HANOVER — It did not look good for Greencastle-Antrim when its opponent, South Western, cracked back-to-back solo home runs in the bottom of the first inning.
But getting behind does not seem to bother this team, and the Blue Devils used a six-run third inning to take a lead it never gave up, winning 8-6 over the Mustangs to win a District 3 Class 5A softball quarterfinal game Thursday afternoon in Hanover.
Greencastle (19-4), the No. 6 seed, will now face No. 2 Mechanicsburg (21-1) on Tuesday at Mechanicsburg in a semifinal game at 4:30 p.m. Both teams have already qualified for the PIAA Tournament. The Wildcats edged Shippensburg 4-3 in eight innings in the quarterfinals.
“South Western hit two blasts, but like we did when we got behind Central Dauphin, once we settled in, we played well,” Greencastle coach Mark DeCarli said. “Maybe we’re born for these kind of games.”
Mackenzie Wingert (5-2) gave up the homers in the first inning, and also a two-run pinch hit homer in the bottom of the seventh, but survived. She allowed eight hits, only three earned runs and walked one.
“I think at one point she was throwing a two-hitter and both were home runs — that’s different,” DeCarli said. “That South Western team can really pound the ball. But our pitcher threw strikes and we made the plays in the field.”
DeCarli said that leftfielder Alexis Jones made one spectacular diving catch and caught another ball at the fence.
The Blue Devils finally got the offense going in the third inning and scored six runs, helped a bit by some Mustang errors.
Sydney Orndorff walked and stole second, then scored on an error. Singles by Makayla Jerin and Meadow Gambacurta tied the score at 2-2. Annika Gaus was hit by a pitch and Jerin scored on an error. Emma Broadwater hit into a fielder’s choice that scored the fourth run.
Stouffer scored on a passed ball and then Wingert laid down a suicide squeeze bunt for a hit that scored run No. 6.
Greencastle tacked on two more runs in the fifth for insurance that came in handy. Gambacurta walked, Gaus singled and both moved up on a double steal. Stouffer hit into a fielder’s choice for one run and another scored on an error.
DeCarli said, “We had people moving on the bases, got some stolen bases, had that squeeze and we took advantage of their errors.”
In the bottom of the seventh, an error and the home run closed the gap to 8-4. The Mustangs (19-2) scored two more runs and had a runner on first. The next batter got a base hit, and she tried to stretch it into a double.
But the Blue Devils hit the cutoff man, got the runner in a run-down and Caroline Logsdon tagged her out near first base to end the game.
“In the past, we may have let things snowball and get away from us,” DeCarli said. “But this team this year is finishing games.”
Categories: Greencastle, Softball
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