Maybe Central York center fielder Courtney Hastings just wanted to pay back her teammate in left field, Kayla Resh, for a defensive favor.
With the game scoreless, Elizabethtown's Katie Dunkelberger led off the top of the ninth inning by sending a deep fly ball to center, where Hastings tracked it down.
"I was listening to Kayla (Resh) in left. She was helping me out," Hastings said. "I was just really glad it didn't go over (my head)."
With the game still scoreless in the bottom of the ninth, Resh led off the frame with a walk to bring Hastings to the plate.
Dunkelberger, Elizabethtown's starting pitcher, had held the Panthers to just four singles to that point. No one in the game had an extra-base hit. That is, until Hastings connected on a pitch from Dunkelberger and sent it to deep left field. The ball dropped in over E-Town outfielder Cassie Berra, who eventually scooped it up and fired a throw home.
With Resh running the bases the entire way from first, the Central freshman slid home as Berra's throw came in late. It gave the No. 2 seed Panthers a dramatic walk-off 1-0 win over No. 7 seed E-Town in a District 3-AAAA quarterfinal game at Millersville University on Thursday evening.
"I just wanted it so bad," said Hastings, who is a senior. "This is my last year. I wanted it. I was on (Dunkelberger) all night. I knew I was gonna get it."
Oh yeah, Panthers' starting pitcher Taylor Rohrbaugh tossed a nine-inning no-hitter, something she nor her teammates realized until after the game finished.
The Panthers (21-3) move on to face No. 3 seed Dallastown (18-3) in a district semifinal game on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at York's Memorial Park.
In the earlier game on Thursday at Millersville, the Wildcats defeated No. 11 seed Wilson, 3-2. Dallastown scored all of its runs in the first inning on a double, a single, two walks
Rohrbaugh shines for Central: Rohrbaugh had the most impressive performance on Thursday, holding E-Town (16-6) hitless with 13 strikeouts and four walks. The sophomore right-hander threw 69 of her 109 pitches for strikes. Rohrbaugh also retired 18 of the final 19 batters she faced.
Rohrbaugh said she and her teammates have been playing for Hastings, who is Central's lone senior. And considering what she did defensively, it made sense for Hastings to get the game-winning double.
In the top of the eighth, Panthers' catcher Ally Dziwis fired a ball into center field when attempting to throw out E-Town runner Caryn Bailey as she stole second. The ball bounced into the glove of Hastings as she ran in from center. Bailey paused, before taking off for third base and Hastings ran in from center to chase down Bailey in time as she dove for the third-base bag.
"I think she cleated my face," Hastings said. "That's about it, but it's par for the course."
Central's efforts finally paid off at the plate in the ninth after the Panthers left 12 runners on base in the first eight innings, including nine in scoring position.
"I feel like we do that multiple times, but we don't get down," Rohrbaugh said of leaving runners stranded. "We had motivation throughout the whole game. It was amazing."
Semifinal: Central, this year's York-Adams League Division I and league tournament champion, split the two games it played against Dallastown earlier this season.
Dallastown, the Division I runner-up to Central, won the first game, 6-0. Central won the second game, 11-3.
"We beat them once, they beat us once," Central coach Barry Brenneman said. "It's gonna be tough no matter who you play at this point. So, we're ready."
Wildcats' win: In Dallastown's big first inning, Haylee Anders led off the game with a walk. Sam Hartman followed with a double to deep left center, scoring Anders. Kayla Merriman then singled to score Hartman. Merriman later scored on a ground out.
CENTRAL DAUPHIN 10, SPRING GROVE 4: At Garrett Park, Central Dauphin used two big innings to end Spring Grove's season. The Rams plated five in the second inning and added four more in the sixth in a District 3-AAAA quarterfinal contest. The 12th-seeded Rockets, the York-Adams Division II champion, finished at 15-8. Fourth-seeded Central Dauphin improved to 19-3. After falling behind 5-0 after two innings, the Rockets chipped away and got to within 6-4 before the Rams exploded for four more runs in the sixth to again take control. Spring Grove pitcher Erika Heck pitched a complete-game eight-hitter, but took the loss. The Rockets committed three errors behind her.
KUTZTOWN 12, LIT TLESTOWN 2: At Elizabethtown, the sixth-seeded Lady Bolts were no match for third-seeded Kutztown in a District 3-AA quarterfinal game that ended in the fifth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule. Littlestown, the York-Adams Division III champion, finished the season at 14-8. The Cougars (16-5) scored seven runs in the first two innings then exploded for five more in the fourth. Skye Ripple had Littlestown's only hit -- a double.
ANNVILLE-CLEONA 12, DELONE CATHOLIC 1: At Memorial Park in York, the Squirettes' season ended with a mercy-rule loss in a District 3-AA quarterfinal contest. No. 5 seed Delone, the York-Adams Division IV champion, ended up at 12-5. Fourth-seeded Annville-Cleona improved to 15-5. Delone jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but A-C responded with four in the bottom of the first and five more in the second and was never headed after that. Delone had just two hits.
-- Reach John Walk at 505-5406 or jwalk@yorkdis patch or follow on Twitter @YorkSportsGuy.