Trojan softball takes advantage of miscues for 10-2 win

FAYETTEVILLE — The gifts came early and often for Chambersburg and the Trojans made Hempfield pay for them.

Bree Paetow

In a District 3 Class 6A quarterfinal softball playoff Thursday afternoon at Norlo Park, 12 runs were scored in the game and not one of them was earned. Chambersburg took advantage of eight errors by the Black Knights and rolled to a 10-2 victory.

The Trojans (19-2), seeded No. 1, will host No. 4 Cumberland Valley (15-5) — 9-7  winners over Warwick — on Tuesday at Norlo Park in a semifinal game. All four semifinalists have already qualified for the PIAA Tournament.

“Our game plan was to lay off the high pitches (from Hempfield pitcher Carley Ernst) and just put the ball in play,” Chambersburg coach Chris Skultety said. “We had scouted them and we pounded it into the girls that if we put the ball in play, we’d be OK.”

Perhaps the play that best exemplified how the game would progress happened in the bottom of the first. Leadoff batter Bree Paetow hit a routine fly to left for the Trojans that was dropped.

Standing on second base, Paetow took off when catcher Mikayla Hughes committed a passed ball. But then she never stopped running, rounding third and sliding into home plate before Hughes could get there.

Paetow said, “I was running to third and I saw the catcher going back (for the ball). Then I saw that the pitcher was still on the mound. I figured it’s early in the game, so I’m just gonna go for it.”

Skultety said, “That was all Bree. My only job with her is to stop her if I think it might be an out. I think that play kind of got them thinking.”

In the second, a double by Addison Gsell and a walk to Carly Benedict were followed by two strikeouts. But Paetow lined a single to left. It was hit hard enough that Gsell would have likely had to stay at third base. But the leftfielder missed the ball, it rolled to the fence and both runners scored.

Three more runs were put on the board in the third and the only hit was a leadoff single by Sam Paetow. Morgan Stockslager struck out, but reached first when the pitch was bobbled and then thrown away at first.

After an out, an errant throw by the shortstop scored a run. Carly Benedict hit into a fielder’s choice to plate a run and the last one scored on a wild throw by the second baseman.

“We had some good at-bats early, made her throw a lot of pitches and took advantage of the errors,” Skultety said.

Kylee Miller was breezing on the mound, allowing six baserunners through five innings, but stranding them all. But in the sixth, the error bug hit the Trojans, with two of them happening on spinning balls cued off the end of the bat. The only ball hit out of the infield by Hempfield (15-7) was on the final out.

Skultety said, “The softer they hit the ball, the more problems we had with it. If we’re up 6-0, we have to stay focused, but we had a couple of lapses. Kylee had a good game, but she hadn’t had live pitching in 10 days and didn’t have her pop.”

Chambersburg came right back in the bottom of the sixth to put the game away. Bree Paetow singled, stole second, went to third on a bunt by Karley Skultery and scored on an error. After a fielder’s choice and a single by Saleen Null loaded the bases, Benedict cleared them with a hard grounder that went all the way to the fence in left-center.

“I liked the way we bounced back after they scored,” Skultety said. “We opened it back up again.”

Skultety said he was concerned that his team had not been in action for so long.

“We prepared ourselves,” Bree Paetow said. “We were pushing each other at practice and it worked out for today.”

Categories: Chambersburg, Softball