Blue Devils advance to Mid Penn softball final

NEWVILLE — Greencastle-Antrim combined some excellent pitching and good defense with two big hits to hand Mechanicsburg a 3-1 defeat Wednesday afternoon in a Mid Penn Conference softball semifinal game in Newville.

Sophie Layton

The Blue Devils (16-4), the Colonial Division champion, will now face Commonwealth winner Central Dauphin (19-1) at Big Spring H.S. on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. for the title. CD defeated East Pennsboro 8-4 in the other semifinal.

“It’s nice to have a chance to win it all,” G-A coach Mark DeCarli said. “We know we’ll have to score some runs to beat CD.”

Greencastle did not need many runs against the Keystone champion Wildcats (19-2) because Sophie Layton (8-0) limited them to 6 hits while walking 2 and striking out 3.

DeCarli said, “Sophie started out a little nervous, but she settled down. She had her off-speed pitches working and kept them off-balance.

“She’s a contact pitcher and the defense did their thing behind her. We had only one error and that was on a hard-hit ball. She’s not walking many, either, which makes a big difference.”

The Blue Devils scored a run in the top of the first inning when Sydney Orndorff led off with a triple sprayed down the left-field line and scored two batters later on a ground ball by Makayla Jerin.

In the top of the sixth, Jerin reached base on a base hit. Courtesy runner Annika Gaus swiped second base and then trotted home when Meadow Gambacurta crushed a pitch over the fence in left-center field for a home run and a 3-0 lead.

Mechanicsburg threatened in the bottom of the seventh, with Chelsea Heckard hitting a double to drive in a run. But Layton induced three straight pop-ups, including the last one to herself, to end the game. Layton ended up throwing 85 pitches and 62 were for strikes.

Sam Rybacki was the losing pitcher for Mechanicsburg. She allowed 6 hits and walked one and she racked up 11 strikeouts.

Gambacurta also hit a double and Orndorff also had a pair of hits for Greencastle. Orndorff’s single in the third inning was the 100th of her career.

Categories: Greencastle, Softball