EMIGSVILLE — High school softball can be unpredictable.
Just when it seems like a game is going one way, in a matter of seconds, it can swing in a completely opposite direction.
Such was the case Wednesday afternoon when York-Adams Division I rivals Northeastern and Central York squared off. After six innings of scoreless softball between Bobcat pitcher Belle Bortner and Panther hurler Briana Smith, it seemed like the backyard rivals might play well into the evening.
An error to begin the seventh inning, however, led to the visitors from Manchester taking a seemingly insurmountable three-run lead. But then the hosts, who managed but four hits off Bortner over the first six innings, rallied back.
With the game-tying run on third with two outs, Bortner was able to get Smith on a flyout to end the game, preserving a 3-2 triumph for the Bobcats, who improved to 13-1 overall and 10-1 in the division. Central fell to 7-7 and 7-4.
“I have a lot of respect for Central,” said Bortner, who picked up the complete-game victory after allowing two runs and seven hits. “Especially Bri Smith, whose fighting for Division I Pitcher of the Year just like the rest of us. So I just had to give it all I got.”
Smith was dominating over the first five frames, allowing only two hits.
“Bri was really doing a good job of keeping us off balance and off base, especially the top of our lineup,” Northeastern coach Dave Marsh said.
The visitors were able to threaten in the sixth, after a double and a walk set the stage for Peyton Eckenrode and Bortner, the Northeastern No. 3 and 4 hitters. Smith, however, escaped unscathed after getting a groundout and a flyout.
Error opens door to rally: The Panther pitcher, however, was charged with an error to open the seventh. That allowed the Bobcats a chance to rally with the bottom of their lineup. With one out, Madison Wrightstone singled before Marissa Kipp singled in the go-ahead run. Then with two outs, Haley Updegraff (3 for 4) smoked a two-run triple, making it 3-0.
“That definitely helped me out there,” Bortner said. “Those cushion runs were big.”
Bortner was understandably pleased to earn the victory. The Bobcat standout, however, enjoyed it even more for Marsh. Earlier in the season the Northeastern girls defeated their rivals for the first time since Marsh took over. Wednesday they handed the Panthers their first loss on their home field against the Bobcats in nearly a decade.
“I just really wanted this one for coach Marsh,” Bortner said. “I know this was big for him.”
Showdown with Rockets looms: Wednesday’s contest, however, is only the beginning of what figures to be a very important closing stretch for the Northeastern girls. Monday they will host Spring Grove, a team that handed the Bobcats their sole loss of the season (a 19-14 setback).
That loss was a rare instance when Bortner was off her game. Both Bortner and Marsh agree that she will need to change things up in the rematch.
“Just be more unpredictable,” Marsh said. “She has to do a better job of keeping hitters off balance and mess with their timing. If you don’t mess with that timing, then it’s going to be a difficult day.”
Bortner sounded excited to take on the Rockets again.
“I know we all want that game,” she said. “I definitely want to keep us in it next time. I think that I was a little too much in rhythm with my pitches.”
Spring Grove 18, Red Lion 3 (3 innings): At Spring Grove, the Rockets got a combined 16 RBIs from Chloe Sullivan (six RBIs, two hits, homer, two runs), Hannah Gartrell (five RBIs, three hits, homer run) and Bryn Sporer (five RBIs, homer, two doubles, three runs). Olivia Lillich (two doubles, three runs, RBI) and Krysten Moore (two hits, double, three runs) also excelled for Spring Grove. Hailey Kessinger got a complete-game win. Spring Grove is 12-1 overall and 10-1 in Y-A D-I.
York Catholic 4, Hanover 1: At Hanover, Rebecca Baum pitched a complete-game eight-hitter. She struck out nine and didn't allow an earned run or a walk. Baum also went 4 for 4, including a triple, with two runs scored. Grace Gardini (two hits, triple, two runs) and Kelleigh Pollock (two hits, two RBIs) also excelled for the Irish.
Susquehannock 9, York Suburban 5: At Glen Rock, Caroline Folfas went 6 2/3 innings and didn't allow an earned run to get the win in relief, striking out eight and walking three. Olivia Deffendall (two hits, three RBIs), Grace Wetzel (two hits, two RBIs, run) and Abigail Paterniti (two hits, double, run) led Susquehannock's offense. Emily Myers had two RBIs for Suburban.
