DALLASTOWN — After playing a little small ball early in the seventh inning against Dallastown, the Spring Grove softball team was ready to play a little long ball.
After a pair of bunts that were misplayed, resulting in the go-ahead run scoring, Hannah Gartrell smoked a two-run homer over the temporary fence that was just installed at Dallastown this season.
Those three runs were more than enough for Rocket starter Hailey Kessinger. The Spring Grove standout shut down the Wildcats in the bottom of the seventh to cap off a pivotal 4-1 triumph.
The Rockets remained unbeaten on the season after improving to 7-0 overall and 5-0 in York-Adams Division I. Dallastown dropped to 6-2 overall and 4-2 in the division.
“That felt really good,” said Kessinger, who allowed four hits while striking out four. “Just having that extra comfort going in (to the seventh inning) is nice because it can be stressful when it’s really close and it’s the final inning.”
Wildcats hurt by errors: Sloppy defense by the home team helped spur the Rockets throughout the contest. The Wildcats committed five errors, including the misplays on back-to-back plays to start the seventh.
That set the stage for Gartrell, who finished her three-hit day at the plate with a home run.
“That was big,” Spring Grove coach Mark Hull said. “Two big runs there.”
Trailing 1-0 heading to the bottom of the fifth, the Wildcats were able to break through against Kessinger with a long ball of their own. Dallastown’s Ashton Crump led off the fifth with a shot just over the fence.
Without the fencing in place, Hull felt that ball would have been caught.
“The fence definitely hurt us there,” he said.
Kessinger comes up big: Kessinger, however, shook that off and saved her best for when she needed it the most. After Wildcat pitcher Kelsie Merriman reached on an error and Elaina Winemiller singled, moving Merriman to third later in the fifth, the Rocket pitcher stranded both runners with two outs in the frame by fanning Shauna Stotler to keep the score tied at 1-1 heading into the sixth.
“I knew that this was a big game,” Kessinger said. “I knew that we really needed to focus.”
Without those two costly errors in the seventh, both Hull and Dallastown coach Leanne Potts-Jones would have expected a long extra-inning future between the two teams.
“I think Hailey and Kelsie are two of the best pitchers in the league,” Hull said.
Merriman strong for Dallastown: Merriman was terrific for the most part. The Dallastown standout struck out 11 over seven frames.
“It came down to defense,” Potts-Jones said. “Errors. I tell them all the time that defense wins and today we didn’t have the defense.”
Rockets still not comfortable: While the Rockets got a little more room over the rest of the pack in a hotly contested Division I, Kessinger and Hull know that the margin for victory in these types of games is often pretty small.
“We just got to keep plugging,” Hull said. “I don’t feel comfortable with South Western (their next opponent) or Central (who they play later in the week). The whole Division I is tough. It’s tough.”
Kennard-Dale 15, York High 0 (3 innings): At Fawn Grove, the Rams rolled behind a three-inning perfect game from Julie Rubelmann, who struck out five. K-D had just one hit, but took advantage of 11 walks, seven hit batters and two York errors.
Susquehannock 3, Dover 0: At Glen Rock, Caroline Folfas led the Warriors by throwing a complete game, striking out six, walking one and allowing two hits. Susquehannock's Anna Bryan and Kendra Gemmill each went 2 for 3 with a solo homer, while Allyson Koller went 2 for 3 with one RBI.
York Catholic 12, York Tech 3: At Spry, Kelleigh Pollock led the Irish by going 3 for 4, including a double, with three RBIs and two runs scored. Also for the Irish, Grace Gardini went 3 for 5 with four runs scored; Rebecca Baum went 2 for 2 with three runs scored, one RBI and two walks; and Sarah Nigro went 2 for 4. Baum also threw a complete game, striking out 17 and walking one. For the Spartans, Alissa Shue went 3 for 3 with a homer, three RBIs and one run scored, while Alazaya Watts went 2 for 3 with a triple and one run scored.
