Warwick grabs first place in Section One

By on April 18, 2018
Warwick catcher Leeann Runkle signifies two outs to her teammates during a recent Section One win

Warwick catcher Leeann Runkle signifies two outs to her teammates during a recent Section One win

Even before the Warwick girls stepped onto the field last Friday night, some good news started to swirl among the players.

Hempfield and Penn Manor had both lost earlier in the day, leaving the Lady Warriors alone in first place in Section One with just one defeat.

Warwick coach Mark Hough, however, emphasized caution with his team.

“I didn’t really want the players to know that going into the game,” he said. “I said, ‘You can’t worry about what’s going on at other schools and other fields. Garden Spot’s a quality team and that’s who you’ve got to focus on.’”

Focus is exactly what Warwick did, snapping a 3-3 tie with two runs in the fourth inning and then going on to beat GS 9-4 in a Section One-Two crossover in Lititz.

The win improved the Lady Warriors to 5-1 L-L (6-2 overall), one game ahead of Penn Manor (4-2), Hempfield (3-2) and Manheim Twp. (3-2).

Catie Brubaker was 3-for-4 with an RBI, Danielle Jones went 2-for-4 with three RBI, Amanda Herr added two hits and picked up the win in relief, and Katelyn Minney (2-for-3) and Kate Seibert (1-for-2, 2 BB) each scored a pair of runs to lead the way.

Hough was pleased with their fight on the heels of a big 2-0 eight-inning win over Penn Manor and its star pitcher Brittany Hook one day earlier.

“The kids played excellent ball, they backed everybody up, they never hung their heads,” Warwick’s skipper said. “It’s an emotional letdown a little bit after a game like that, and you could see that we were running on empty a little bit tonight, but they still fought through.”

Warwick took the early lead in the bottom of the first off of Garden Spot pitcher Elizabeth King when Leeann Runkle singled, Seibert walked and Jones ripped a two-run single to right field, then later scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0.

“(Danielle)’s got a lot of pop on her bat and she’s really doing a good job at short,” Hough said. “Everybody is picking everybody up and that’s what is great.”

Marissa Treibley started for the WHS girls and worked a perfect first, but then Spot rallied in the second and Emma Stoltzfus’ RBI ground out got the Lady Spartans on the scoreboard.

Herr relieved in the third and GS tied it on a hard-hit two-run single by Camryn Focht. But the WHS lefty went on to retire nine of the next 11 she faced, finishing with five K’s and no walks.

“We wanted to give Amanda a little bit of a break and have Marissa throw a couple innings,” Hough said. “One of the things I really wanted was to have Marissa work out of the second inning and she did.”

Meanwhile, Warwick took the lead for good in the fourth behind the wheels of Minney, who led off with a single to center field, advanced on Runkle’s sacrifice and scored all the way from second when Seibert beat out a bunt single.

“(Minney) really reads the ball well and she’s been an explosive player from the nine-hole,” Hough said.

After Herr doubled, Jones hit an RBI ground out to second base to push the lead to 5-3.

In the fifth, Kenzie Stewart started a two-out rally by working a five-pitch walk, then Minney slugged an RBI double to left and scored on a wild pitch.

Still leading 7-3 going to the bottom of the sixth, Warwick put it out of reach with two more. Herr got things started with a leadoff walk, Jones singled to center, Julia Forsythe had an RBI ground out, and Brubaker bounced an RBI single off the plate.

“One of the things we really have worked on this year — to the kids’ credit — is our small ball,” Hough said. “Bru putting that one off the plate, sometimes you’ve just got to make the defense play, so I think that’s one of the things I’m most proud with these kids this year.”

Desiree High’s leadoff homer in the top of the seventh cut Spot’s deficit to 9-4, but then Herr closed the door from there.

Still, Hough knows there is a lot of softball still to be played and that his team — despite taking over the top spot in Section One — can’t relax.

“We still haven’t proven anything,” he said. “We’ve finished third the last couple years, so as far as I’m concerned, we’re still hunting and we haven’t proven anything to anybody. Every game is important and that’s how we’re going to take it.”

*****

Last Thursday, Danielle Jones’ bases-loaded two-run single to center field in the top of the eighth snapped a scoreless draw and lifted the Warwick girls to a 2-0 win over Penn Manor in Millersville.

That capped a thrilling pitcher’s duel between Warwick’s Amanda Herr and Penn Manor’s Brittany Hook. Herr K’d seven, walked none, and scattered three hits over eight innings, while Hook whiffed 13, walked three and allowed four hits.

In the top of the fourth, Herr advanced to third base with two outs, but was stranded there. Then in the bottom of that inning, PM got a runner to third, but Herr pitched out of trouble by getting an inning-ending pop out to second baseman Catie Brubaker.

Finally, in the eighth inning, Warwick’s Katelyn Minney doubled to left with one out and advanced to third on Leeann Runkle’s sacrifice bunt. Katelyn Seibert worked a two-out walk, and then after Hook fell behind Herr 2-0, the Lady Comets issued an intentional walk to load the bases. Jones was next and she laced an 0-1 pitch for the game-winning two-run base hit.

*****

In other action, Warwick scored 12 runs in the second inning and beat McCaskey 16-1 in three innings last Wednesday, April 11. Minney struck out six, walked none and scattered three hits.

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