NEW OXFORD -- Delone Catholic really only threatened to score in two of the seven innings Monday afternoon against Central York in the York-Adams League Softball Tournament championship game.
The first came in the top of the third inning, when Panthers' starting pitcher Taylor Rohrbaugh struck out the first two batters before loading the bases on three straight walks at the New Oxford High School field.
Catcher Ally Dziwis called for time and went out to the mound, where she joined Rohrbaugh and the rest of the infielders.
"Usually I try to break the ice and get a smile out of everyone," Rohrbaugh said.
Not in this instance, though. Rather, it was her teammates telling her to calm down before Coach Barry Brenneman joined the huddle.
"I just went out and told them: 'Look, we got two outs. Slow down. Take a breath. All we need to do is work on the batter. Just work on the batter. Don't worry about it. Everything is fine,'" Brenneman said. "And they were like 'Yeah, we know. We're good.'"
Central responded by getting Delone Catholic batter Katie Laughman to pop out to Dziwis to end the frame. An inning later, the Squirettes put a runner on third with two outs but failed to score.
The Panthers proceeded to score a run in the fourth inning and another in the sixth. It wound up being all they needed to beat Delone Catholic, 2-0, handing the Squirettes (18-1) their first loss of the year and capturing Central's second-straight league title.
"It means a lot coming back here and winning back-to-back (league championships)," said Central third baseman Kelsey Wisner, who had both of the game's RBIs. "It shows we're able to be not just a one-time thing. We're able to keep coming and try to get as many (championships) as we can."
Wisner (1-for-2) said the Panthers (20-2) benefited from having experience in another tight championship game. A year ago, Central beat Littlestown, 4-2 in 10 innings, to win the championship. The Panthers returned eight starters from that championship team, including Wisner.
"You know what the atmosphere is gonna be like," Wisner said. "You know how to calm yourself. You know the game is gonna be tight. You gotta be ready to make those plays."
The Panthers had a total of seven hits off Delone Catholic starter Cassie Rickrode, who pitched all seven innings. Rohrbaugh (2-for-3) and Jordyn Miller (3-for-3, run scored) paced Central's offense, along with Wisner.
On the mound, Rohrbaugh picked up the win by holding the Squirettes to one hit with three walks, a hit batter and eight strikeouts in seven innings. She threw 64 of her 115 pitches for strikes and tossed first-pitch strikes to 13-of-26 batters.
"Heck no, it's not easy (getting back to the championship game)," Rohrbaugh said. "You definitely have to put in a lot of hard work. I feel like the people that want it most, get it. On the back of our T-shirts it says 'It's not how good you are, it's how bad you want it.' And we want it bad."
-- Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.