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Warwick remains unbeaten in Section
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
Through four innings, Warwick coach Don Miller and Ephrata skipper Dan Jones were sharing each other’s pain.
Between the two teams, they had managed just two runs up to that point, and both coaches were scratching their heads wondering how to get more offense.
Finally, the Lady Warriors got some breathing room in the bottom of the fifth.
Capitalizing on two Ephrata errors and a walk, Warwick broke open a 2-0 game with a six-run outburst, leading them to a 10-0 six-inning shutout of their back-yard rival in a Section One-Two crossover in Lititz.
"We only had two runs … I was just looking to get an insurance run at that point," Miller said. "We didn’t really hit the ball hard until after they gave us those runs. They kinda gave it to us. Their pitcher (Jenna Yarger) pitched really well. We seemed to have a hard time getting good pitches to hit off of her. We weren’t putting good swings on the ball, I know that."
With a battle against Section Two front-runner Solanco looming Wednesday, Ephrata could have been a trap game for the Section One-leading Warwick girls. But Miller didn’t buy into those thoughts.
"It shouldn’t have been a trap game," he said. "We played against L-S and we were horrible. We had kind of a flat performance against Penn Manor on a Monday. It’s a Monday thing for me and that’s just not getting yourself ready to play. We came out flat again (today), so we’ll have to find some way to jump start them because if we come out next Monday like this against CV, we’re going to get waxed."
For the Lady Mounts (2-5 L-L, 2-8 overall), meanwhile, Monday’s loss marked the seventh time this season that they have been shut out. Overall, they have scored just 21 runs in 10 games, with 19 of those coming in their wins over Lebanon (12-2) and Cocalico (7-1).
"You’ve got to score some runs and we didn’t score any runs this game, either," Jones said. "We’re not hitting. It’s been an issue almost the whole season. We’re getting three, four hits a game and we’re scattering them across the innings. We’re not putting them together. That’s a huge problem for us right now."
Warwick pitcher Tessa Eckman yielded just two hits while throwing only 50 pitches in five innings. She struck out five and walked none before turning the ball over to Lacey Lefever, who pitched one perfect inning to close it out.
Ephrata, though, seemed to be in business in the top of the first inning when leadoff batter Kim Roberts stroked a single to left field. They also had their leadoff batter on base in the third, as Kirsten Kauffman slammed a double to the left-center field gap. But the Lady Mounts couldn’t capitalize.
"We’ve been working all winter and pre-season on batting, batting, batting and we thought by now it would come into effect and we’re just not translating it from the practice field to the game," Jones said. "I think it has a lot to do with being a young team, having some nerves, and because of some injuries, we’ve got girls in places they’re not usually (playing)."
The Lady Warriors also got their leadoff batter on base in the bottom of the first, courtesy of a Cassidy Godber (2-for-4, 2 runs, RBI) single into right-center. Ashley Tshudy (2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBI’s) followed with a run-scoring triple to center and then scored when Karlie Watson’s pop out carried Ephrata shortstop Roberts in center field. They threatened for more, loading the bases with two outs. But Yarger, who threw an eye-popping 138 pitches, got out of the jam.
"She’s definitely our future pitcher," Jones said. "Warwick’s a tough team and they can wait on pitches and get our pitcher in trouble and that’s exactly what they did."
Overall, the Ephrata freshman yielded 10 hits and five walks while striking out two, but Warwick stranded seven runners on base in the first four innings.
"We just had some bad swings in those middle innings. I don’t know why," Miller said.
In the sixth inning, Madi Derr worked a five-pitch walk and stole second, Alex Condie singled to center and the two runners pulled off a double steal. Derr scored when Nikole Rottkamp reached on a fielding error and then Yarger got the next two batters. But two more runs scored on an error on Victoria Byler’s grounder to deep short, making it 5-0.
From there, Godber laced an RBI double to left-center, Tshudy added an RBI single to left and Watson had an opposite field RBI base hit, stretching the lead to 8-0.
"Once we got those two runs in, it seemed like then we got a little bit looser," Miller said.
They invoked the 10-run rule in the sixth, as Condie scored on a wild pitch and Godber drove in Lefever with a sac fly.
The Lady Warriors were also in action on Friday, as Tshudy, Derr and Victoria Byler had two hits apiece in the team’s 19-1 four-inning thrashing of Lebanon.
Tshudy also scored three runs and drove in two, Derr had two RBI’s, and Byler finished with five RBI’s, including a home run in Warwick’s six-run third inning.
Last Wednesday, April 11, third baseman Karlie Watson went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two run scored and an RBI, as the Warwick girls rallied from a 3-0 deficit after two innings to defeat Hempfield 6-3 in a Section One battle in Landisville.
Tessa Eckman finished the game with five straight innings to record the decision. She had six K’s, walked none and scattered five hits.
Trailing 3-0, the Lady Warriors got one back in the top of the fourth on Watson’s RBI double, which drove in Cassidy Godber, and then Alex Condie’s two-run single in the fifth pulled the Warwick girls even.
Nikole Rottkamp went 2-for-3 in her first-ever game at DP and drove in what proved to be the game-winner with an RBI single in the seventh. Ashley Tshudy added a run-scoring base hit and Rottkamp scored the sixth run on a fielder’s choice. More LADY WARRIORS, page B-6