Donegal pulls even with MC for second place

By on May 4, 2016
Manheim Central shortstop Tayler Lauver scoops up a throw from catcher LaChrishia Diffenderfer as Donegal’s Grace Miller slides into second with a stolen base during Monday’s game.

Manheim Central shortstop Tayler Lauver scoops up a throw from catcher LaChrishia Diffenderfer as Donegal’s Grace Miller slides into second with a stolen base during Monday’s game.

As Manheim Central left fielder Jillian Wolgemuth could attest, there was a temptation to over-think against Donegal pitcher Makyla Yoder.

The Lady Indians’ ace brought good velocity.

And she had wicked movement on her pitches.

“It’s hard to decipher what’s coming,” Wolgemuth said. “You get it in your head that you know she’s going to throw something good, and you probably could have hit it, but you’re too mental about it that you forget just to swing away.”

In the end, the Lady Barons managed just two hits off of Yoder, who tossed a complete-game shutout to lead Donegal to a 6-0 victory in a Section Three game in Manheim.

The Lady Indians’ victory, besides avenging an earlier 4-3 loss to Manheim Central, pulled them even with the Lady Barons for second place in the race for the second and final L-L playoff berth in Section Three, both with 11-2 records, two games behind front-runner L-S (13-0). Each has three left to play, including one against the Lady Pioneers.

“We’re just going to go out and take the next three games one at a time and try to dominate and hopefully find that spot,” Wolgemuth said.

Yoder was doing a good job finding her spots against the Manheim Central batting order, retiring the first nine batters she faced, with five of her eight K’s.

In the meantime, the Lady Indians supported her right out of the chute, taking a 1-0 first-inning lead off of MC pitcher Maddie Walter behind some daring base running from leadoff batter Savanna Kolenda. After singling to left, she went from first to third on Morgan Biesecker’s sacrifice, then scored on a Lady Baron throwing error.

“I saw nobody at third and I had to go, obviously,” Kolenda said. “Then my team just followed me up and scored more runs.”

In the third inning, it was No. 9 hitter Grace Miller who made things happen with her legs, dropping a bunt single, stealing second and scoring on an RBI single by Biesecker (2-for-3, 3 RBI’s), putting Donegal up 2-0.

“They know where to put them in the gaps,” MC center fielder Reagan Rohrer said.

“They’re just good hitters,” Wolgemuth said, “so you’ve got to give it to a team that can hit a ball like that.”

Manheim Central finally got its first base runner as Rohrer singled leading off the bottom of the fourth, drilling a sinking line drive that Donegal center fielder Emily Graham couldn’t squeeze.

“She did catch it originally, and then it popped out, so I just had to keep running straight through first,” Rohrer said.

Next, the Lady Barons got a tough break, as Walter squared up a frozen rope to short which was caught by Kolenda, who then doubled off Rohrer at first base.

“I already took a lead and my momentum was going, so I couldn’t get back,” Rohrer said.

Having survived that threat, Donegal put it away with four runs in the top of the fifth, sending nine batters to the plate and capitalizing on five hits. Biesecker had a bases-loaded two-run hit over a drawn-in infield, Peighton Hornick hit a sac fly and Yoder helped her cause with an RBI single to left-center.

With the way Yoder was pitching, the six-run lead seemed monumental. Of Yoder’s 67 pitches, she threw an amazing 55 strikes.

“She threw awesome,” Yoder said. “She was living on the outside corner. She just threw an awesome game and she had a lot of leather behind her too.”

Central tried to make some noise in their final at-bats in the seventh, as Rohrer reached on an error by Yoder, Codie Bollinger stroked a single to center field, and both runners advanced into scoring position. But Yoder escaped trouble with a ground out and a game-ending strikeout.

“We hit the ball, but just didn’t get it where we should have,” MC coach Steve Ginder said. “We connected, but they it wasn’t good, strong contact.”

Last Friday, Rohrer went 4-for-5 with a home run and five RBI’s, leading the Lady Barons in a 10-0 pummeling of ELCO in a Section Three game in Myerstown.

Leading 2-0, Manheim Central broke it open with five in the top of the fifth, then added three insurance runs in the seventh. Walter struck out seven in the complete-game shutout.

In other action last Wednesday, April 27, Manheim Central outdueled Pequea Valley 3-1 in their final crossover in a battle of Section contenders.

Wolgemuth singled twice to account for two of MC’s five base hits off of Pequea Valley pitcher Sabrina Ryan. They took a 3-0 lead through two and then Walter did the rest, striking out eight, walking none and scattering three hits for the victory. The Lady Braves got one run back in the seventh, but it wasn’t enough.


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