innings to be honest with you and things that I hadn’t anticipated as far as that goes with our base running."

Warwick had a big nine-run first inning on Monday, highlighted by Karlie Watson’s two-run triple to give them a lead they never lost. Victoria Byler added two hits off of McCaskey pitcher Rivera and Jordan May was 2-for-2.

Last Friday, Eckman tossed a three-hit shutout and Cassidy Godber, Madi Derr and Lacey Lefever all came through with RBI hits to lead Warwick in a 4-0 shutout of Township.

The game was scoreless dual between Eckman and the Lady Streaks’ Reilly Gerhart through two innings before Warwick took a 2-0 lead in the third. Strohm walked, Eckman reached on an error, both both Strohm and courtesy runner Grodzicki scored on Cassidy Godber’s two-run single.

"Township is improved. They’ve got two pretty good pitchers right now," Miller said. "Anytime you have a pitcher that can keep you in a game, that’s a dangerous team."

It remained a two-run game until the sixth. Ashley Royer singled, Nikole Rottkamp sacrificed, and then with two outs, Derr and Lefever had back-to-back RBI doubles.

Eckman shut the Lady Streaks down with eight K’s, while walking just one.

In other action last Thursday, Lampeter-Strasburg snapped a 5-5 tie with two runs in the bottom of the sixth and then held on for a 7-5 non-league win in Lampeter.

The Lady Pioneers had taken a 5-1 lead with four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, but Warwick answered with four in its next at-bat to pull even. Then after L-S regained the lead, winning pitcher Weaver retired Warwick in order in the seventh to seal it.

That dropped Warwick to 0-3 in games against Section Three teams in the early going, although each was a close battle. The Warwick earlier suffered one-run losses to Manheim Central and Donegal.

"They were all close games and you use things a little differently in non-league games," Miller said. "You might do things you normally wouldn’t do in a league game, but we were in all the games and could have won any of them. We just didn’t. We’re making some base running errors right now and we’ve got some things we need to clean up. But other than that, we’re doing pretty well."

Lefever suffered the loss, scattering seven hits while striking out two and walking one.

Last Wednesday, April 3, Warwick pounded out 13 hits in an 11-3 win over Cedar Crest. After the Lady Warriors took an early 5-0 lead, Crest made it 5-3 as Netanyia Valentin ripped a home run. But Warwick pulled away with three in the fourth and fifth innings off Cedar Crest pitcher Kayla Seyfert.

Eckman K’d three, walked four and allowed six hits in the win. More LADY WARRIORS, page B-3

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