Eastern York 19, York Suburban 2 (5 innings): At Suburban, Analise Fenwick led the Golden Knights by going 2 for 3 with three RBIs, three runs scored and two walks. Also for Eastern, Ella Cornwell went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and two RBIs; Kelsey Felix doubled with three RBIs, two walks and two runs scored; Morgan Winter went 2 for 2 with two runs scored; and Gillian Toomey had three RBIs. For the Trojans, Emily Myers went 2 for 2 with one run scored and one RBI, while Madie Barshinger doubled with one RBI.
Littlestown 5, West York 3: At Littlestown, Alexis Colon (two doubles) and Breanna Harvey (homer, two RBIs) led West York's attack in the loss. Amaya Bowman pitched a complete-game eight hitter to get the win for Littlestown, striking out six. Kacie Frock led Littlestown's offense with two hits (including a homer), three RBIs and two runs scored.
Red Lion 13, Central York 11: At Central, the Lions won a wild road victory that featured 23 hits and seven errors. The Panthers tried to rally from a 12-4 deficit but fell just short.
Red Lion 9, Central York 3: At Central, Ben Price (four hits, double, three runs, RBI), Adam Naylor (two hits, double, four RBIs), Nathan Hodgkinson (two hits, double, two walks, two RBIs) and Channing Bratton (double, RBI) powered the Lions' 12-hit attack. Hodgkinson also got the win, going six innings and allowing two earned runs. He struck out four without a walk. Landon Ness (two hits, homer, RBI, run), Cannon Maye (two hits, RBI) and Ryan Pepler (triple, run) led Central. Red Lion improved to 4-1 both overall and in Y-A D-I.
Dallastown 4, Spring Grove 0: At Dallastown, Morgan Smith pitched a four-hit shutout, striking out two without a walk. Trent Rowland had two of Dallastown's five hits and scored a run, while Darren Sciortino doubled, drove in two runs and scored a run. Zach Kauffman, Dylan Spangler and Dylan Shaffer doubled for Spring Grove. First-place Dallastown improved to 7-1 overall and 5-1 in Y-A D-I.
York Catholic 11, York Tech 1 (5 innings): At Spry, Chance Petteys pitched a five-innning, five-hit complete game to get the win. He struck out three without a walk. The Irish offense was led by Anthony Catterall (three hits, two doubles, two RBIs, three runs), Bryan Bullen (two hits, five RBIs, run), Tony Staub (two hits, three runs), Luke Kordaz (two hits, RBI, run) and Owen Leese (two hits, two runs).
Dover 4, Susquehannock 2: At Glen Rock, Dover's Zack Coop got the win, going five innings while allowing one earned run and two hits. He struck out seven and walked three. Andrew Chronister got the save with two innings of one-hit shutout relief, striking out five, without a walk. Owen Kennell doubled and drove in two runs for Dover, while Chronister tripled and drove in a run. Ben Laubach had two hits and a run scored for Susquehannock. Noah Miller pitched well for Susquehannock, allowing three earned runs over 6 2/3 innings.
Northeastern 4, South Western 3: At Hanover, Nathan Toomey went five innings and gave up three runs to get the win, while Robbie Elzinga pitched two shutout innings in relief to get the save. Elzinga also had a hit, two walks and scored two runs. Bryce Snyder (two hits, double, two runs, RBI), Jacob Cederberg (two hits) and Jaden Hennel (double, RBI) also excelled at the plate for Northeastern. Derek Huff led South Western with two hits and an RBI. Garrett Wilson pitched well in relief for South Western, allowing one run over five innings.
Gettysburg 9, York Suburban 3: At Suburban, the Warriors broke a 1-1 in the top of the seventh, when they plated eight runs to take the lead for good. Dylan Ed led the Warriors in the seventh with a grand slam. Teammate Zach Ketterman went 3 for 4 with one run scored. For the Trojans, Spencer Butz went 2 for 4 with a double and two RBIs, while Ian Korn went 2 for 3 with one run scored and Brendan Stump hit a solo homer.
West York 9, Littlestown 4: At Littlestown, West York surged to an 8-0 lead and then held on for the win. Marcus Hill (two hits, RBI, run), Corey Wise (two RBIs, two runs) and Trent Ketterman (two hits, two runs) led West York.
