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Warwick’s semi-final game suspended in 2nd inning
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
Half of the bracket for the L-L League’s softball final has been finalized.
Manheim Central took care of that by defeating Annville-Cleona 2-0 in a semi-final playoff game on Tuesday evening.
In the nightcap at Willow Street’s Garrett Park, Section One champ Warwick was hoping to punch its ticket to face the Lady Barons for all the L-L marbles. But their semi-final tilt against Section Two champ Conestoga Valley was suspended in the bottom of the second inning with the score tied 0-0 due to inclement weather.
As of deadline, the game was slated to be resumed on Wednesday (last night) starting at 6 p.m. The finals have now been pushed to Thursday at 7 p.m. back at Garrett Park.
Starting pitchers Tessa Eckman of Warwick and Courtney Allen of CV had each allowed just one base hit in the scoreless tie.
Eckman was also sharp last Saturday while helping the Lady Warriors (16-4) prevail over defending L-L champion Donegal in a 7-0 whitewashing in the League playoff quarter-finals at Garrett Park.
In fact, Warwick played a solid all-around game, as outfielders Ashley Tshudy and Cassidy Godber led a tremendous defensive effort, and the Lady Warriors got contributions up and down the batting order.
"I don’t know if we could have executed any better today," Warwick coach Don Miller said. "I told the players that was almost a perfect game for us. We executed in every phase. We played really good defense. I told the girls any time we needed a sacrifice fly, we got it. We got our bunts down. We ran the bases well.
"Those are the kind of games you live for as a coach because it makes it look like you know what you’re doing," he quipped.
Nikole Rottkamp was on base all three plate appearance with two base hits and a walk, and her second-inning RBI single drove in Ashley Tshudy, who reached on an error, to put the Lady Warriors up 1-0.
Section Three runner-up Donegal then threatned in the top of the third, as Rachel Mummau singled, Lyndsey Mackley walked and then Steph Gainer blooped a base hit to shallow right-center. On the play, Godber threw a strike to catcher Jenny George to nail Mummau at the plate, and then Tshudy ended the inning with a sliding catch in left.
"The defense really just spurred the offense," Miller said, "and we came in and took advantage of it. That’s the other thing is sometimes you don’t do that. But we did today and we just kinda clicked on all cylinders. It was a fun game to watch."
Indeed, they did take advantage. In the bottom of the third, Godber led off with a single to center off of Donegal pitcher Sophie Leaman, advanced on Lacey Lefever’s ground out and scored on Madi Derr’s sacrifice fly.
They put two more runners on base in the fourth on Rottkamp’s one-out walk and Victoria Byler’s two-out single, and then the Indians looked to be out of it on a comebacker by Godber. But Leaman threw the ball away, allowing a run to score, and then Lefever added a two-run base hit to make it 5-0.
Warwick completed the scoring in the fifth on Derr’s leadoff walk, Tshudy’s RBI triple to left-center, and Alex Condie’s sac fly.
That was enough for Eckman, who retired 13 of the final 14 batters she faced in the complete-game gem. She scattered four hits, while striking out five and walking just one. More LADY WARRIORS, page B-3