FAYETTEVILLE — The Chambersburg softball team entered Monday’s game against Waynesboro with a gaudy runs-per-game average of just over 10.
But it took every bit of scratching and clawing the Trojans could muster to pull out a 3-2 non-league win over the Maidens at Norlo Park.
A two-run rally in the sixth inning, with two-out, run-scoring hits by Erin Pattillo and Hannah Runk, proved to be just enough to stave off upset-minded ‘Boro.
The game was moved up nearly 45 minutes to try to avoid the predicted rain, which started during Chambersburg’s final at-bat in the sixth.
“I thought the rain was going to get us in the sixth,” Trojan coach Chris Skultety said.
Instead, the Trojans scored twice against Maiden reliever Zoey Singery, who had quelled a bases-loaded situation the inning before. Katelin Secrist led off with a single to left, just the fourth hit of the day for her team. She moved to second on the only error of the game, when Waynesboro attempted to pick courtesy runner Alexis Reichelderfer at first.
Two consecutive outs on pop-ups nearly got Singrey off the hook, but Reichelderfer advanced to third on the second, a difficult catch by first baseman Kameron Witte in foul ground.
That left it up to Pattillo, who laid down a perfect squeeze bunt that scored Reichelderfer easily and tied the game 2-2.
Skultety said, “With a runner at third and two outs, we had to make something happen. She’s a great bunter and the third baseman was back — and she executed perfectly.”
Enter Runk, who had been the Trojans’ hottest hitter coming into the game, but had been 0-for-3 to that point. She drilled a liner into left-center for a double to score Pattillo with the go-ahead run.
Pattillo then put the Maidens down 1-2-3 in the seventh to complete an excellent job in relief of Mackenzie Stake. In three innings, Pattillo allowed one hit, one walk and struck out four.
“She did a really nice job shutting the door,” Skultety said.
Waynesboro (4-9) put together hits by Singrey, Haley Eiler and Abby McIlroy to score a run in the first inning off Stake, and Kyra Kimple hammered a pitch over the fence in leftfield in the third for a solo home run. Chambersburg (12-1) tied it 1-1 in the second when Kenzie Boyd was hit by a pitch, Saleen Null walked, Secrist bunted the runners up, Carly Benedict walked and Pattillo delivered a base hit.
But otherwise, the Trojans had trouble getting solid hits off ‘Boro starter Jayden Horner. Eight of her 14 outs came on balls hit in the air, and — despite walking five and hitting another — she made tough pitches in key situations.
Skultety said, “Their pitcher did well. She was making good pitches and we hit a lot off the end of the bat. I think we hit only two hard ground balls all day.”
Despite their big numbers in run production, Skultety knows his team is lacking in taking advantage of huge opportunities. The first inning was a prime example. Pattillo walked, stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. With no outs and three in-form hitters coming up, the chances of scoring were high. But two pop-ups and a fly out later, that chance was gone.
“We go over this every day — having people on base with less than two outs, you have to put the ball in play, and not with a pop-up,” he said. “Maybe they’re trying too hard for the big hit and not just getting the ball in play.”
NOTES: Eiler had two hits for the Maidens … Horner allowed only three hits … Chambersburg is ranked No. 1 in District 3 in Class 6A … The Trojans still have seven games left, including home games against Cedar Cliff (Thursday), Central York, No. 3 in District 3 (Friday), Greencastle-Antrim (Monday), Cumberland Valley (May 11) and Altoona TBA.