FAYETTEVILLE — Facing Central Dauphin ace Sam Gress in Tuesday’s Mid Penn Commonwealth softball showdown, Chambersburg needed to find a way to scratch out a couple of runs and hold the Rams’ offense in check.
And that resulted in a 7-0 victory by CD at Norlo Park, which left the teams tied for first place in the division.
Gress, a senior right-hander who will pitch at North Carolina State next year, limited the Trojans (7-1, 6-1 MPC) to three hits, walked none and struck out eight.
“She’s one of the best pitchers in the state and she brings it,” Chambersburg coach Chris Skultety said. “And when you’ve seen 50-mile-per-hour pitching all year and then face one throwing 65, it’s tough.”
Taylor Myers looped Gress’s first pitch into left field for a hit, but was eventually thrown out trying to steal. Haley Privett lined a pitch into center for a single in the third inning and Kirsten Johnson bunted for a hit in the seventh. That was it.
Skultety said, “When you’re not seeing that kind of pitching and you can’t really replicate it in practice, well … We hope to see some better pitching down the stretch and hope we do better against her (when we play them again) in May.”
Central Dauphin (7-1, 6-1 MPC) got the only run it needed in the first. Bella Culp led off with single and Gress doubled off Mackenzie Stake. After a walk, Alondra Figueroa flew to center and the ball fell out of Myers’ glove after a long run.
She did throw a runner out at second, but a run scored. Sam Burns then lined a pitch for an apparent hit to right, but Alyssa Wenger threw to second for a forceout.
In the Rams’ second, Hailee Beaver unloaded on an inside pitch and blasted a home run to left field. The way Gress was dealing, the 2-0 lead was probably all CD needed.
But it added two unearned runs in the fourth on a bases-loaded, two-out base hit by Kyler Nelson down the right field line, and three more in the sixth on a throwing error and two-run triple by Figueroa.
“We have to keep their leadoff batter off the bases,” Skultety said (Culp reached on her first four at-bats and scored three times). “We really could have prevented all of those runs except the home run if we’d made some plays and avoided some mistakes.
“Mack didn’t pitch that badly, but walks (7) hurt her and we didn’t make enough plays behind her.”
Central Dauphin 7, Chambersburg 0
Bella Culp, 2b, 3-3-2-0; Sam Gress, p, 1-1-1-0; Kyler Nelson, lf, 4-0-1-2; Jillian Kendra, cf, 2-1-1-0; Alondra Figueroa, rf, 4-0-1-3; Sam Burns, ss, 4-0-0-0; Hailey Beaver, c, 3-1-1-1; Kristen Cusick, cr, 0-0-0-0; Mackenzie Fisher, 3b, 4-0-1-0; Nicole Sellers, 1b, 4-1-0-0. Totals 29-7-8-6.
Taylor Myers, cf, 3-0-1-0; Kirsten Johnson, 2b, 3-0-1-0; Alyssa Wenger, rf, 3-0-0-0; Brooklyn Miller, 3b, 3-0-0-0; Alyssa Brechbill, ss, 3-0-0-0; Haiden Brookens, dp, 2-0-0-0; Mackenzie Stake, p, 0-0-0-0; Kara Neidigh, lf, 2-0-0-0; Brynn Schoenberger, lf, 0-0-0-0; Sara Washabaugh, 1b, 2-0-0-0; Haley Privett, c, 2-0-1-0. Totals 23-0-3-0.
Central Dauphin 110 203 0 — 7-8-0
Chambersburg 000 000 0 — 0-3-3
DP — Chbg 1. LOB — CD 9; Chbg 2. 2B — Gress. 3B — Figueroa. HR — Beaver. CS — Myers.
C. Dauphin pitching: Gress — 7 ip, 3 h, 0 r, 0 er, 0 bb, 8 k, 1 wp.
Chambersburg pitching: Stake (L,5-1) — 6 ip (plus 1 batter), 7 h, 7 r, 5 er, 7 bb, 7 k; Miller — 1 ip, 1 h, 0 r, 0 er, 0 bb, 0 k.