NEWVILLE — Greencastle-Antrim’s softball team will sail into next week’s District 3 playoffs on a very impressive high.
On Thursday afternoon at Big Spring H.S., the underdog Blue Devils took it to Central Dauphin, using a three-run top of the seventh inning to defeat the Rams 7-5 in the championship game of the Mid Penn Conference.
It was G-A’s first MPC crown since 2009.
“I think people tend to underestimate us,” Greencastle coach Mark DeCarli said. “We got down 4-0 after one inning, but the girls just kept plugging away. We got the hits when we needed them, we ran the bases well and (Mackenzie) Wingert settled down.”
Central Dauphin (19-2), ranked No. 2 in Class 6A, used some bunts and a two-run single by Allie Wenrich in the first inning to take a 4-0 lead.
But the only other run Wingert allowed came in the fourth. Meanwhile, the Blue Devils (17-4) scored a run in the second inning, two in the third, another in the fifth to pull to within 5-4, then put together the big rally in the seventh.
Alexis Jones got it going in the seventh with a one-out single, Sydney Orndorff reached on an error and Caroline Logsdon got a base hit to load the bases. Makayla Jerin then produced the big hit of the game, sending a hard-hit ball back up the middle to chase in two runs and give G-A a 6-5 lead.
After walking Meadow Gambacurta intentionally, Annika Gaus hit a ground ball that allowed Logsdon to score an insurance run.
DeCarli was very happy with how the bottom of the order produced on offense.
“Jones got us going there in the seventh, Gaus had a good game today and Wingert was able to put the ball in play. That made a big difference.”
Greencastle’s run in the second was scored when Gambacurta singled, moved up on a fielder’s choice by Gaus and came home on a double by Abby Stouffer.
In the third, Jones walked, Orndorff singled and Logsdon boomed a double to bring them both in. Wingert reached on an error in the fifth, Jones had a sacrifice bunt and Orndorff singled. When Orndorff was thrown out at second while trying to steal, courtesy runner Kylie Kerns hustled home.
The Blue Devils rapped out 11 hits, including two each from Orndorff, Logsdon, Gambacurta and Stouffer.
Meanwhile, the powerful Rams’ lineup was held to seven hits by Wingert (4-2), including only one extra-base hit, a triple by Kayla Fletcher. Only one of CD’s run were earned, and Wingert walked two and struck out two.
“In that first inning, they were bunting and we seemed a little nervous, because usually we handle bunts well,” DeCarli said. “Wingert settled down. Our pitchers don’t strike out very many, but they pitch to contact and the defense gets the outs.
“CD is legit. They have a great leadoff hitter (Fletcher) and their outfielders are all studs. And their pitcher (Stella Gaspar) is pretty good. But we just got production from everybody today.”
Greencastle will begin their quest for a District 3 title with a first-round home game on Monday at 4:30 p.m. While the pairings are not yet official, it appears that the No. 6-seeded Blue Devils will host No. 11 Susquehannock (12-8).
Categories: Greencastle, Softball
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