Lady Barons roll to fifth straight win

By on April 27, 2016


After recording seven strikeouts in three innings of work, pitcher/infielder Maddie Walter (7) handles a wicked hop to shortstop before tossing out the first runner in the bottom of the fifth inning. (Photo by Mike Shull)

After recording seven strikeouts in three innings of work, pitcher/infielder Maddie Walter (7) handles a wicked hop to shortstop before tossing out the first runner in the bottom of the fifth inning. (Photo by Mike Shull)

A big test was right around the corner for the Manheim Central team.

Section Four contender Pequea Valley (7-3 L-L), a team which battled tough against L-L League powers Lampeter-Strasburg and Donegal, was waiting Wednesday.

But if the Lady Barons were looking ahead to that game while playing Lancaster Catholic on Monday, they did a good job hiding it.

All they did was pound out 12 hits off of Lady Crusader pitchers Victoria Reese and Natalie Hempton, boosting them to a 13-1 five-inning win in a Section Three-Four crossover in Lancaster.

“The players’ continued focus throughout the game (was impressive),” MC skipper Steve Ginder said. “It was one of those days that you weren’t sure what was going to happen and they kept it up real well.”

With the victory, the second-place Lady Barons improved to 8-1 Section Three (9-4 overall), sandwiched between front-runner L-S (10-0 L-L) and third-place Donegal (8-2 L-L) for a League playoff berth.

“Certainly, at the beginning of the season, one of our goals was to make Districts,” Ginder said, “and I think we have the ability to do so. It’s just a matter of getting it all together … (And earning a League playoff berth) would certainly be a nice thing to happen for us.”

With a 1-3 record through their first four games, the Central girls had a lot of work to do to get themselves into the playoff picture. But they have righted the ship by winning winning eight of nine since, including five straight.

“Cutting down on errors,” Ginder described as the top reason for their turnaround.

Their run support behind ace pitcher Maddie Walter deserves a ton of credit as well. In fact, in their past three games, the Lady Barons have combined to score 37 runs in wins over Lancaster Catholic, Mennonite and Lebanon Catholic.

“The hitting has really come together a lot better,” Ginder said. “We’ve been working on it in practice and we were able to string some hits together.”

It started early against Crusader starting pitcher Reese on Monday.. Reagan Rohrer and Walter worked back-to-back walks, and both runners scored on Cody Bollinger’s two-run single.

That was the first of three runs that Rohrer scored at the top of the Lady Barons’ lineup. Rohrer and Bollinger also had three RBI’s in the game.

“It’s always nice to have that first runner on and looking to score first in the first inning,” Ginder said. “(Reagan) gives us that opportunity.”

Emily Stoltzfus chipped in with three runs scored while going 2-for-4.

Rohrer added an RBI double in the second, as MC extended its lead to 4-0, and she had a two-run single in the third, when they broke it open with a five-run outburst.

Walter’s two-run single in the fifth highlighted a three-run rally which put them in position to invoke the 10-run rule. Lexi Blauch chipped in with two RBI’s in the winning effort.

The beneficiary of the offensive support was Walter, who K’d seven, walked one and surrendered just three base hits.

“She’s been doing a great job,” Ginder said. “She has very good control and is hitting her spots.”

Certainly, Walter has been a key reason for the momentum that the Lady Barons took into their Wednesday showdown against Pequea Valley.

“It will be a good test of our team,” Ginder said. “I certainly like the way we’re playing.”

Last Friday, Manheim Central snapped a 2-2 tie with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and cruised to a 9-2 victory over Lancaster Mennonite in a Section Three-Four crossover game in Manheim.

They added four insurance runs in the sixth and then pitcher Madison Walter did the rest, closing out a complete-game three-hitter. She struck out six and walked just one.

Walter also helped her own cause with a two-hit day at the plate, including a home run and double. Leadoff batter Reagan Rohrer also chipped in with a single and triple to help lead the Lady Barons’ eight-hit offensive against LMH junior pitcher Lexi Butz, who K’d five and walked two in six innings.

In other action last Wednesday, the Lady Barons ripped host Lebanon Catholic 15-3.

Trailing 1-0 after one, Manheim Central erupted for a six-run second inning.

It was still a 7-3 game when the MC girls broke things open with five in the fourth and three more runs in the top of the fifth.


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