FAWN GROVE -- Celebrations usually take place following an athletic event, not during it.
The Kennard-Dale softball community made an exception on Thursday afternoon when Rams' pitcher Desi Joines achieved a milestone: 500 career strikeouts.
Joines recorded the magic number on the initial New Oxford batter in the second inning, but when that hitter reached first base on a wild pitch, the celebration was delayed until the next strikeout.
The wait wasn't long because Joines struck out the next hitter.
Following the senior's 501st strikeout, Joines' teammates and coaches surrounded her in the circle and her parents joined them. After a photo was taken, and balloons were presented, the game resumed.
"I was nervous, and I was excited," Joines said about the special recognition. "I've been working really hard to get to this goal."
Joines set two goals during her freshman year: 500 strikeouts and getting a scholarship to Shepherd (W.Va.) University. She achieved both.
"I'm going there (Shepherd) to be a teacher," she said. "It was hard to concentrate in school today, but I knew I only had four more (strikeouts) to go, and I was hoping to get it (500) in the second."
Joines accomplished her mission, but she wasn't able to gain the victory. New Oxford, of York-Adams Division I, won the crossover game over Division II Kennard-Dale, 6-2.
"They have a lot of good hitters," said Joines, who finished the game with
Lindsey Miller, Sarah Groft and Morgan Dutterer each had three hits for the Colonials. Miller cracked a two-run home run to left field in the first inning, and Dutterer hammered a two-run homer to center field in the third inning.
The offense was plenty for New Oxford pitcher Nicole Ayers. The junior, who didn't play last year, recorded 14 strikeouts and allowed just three hits, all singles. Joines and Julia D'Arrigo drove in the runs for the Rams.
"She (Ayers) really beared down toward the end of the game," New Oxford coach Ken Shaffer said. "Toward the end, she and I had a little conversation, we picked up on what her best pitch was, and she started relying on that. She has a curveball and a screwball, a fastball and a changeup."
Kennard-Dale did load the bases against Ayers in the first and third innings, but came away with just one run.
"Our bats were not quite up to what theirs were today," Kennard-Dale coach Amy Fisher said. "Their pitcher did a great job. I wish our girls would have hit her a little better, but the balls that we hit well against Central on Tuesday went right to someone today."
The setback, while disappointing for the Rams, couldn't wipe away the happy memories of celebrating with Joines on her special day.
"I'm so proud of her, and I know her family is," Fisher said. "She's been our primary pitcher for 21/2 seasons, and that's pretty impressive to get that strikeout total for 21/2 seasons. To hit 500 strikeouts is huge."
Fisher will, of course, miss Joines' pitching skills, but she'll also miss the way she successfully handles adversity.
"She's such a resilient player," Fisher said. "If something bad does happen, she's able to put it behind her. Sometimes, it's hard to bounce back, but she goes back out and gets them the next time. You can't coach that."
SUSQUEHANNOCK 14, FAIRFIELD 0: At Fairfield, Sara Lynch pitched a no-hitter in a game that was shortened to five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule. The Warriors plated nine runs in the top of the fifth to break the game open. Lynch struck out three and walked two. Emily Fodel had two hits, two runs scored and an RBI for the winners. Fairfield hurt its own cause by committing eight errors.
DALLASTOWN 9, DOVER 0: At Dover, Dallastown pitchers Kelsey Collins and Kayla Merriman combined to shut down Dover on two hits. Collins worked the first four innings to earn the victory. She struck out three and didn't issue any walks while checking the Eagles on a double and a single. Merriman recorded four strikeouts without yielding a walk or hit in her three innings. She helped her own cause with a double. Haylee Anders drilled a double and a triple and drove in four runs.
YORK SUBURBAN 6, HANOVER 5: The visiting Trojans went into the top of the seventh tied at 5-5 when Becca Barrett hit a two-run homer that also scored Emmy Turybury. Barrett's run was taken away after an appeal that she didn't touch first base. Turybury also picked up the win by allowing five runs on nine hits with 10 strikeouts and no walks in a complete-game effort. Bradi Hill (2-for-3, two runs) and Lauren Smith (2-for-2, two RBIs) paced Hanover.
CENTRAL 11, NORTH EASTERN 0: At Manchester, Central seized control early by scoring eight runs in its first two at bats. Jordyn Miller and Angie Delise collected two hits and one RBI apiece for the Panthers. Central pitcher Taylor Rohrbaugh earned the victory by checking the Bobcats on four hits. Rohrbaugh struck out four and didn't walk anyone. Kirstin Hughes had two hits for Northeastern.
RED LION 11, WEST YORK 8: The host Bulldogs came back from a 6-0 deficit with an eight-run second inning, but the visiting Lions later added five runs for the victory. Ali Posey (3-for-5, two-run home run, three runs) paced the Lions. Kelsey Weaver and Paige Runkle each went 1-for-3 with two RBIs and a run for West York. The Lions improved to 6-2 in York-Adams Division I.
LITTLESTOWN 7, YORK TECH 3: The visiting Thunderbolts picked up the victory behind the efforts of Caitlin Price (4-for-4), Nicole Snider (3-for4) and Skye Ripple (3-for-4, 3 RBIs). Dani Aikins (2-for-3, triple) paced the Spartans.
BERMUDIAN SPRINGS 11, YORK CATHOLIC 5: At York Catholic, the Eagles plated six runs in the top of the fourth to take the lead for good. Myranda Pritt and Paige Dennison each hit a double. For the Irish, Carrie Fix hit a homer, while Liz Lynch hit a triple and Amanda Summers hit a double.
EASTERN 9, BIGLER VILLE 3: At Biglerville, Kaitlyn Sollenberger led the Golden Knights, going 3-for-5, including a double. Sierra Arnold went 2-for-3, while Grace Divet went 2-for-5 with a double. Arnold also picked up the win on the mound, striking out three and walking none in a complete game.
-- Reach Dick VanOlinda at dvanolinda@yorkdis patch.com or at 505-5407.