Bermudian Springs 4, Eastern York 1: At Wrightsville, Tyler Reinert led the Eagles by throwing a complete game, striking out seven and walking one, while allowing three hits. Reinert also was 2 for 3 at the plate. Teammate Shane Starner went 3 for 4 with a double and two RBIs. For the Golden Knights, Owen Shimmel threw six innings, striking out seven and walking three.
Red Lion 14, Spring Grove 10: At Red Lion, Kaiya Edwards led the Lions to the home victory by netting seven goals. Coda Fisher scored three goals for Red Lion, while Allie Dettinger scored two goals.
Mechanicsburg 13, York Suburban 11: Despite Kamille Wasilewski’s five goals for Suburban, the Trojans were edged by Mechanicsburg in a nonleague game. Regan Good and Julia Stell both scored two goals for the Trojans. Sofia Corto and Lulu Mooney chipped in with one goal apiece. Tara Vo saved 10 shots in goal.
Susquehannock 15, South Western 14: At Glen Rock, Kenna Hancock led the Warriors by scoring four goals and adding two assists. Also for Susquehannock, Addison Roeder had three goals and two assists, while Kalen Hancock scored four goals. For the Mustangs, Sophie Mace scored four goals, while Jordan Gertz had three goals and one assist.
Eastern York 16, Dover 6: At Dover, Addy Malone poured in 10 goals to power Eastern. Victoria Zerbe added three goals for the winners, while Regan Young had a goal and an assist. Annie Long had three Dover goals, while Paige Lantz added two.
York Catholic 11, Central York 10 (OT): At Central, Chandler Hake’s diving overtime goal gave York Catholic the key victory. The Fighting Irish (7-0) remained alone in first place in the Y-A League at 6-0. Central fell to 5-2 and 4-2. Central’s Kade Bricker sent the game to OT with a goal with 20 seconds left in OT. Hake (three goals, two assists), Cole Witman (four goals, assist), Joey Fiorenza (two goals), Matt Cassidy (two assists) and Drew Snelbaker (17 of 24 faceoffs won) led the Irish.
Susquehannock 14, South Western 3: At Hanover, the Warriors improved to 6-1 overall and 5-1 in the Y-A action. Gavin Held (five goals, two assists), Allen Clapp (goal, five assists), Ben Wilson (two goals, two assists), Matt Allen (three goals), Alex Martuszewski (goal, two assists), Ben Tomasic (two goals) and Connor Kernan (16 saves) led the Warriors.
Eastern York 15, Dover 1: At Wrightsville, the Golden Knights rolled behind big nights from Bryce Henise (three goals, assist), Gavin Evans (two goals, two assists) and Stephen Wisler (two goals, assist).
Dallastown 5, Spring Grove 0: At Dallastown, the Wildcats improved to 10-0 overall and 6-0 in Y-A D-I. The Wildcats lost just one game over the five matches. Holden Koons, Jonathan Burns and Noah May each won 6-0, 6-0 in singles. Jack Lynam/Daniel Wu and Vincent Villani/Clay Ness won in doubles.
Red Lion 5, Central York 0: At Central York, the Lions received singles victories from Cameron Wheeler, Luke Zeidman and Luc Nadeau. In doubles, Alex Schor and Chance Riddle won the No. 1 match, while Shreeji Patel and Alex Baldwin won the No. 2 match.
Northeastern 5, South Western 0: At Hanover, Josh Sanderson, Lance Fries and Tony Damian earned straight-set singles wins for the Bobcats. Haydne Golden/Ryan McElwain and Sam Sidle/Erick Sowers won in straight sets in doubles.
Susquehannock 3, Biglerville 2: At Biglerville, the Warriors got straight-set singles victories from Andy Snyder at No. 1 and Billy Lochte at No. 3. Michael Watkins and Christian Collins won a three-setter at No. 2 doubles for Susquehannock.
Central York 3, Chambersburg 1: At Central York, the Panthers won the match, 25-22, 25-22, 18-25, 25-21. Braden Richards led the Panthers with 31 kills and seven digs. Also for Central, Matt Minkin had 11 kills and 11 digs, Kyle Mehl had eight kills and 11 digs and Brock Anderson had 49 assists and 10 digs.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.