Mengel tosses one-hitter in Warwick’s win over Crest

By on April 5, 2017
Warwick senior Nicole Mengel, who tossed a one-hitter against Cedar Crest on Monday, smashes an RBI single against L-S in a non-league game last Thursday. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Warwick senior Nicole Mengel, who tossed a one-hitter against Cedar Crest on Monday, smashes an RBI single against L-S in a non-league game last Thursday. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Nicole Mengel got all the offensive production she needed in the first inning on Monday.

More than enough, actually.

Warwick jumped to a 3-0 first-inning lead and the senior pitcher went on to toss a one-hitter against Cedar Crest in both teams’ Section One opener.

Oh yeah, she also helped her own cause by going 3-for-3 at the plate with two RBIs, as the Lady Warriors’ cruised to an 11-0 six-inning shutout.

Mengel struck out six, walked four and didn’t allow a hit until the sixth inning, as Warwick (1-0 L-L, 1-2 overall) earned its first win of the season.

“Early on, I think (Nicole) struggled a little bit with her control,” Warwick coach Mark Hough said, “but she got back into a good groove working with (catcher) Leann Runkle and she was trusting the pitches we were calling and we had really good defense behind her.”

In particular, the right side of the infield with second baseman Catie Brubaker and first baseman Amanda Herr threw the leather at Cedar Crest.

“We just played solid defense on the balls that were put in play,” Hough said.

Their offensive attack was also really solid against Crest pitcher Ashley Maulfair and Bailey Perry-McClintin, pounding out 13 total hits. Herr added two triples and two RBIs while going 3-for-3, and Danielle Jones was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

“We really did a good job putting the ball in play,” Hough remarked.

In the first inning, Jones singled and scored on Herr’s RBI triple. Mengel and Marissa Treibley followed with RBI single to make it 3-0.

They added two more in the third, one in the fifth and then invoked the 10-run mercy rule with a five-spot in the sixth inning. Megan McNair, Brubaker, and Runkle all singled, then Herr laced a two-run double, Mengel hit an RBI triple and Treibley drove in the final run with an RBI base hit.

 

“I think they came to the realization that the first two teams we played are really solid teams,” Hough said. “We kept trying to tell the kids, ‘Look, they’re good programs and not many teams in the League start out playing two teams like that.’”

*****

Without fail, two-out runs are momentum changers.

So it was last Thursday, when Lampeter-Strasburg’s Hanna Garber delivered a two-run single to center field, which doubled the Lady Pioneers’ lead to 4-0 in the top of the second inning.

All of a sudden, Warwick’s task became a bit more difficult, and the Lady Warriors went on to suffer a 10-4 non-league loss to L-S in Lititz.

Garber and center fielder/leadoff batter Jordan Kondras both went 3-for-5 to lead the Lady Pioneers, who outhit Warwick 16-8. The Lady Warriors left nine runners on base in the game.

“They were hitting the ball, and it’s not that we aren’t hitting the ball — it seems that we hit it right at the defense and things like that,” Hough said. “I think we’ll get some of those to start falling and that’s going to hopefully change our luck, but give a lot of credit to L-S. They’re a very, very good hitting team and they proved that today.”

After stranding two runners in scoring position in the bottom of the first, Warwick got on the board in the third with a two-out rally of its own. Danielle Jones (2-for-3, BB, 2 runs) singled to right, Amanda Herr walked and Nicole Mengel smashed an RBI base hit to center. Julia Forsythe then walked to load the bases, but L-S pitcher Brynne Baker wriggled out of further trouble.

It remained a 4-1 game until the top of the fifth, when L-S erupted for six runs on seven hits to break things open. Delany Baker, Natalie Carson, Kate Rohrer, Kondras, and Kylie Weaver all had RBI doubles in the inning for the Lady Pioneers, who pulled ahead 10-1.

Winning pitcher Baker surrendered an unearned run in the fifth, as Jones worked a leadoff walk and scored when Mengel reached on an error.

Then in the sixth, Warwick’s Catie Brubaker connected for a one-out single to right and scored on Runkle’s RBI double. Jones followed with an infield single to shortstop, and Runkle scored on a throwing error by L-S catcher Weaver when Jones stole second base, cutting the deficit to 10-4.

But the Lady Warriors could get no closer.

Herr, who K’d five and walked one, suffered the loss.

“We’re still a young team and we’ve got to learn that ability to fight back,” Hough said, “and I think we’re getting there, but we just have to have a little more faith in ourselves.”

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