DALLASTOWN -- If there's one girl who could relate to the predicament that Dallastown freshman pitcher Jaelynn Harbold found herself in Thursday afternoon, it would be Central York's Taylor Rohrbaugh.
With the loss of standout pitcher Kelsey Collins to an arm injury, the Wildcats were forced to send out Harbold against the Panthers in a York-Adams League Division I softball showdown. It was almost identical to the situation that Rohrbaugh found herself in a few years ago when Central lost its standout pitcher, Lauren Walker, to injury.
The Panthers suffered through a four-game losing streak that season. The Wildcats can now empathize.
Central scored four runs on six hits in the first inning and added seven more in the seventh off Harbold. That was plenty for Rohrbaugh, the Panther ace, who recorded 15 groundball outs en route to an 11-1 victory.
The triumph wrapped up the division title for the Panthers, who improved to 16-2 overall and 10-2 in the division. The Wildcats fell to 12-5 overall and finished 9-4 in the division. Central will wrap its division season Monday at South Western.
"I totally understand," Rohrbaugh said, talking about Harbold. "I was that girl. I know what it feels like."
While the Panthers managed to get six hits from their first seven batters, most of them were groundballs that found their way into the outfield. Harbold settled down after that and allowed just four hits over five scoreless innings to keep her team close.
After the home team broke the shutout on Amanda Jones' run-scoring single in the bottom of the sixth, the Panthers tacked on run after run in the seventh to put the game and the division out of reach for the Wildcats.
"I always say that hits are contagious," said Rohrbaugh, who also finished with five hits in five at-bats offensively. "We have all the confidence in the world and the hits were just contagious and you just keep going from there."
It was sweet revenge for Rohrbaugh and company after the Wildcats claimed an impressive 10-0 victory over them a few weeks ago. Dallastown hit Rohrbaugh hard in that game and she admittedly did some homework to make adjustments in the rematch.
"This is a game we really wanted," she said. "I came and watched other (Dallastown) games and I took notes about how other pitchers pitched them and I used that in my scouting report."
Rohrbaugh dazzled on the mound by keeping the ball low in the strike zone. That resulted in the unusually high number of groundouts, six of which were come-backers to the mound.
"I have all my confidence in the world in this team," Rohrbaugh said. "It was a great win."
While Harbold didn't quite have the debut she may have dreamed of, Dallastown coach Jeff Deardorff didn't want to put too much pressure on his first-year pitcher.
"I just told her to relax," he said. "Relax and go out there and have fun."
Kayla Resh, Kelsey Shifflett, Kelsey Wisner and Ally Dziwis each collected two hits as part of a 17-hit attack by the Panthers. Jones was the lone Dallastown player with more than a single hit. The shortstop finished 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
YORK TECH 16, BIG LERVILLE 1: At Spry, the Spartans rolled to a mercy-rule victory in a game that lasted just 21/2 innings. Dani Aikins had three hits, including a double, for Tech. Alexis Boie and Ashley Tolley also doubled for the winners. Lindsay McWilliams got the win, allowing just three hits with three strikeouts and zero walks. Tech was helped by 10 walks allowed by Biglerville.
DOVER 7, NORTH EASTERN 1: At Manchester, Dover's Lexi Gohn pitched a complete game and helped her own cause with two hits and two RBIs. Gohn, who struck out four and walked two, checked Northeastern on four hits. Natalie Cutright went 3-for-4 with three RBIs for Dover, and Alyssa Lawton was 2-for-4. Allie Sweitzer had two hits for Northeastern.
SUSQUEHANNOCK 7, SPRING GROVE 2: At Spring Grove, Sara Lynch pitched a one-hitter to beat the York-Adams Division II champion. Emily Fodel, Jordan McGee and Mallory Lebo combined to go 7-for-11 for the Warriors with three runs scored and two RBIs. Hayley Norton homered for Spring Grove's only hit. Susquehannock improved to 9-7 overall and 5-6 in the division. Spring Grove fell to 13-7 overall and 10-3 in the division.
HANOVER 10, YORK CATHOLIC 9: At Hanover, Emily Albright went 4-for-4 with two RBIs to lead the Hawkettes. Ashley Lawson added three hits for Hanover and also got the win on the mound, while Sara Durika added two hits. For York Catholic, Carrie Fix slugged two homers and a double. Hanover led 10-1 after two innings and then withstood a furious York Catholic rally.
WILSON 9, RED LION 4: At West Lawn, the Lions dropped the non-league contest to fall to 10-6 on the season. Brittany Smith (3-for-3, two RBIs), JayeLynn Reed (2-for-4, two RBIs) and Marissa Kramer (2-for-3) led the Bulldogs (10-4).
PALMYRA 10, WEST YORK 0: At West York, Kelsie Weaver doubled for West York's only hit in a non-league game that was ended after five innings because of the mercy rule.
-- Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.