FAYETTEVILLE — Greencastle-Antrim and pitcher Haley Dawson did everything they could to keep Chambersburg from scoring in the first four innings.
But when the Blue Devils gave the Trojans some help in the form of four errors over two innings, Chambersburg scored just enough runs to squeeze out a 5-4 non-league softball victory Friday afternoon at Norlo Park.
Both teams had entered the contest unbeaten.
Trojan pitcher Mackenzie Stake then survived a G-A rally in the top of the seventh inning that included a two-run home run by pinch-hitter Allison Reitz.
“It seems like in games vs. Greencastle we have trouble bringing runners in,” Chambersburg coach Chris Skultety said. “Tip your cap to their pitcher. We had to put some pressure on them with our baserunning and it paid off with some runs.”
The Trojans (7-0) had runners at first and second with one out in the second inning, runners at second and third with one out in the third, runners at second and third and one out in the fourth and the bases loaded with two outs in that same inning and did not score in any of those situations.
Dawson kept getting the big outs, including a pair of strikeouts to end the third.
The Blue Devils broke through against Stake for two runs in the fourth, but only after she had wriggled out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the third.
Base hits by Baylee Schaeffer and Kristen True set up a clutch two-out, two-run single up the middle by Hailey Long.
It began to rain softly in the fifth inning, and it seemed to help Chambersburg more than G-A.
In the bottom of the fifth, Kirsten Johnson singled with one out and Alyssa Brechbill reached on an error, putting runners at second and third. The Devils then muffed a simple throw back from catcher to pitcher, allowing Johnson to score.
Brooklyn Miller then singled to drive in the tying run, and a sacrifice fly to right field by Alyssa Wenger gave her team a 3-2 lead.
In the sixth, with the rain coming down steadily, Dawson lost her control and walked the first two batters, Kara Neidigh and Haley Privett, with Brynn Schoenberger and Raelyn Johnson coming in as courtesy runners.
Schoenberger made it to third on two wild pitches and Johnson stole second. Then, on a low pitch from reliever Kelsey Fisher, Schoenberger came down the line far enough to draw a throw from the catcher.
Unfortunately, the throw hit Schoenberger and skipped into left field. And when it skipped past the leftfielder in the wet grass, both runners raced home to make it 5-2.
Those runs were crucial.
Long singled to lead off the top of the seventh for G-A (she was 3-for-3), and one out later, coach Mark DeCarli inserted Reitz. She crushed a pitch over the fence in left-center to bring her team to within a run.
“I threw her a curveball and she came out of nowhere and killed it,” Stake said.
The Blue Devils lost out on a decision on a close play at first base for the second out, and Stake got a ground ball out to end the game.
Stake said, “It was stressful (pitching with a wet ball). I tried to keep the ball in my glove the whole time and keep it close to my chest to keep it dry. The wet ball made my release point kind of tricky.”
Greencastle (6-1) out-hit the Trojans, 9-7. The difference was that Chambersburg did not make an error. Haiden Brookens handled five chances at third base, Brechbill took care of three grounders at shortstop and Privett, the catcher, made a nice catch of a foul pop-up to end the bases-loaded threat in the third.
Skultety said, “Our defense was phenomenal, especially in this kind of weather.”
Chambersburg 5, Greencastle-Antrim 4
Kylie Cunningham, cf, 3-1-0-0; Emma DeCarli, 2b, 2-0-0-0; Allysa Gaus, ph, 1-0-0-0; Allison Reitz, ph, 1-1-1-2; Hannah Beeler, ss, 4-0-1-0; Bailee Martin-Irving, 3b, 4-0-0-0; Baylee Schaeffer, 1b, 3-1-1-0; Molly Ronzo, dp, 3-0-0-0; Haley Dawson, p, 0-0-0-0; Kelsey Fisher, p, 0-0-0-0; Kristen True, lf, 3-1-2-0; Kylee Croskey, rf, 3-0-1-0; Hailey Long, c, 3-0-3-2. Totals 30-4-9-4.
Taylor Myers, cf, 4-0-1-0; Kirsten Johnson, 2b, 3-1-1-0; Alyssa Brechbill, ss, 3-1-0-0; Brooklyn Miller, dp, 4-0-2-1; Sara Washabaugh, 1b, 0-0-0-0; Erin Pattillo, cr, 0-1-0-0; Alyssa Wenger, rf, 2-0-0-1; Haiden Brookens, 3b, 3-0-2-0; Kara Neidigh, lf, 2-0-0-0; Brynn Schoenberger, cr, 0-1-0-0; Haley Privett, c, 1-0-1-0; Raelyn Johnson, cr, 0-1-0-0; Mackenzie Stake, p, 2-0-0-0; Rebecca Fischer, ph, 1-0-0-0. Totals 25-5-7-2.
Greencastle 000 200 2 — 4-9-4
Chambersburg 000 032 x — 5-7-0
DP — GA 1. LOB — GA 6; Chbg 8. HR — Reitz. SB — True 2; Myers, R.Johnson. SF — Wenger.
Greencastle pitching: Dawson 5 ip (plus 2 batters), 7 h, 5 r, 0 er, 3 bb, 4 k, 2 wp; Fisher 1 ip, 0 h, 0 r, 0 er, 1 bb, 1 k, 1 HBP.
Chambersburg pitching: Stake (W, 5-0) 7 ip, 9 h, 4 r, 4 er, 1 bb, 2 k, 2 wp.