Central York no-hits Warwick in District Three semi-finals

By on May 30, 2018
Warwick shortstop Danielle Jones makes a diving stop on a ground ball up the middle, then tries to get the out at first in Tuesday’s game against Central York in the District Three 6A semi-finals. Photo by Kirk Neidermyer

Warwick shortstop Danielle Jones makes a diving stop on a ground ball up the middle, then tries to get the out at first in Tuesday’s game against Central York in the District Three 6A semi-finals. Photo by Kirk Neidermyer

There were no surprises from Central York pitcher Courtney Coppersmith Tuesday night.

The hard-throwing UMBC recruit gave Warwick a steady diet of rise balls.

And although the Lady Warriors knew what was coming, it didn’t make the pitch any easier to hit.

Coppersmith struck out 17 batters — all but one of those swinging — and spun a no-hit gem to lead the top-seeded Lady Panthers to an 8-0 shutout of 4th-seeded Warwick in the District Three 6A semi-finals at Millersville University.

Warwick had just one base runner in the game on a fourth-inning walk by senior Kate Seibert.

“Coppersmith really threw well,” Warwick coach Mark Hough said. “We tried to tell the kids to stay off it, but again, where it starts, you think it’s a good pitch to swing at, and then unfortunately where it ends up, it’s not a strike. And we just could not catch up with her.”

Central York (21-0) advanced to Wednesday’s finals after deadline to face Central Dauphin, a 5-0 winner over Penn Manor, while Warwick (16-6) met the 2nd-seeded Lady Comets (15-4) in the third-place game with a State berth on the line.

“The thing is, (our girls) don’t want the season to be over,” Hough said. “It’s frustrating facing a pitcher like (Coppersmith), but I said to them after the game was over, ‘This is probably the best we’re going to see and if this is the worst it’s going to get, it can only get better,’ and I think that’s how the approach has to be for (Wednesday).”

Coppersmith was perfect through 3 1/3 innings, striking out the first nine batters she faced, but Warwick senior lefty Amanda Herr, a St. Joseph’s University recruit, was matching zeroes through the first two frames, yielding just one hit and collecting three of her six K’s. Herr walked just one.

Then in the bottom of the third, however, Natalie Craig got an infield hit, Kristina Landis bounced a single to left, and Wilkes University recruit Erin Cabrey loaded the bases for Central York with a base hit to center.

Next, Emily Smith’s two-run single opened the scoring, Taylor Sanders followed with an RBI double, Coppersmith helped her own cause with a two-run double to the left field corner and Allison Twigg added an RBI ground out, giving the Lady Panthers a 6-0 lead.

“I think Amanda was really matching (Coppersmith) there,” Hough said. “They had a couple hits that fell in, and that hurt us, but I’m very proud of the way she played.”

In the top of the fourth inning, Warwick leadoff batter Leeann Runkle put the ball in play with a bunt, but Coppersmith made an athletic play to throw her out at first base.

Seibert then became the Lady Warriors’ first base runner when she worked a six-pitch free pass, then stole second to get into scoring position. But CY’s ace escaped trouble with a strikeout and pop out.

“There were a few drops that I think she threw in there,” Hough said, “but for the most part, and even when she gets 0-1 in the count, she’s going to that rise ball. She lives a little bit on the outside, but for the most part, you’re seeing that fastball or rise ball going the majority of the time.”

Central York, which had 12 hits in the game, added insurance runs in the fifth and sixth innings on RBI singles by Alexis MacAnnaney and Sanders

That was enough for Coppersmith, who retired the final 11 batters she faced.

“We tried a couple things,” Hough said, “trying to bunt, anything just trying to get something going, and we just never got that break. We’ve just got to be ready to go (Wednesday against Penn Manor).”

***

Last Thursday, Leeann Runkle and Kate Seibert had three hits apiece and Amanda Herr slugged a mighty two-run blast, leading the Lady Warriors to an 11-6 win in the District Three 6A quarterfinals in Lititz.

Warwick’s District opener has been a nemesis in recent years, and although they had a first-round bye last Wednesday, May 23, they were able to breath a sigh of relief after knocking off the 5th-seeded Wildcats.

“That one was pretty sweet,” Warwick coach Mark Hough said. “We really went into that game pretty relaxed and I think we really trusted ourselves in terms of the preparation that we made for it.”

The Lady Warriors collected 10 hits off and went 5-of-5 in stolen bases off of Dallastown pitcher Kelsie Merriman, who suffered the complete-game loss. She K’d two and walked five.

“That’s probably one of the biggest things is we really did a great job running the bases,” Hough said. “Even if the ball was in short right or left field, we were running hard trying to get as many runs as we could.”

They took control from the outset, jumping to a 6-0 lead through two. In the bottom of the first, Runkle led off with a walk, Seibert got down a bunt single, and then Herr walked to load the bases.

“After getting hit in the hand by the first pitch, the umpire said it hit the bat handle, so it kinda got (Kate) ticked to where she put down a great bunt,” Hough said.

Herr was forced at second on Danielle Jones’ (2-for-4, 3 RBI), but both Runkle and Seibert hustled home to make it 2-0.

“You get (Seibert’s) speed on there, Runk’s speed on there, it really was a fun game to watch and direct traffic at third,” Hough said.

Julia Forsythe drove in Jones with the final run of the first inning on an RBI double to center, giving Warwick a 3-0 advantage.

In the second, Kate Minney tripled with one out and scored on Runkle’s RBI base hit. After Seibert singled, Jones added an RBI hit.

“We just really were taking advantage of everything they got,” Hough said.

Warwick still led 6-1 going to the bottom of the fourth when Herr mashed a pitch from Merriman two-run homer, easily clearing the fence which is 230 feet to straightaway center field.

“It was a no-doubter when she hit it,” Hough said. “Amanda just crushed that ball. I’m trying to be as conservative as I can and I would say it was about 265-foot shot. She cleared the fence and bleachers beyond it.”

After Dallastown clawed back to 8-4 in the top of the fifth, Warwick answered with three of its own in the bottom half to make it 11-4. The Wildcats added two more in the seventh, but it wasn’t enough.

Herr struck out three and walked two in seven innings for the win.

About

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *