Blue Devils rally late to top Shippensburg in softball

GREENCASTLE — Two of the better softball teams in the Mid Penn Colonial Division staged a wild, back-and-forth game Tuesday afternoon at Greencastle.

The host Blue Devils came back twice from two-run deficits in the final two innings to pull out a 7-6 victory over Shippensburg by scoring three times in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Bailey Leckron

“We came back, then gave up the lead, but kept playing,” G-A coach Mark DeCarli said. “Last year we couldn’t seem to finish games, but we did today, and that should really help our confidence.”

Through five and a half innings, Greencastle pitcher Mackenzie Wingert and Greyhound ace Cierra Bender kept the score in Ship’s favor, 2-0, on an unearned run and via a run-scoring hit by Olivia Lebitz.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Blue Devils (2-0, 1-0 MPC) finally got to Bender, who had allowed no hits to that point. Sydney Orndorff led off with an infield single and Caroline Logsdon reached on an error, then Logsdon stole second base.

Makayla Jerin then delivered a base hit that brought in both runners to tie the game. Meadow Gambacurta blooped a single to right and a sacrifice bunt by Emma Broadwater put runners at second and third.

After a fielder’s choice and strikeout, Bailey Leckron came through with a clutch two-run hit to left to put her team up 4-2.

But the Greyhounds (2-1, 0-1 MPC) then put up four runs of their own in the top of the seventh. Kayla Altizer singled, then Wingert got two outs.

DeCarli said, “Wingert did very well and had them off-balance — her curve and screwball were working well. I probably should have taken her out at that point, but there were two outs and I was hoping she could get the last one.”

Instead, Delaney Fisher walked, Bender hit a line drive for an RBI that made it 4-3. Lebitz then drilled a double that scored two more runs and Katara Smith hit an RBI single to give Ship a 6-4 lead.

But Greencastle was not done. Now facing relief pitcher Riley Mullen, Orndorff reached on a base hit and Logsdon walked for the third time in the game (she also stole three bases).

That brought up Jerin, who tied the game with a double, scoring both runners. After a fielder’s choice, Ship opted to walk two batters intentionally, which brought up Leckron with the bases loaded and two outs.

She was able to coax a walk and the Blue Devils had a walk-off victory.

“It was a typical Shippensburg-Greencastle game, back-and-forth, and we were able to pull it out at the end,” DeCarli said. “Both teams battled the whole game.”