Kennard-Dale 4, West York 0: At Fawn Grove, Marguerite DeFranco led the Rams with a triple, a double, two RBIs and a run scored. Lexie Kopko went 3 for 3 with one run scored, Brooke Ashenfelter doubled with one RBI and Alexis Hurley threw a shutout, striking out two, walking none and allowing four singles. K-D is 10-3 overall and 8-3 in Y-A D-III.
Delone Catholic 9, York Tech 2: At Spry, Maggie Rickrode struck out 14 in a complete-gae four-hitter for Delone. She walked seven. MacKenzie Buckley (three hits, two RBIs, run), Alma Partenza (three hits, run) and Emma Schneider (two RBIs, two runs) led Delone's offense. Tech's Alissa Shue pitched a complete game. Delone is 11-2 overall and 10-2 in Y-A D-IV.
Dallastown 12, South Western 1 (5 innings): At Hanover, Elaina Winemiller led the Wildcats by going 2 for 3, including a solo homer, with four runs scored. Also for the Wildcats (9-5 overall, 7-4 in Y-A D-I), Barbara Black went 2 for 3 with a solo homer and two runs scored, Samantha Parker went 2 for 3 with one run scored and Kelsie Merriman went 2 for 4, including a double, and threw a complete game, striking out six and walking none.
Bermudian Springs 25, York High 0 (3 innings): At York Springs, Abby Hursh led the Eagles by going 4 for 4 with three RBIs. Olivia Prosser went 3 for 4 with four RBIs, while Maya Kemper went 2 for 3, including a triple, with three RBI’s.
New Oxford 8, Dover 4: Kirsten Dell pitched the Colonials to a victory. Dell allowed nine hits and four runs in six innings. She walked three and struck out four. New Oxford's Julie Hess doubled and scored two runs, while Morgan Adams went 1 for 2 with two RBIs.
West York 6, Kennard-Dale 3: At Fawn Grove, the Bulldogs plated four runs in the top of the seventh to take the lead and went on to capture the victory in a meeting of Y-A D-II leaders. Individually for the first-place Bulldogs (10-3 overall, 10-2 D-III), Corey Wise went 3 for 4 with three runs scored, Jeff Minot homered with four RBIs and one run scored and starting pitcher Justin Wetzel threw 5 1/3 innings, striking out seven, walking three and allowing five hits in the no-decision. For the Rams (8-4, 7-4), Garrett Lowe went 2 for 3 with a double and one RBI, Wyatt McCleary homered with two runs scored and Max Cooper doubled with one run scored.
Northeastern 9, Central York 2 (9 innings): At Central, the Bobcats exploded for seven runs in the top of the ninth to earn the extra-inning win. Robbie Elzinga (three hits, triple, double, RBI, run), Jaden Hennel (triple, double, RBI, run), Andrew Srebroski (two hits, double, two runs, RBI) and Jacob Cederberg (double, three RBIs, run) led Northeastern's offense. Elzinga got the win with three-innings of one-hit shutout relief, striking out three. Bryce Snyder pitched the first six innings, striking out seven. Central's Michael Livingston pitched to a no-decision, despite giving up just one earned run over eight innings, striking out five without a walk. Grant Smeltzer had two hits for Central.
Dallastown 5, South Western 2: At Hanover, the Wildcats improved to 12-2 overall and 10-1 in Y-A D-I. Evan Beach (3 2/3 innings) and Carson Wolf (3 1/3 shutout, one-hit innings) combined on a six-hitter. Chase Hoecke (two hits, double, run), Julian Bailey (two hits, double, RBI) and Lee Kling (double, RBI) led Dallastown's offense.
Red Lion 5, Spring Grove 2: At Spring Grove, C.J. Czerwinski pitched a complete-game three-hitter, striking out 12, walking one and allowing zero earned runs. Adam Naylor (two hits, RBI) and Sean Glatfelter (two hits, double) led Red Lion's offense. The Lions improved to 8-2 overall and in Y-A D-I. Kevin Cruz drove in both of Spring Grove's runs.
Dover 7, New Oxford 6(regularly-scheduled game): At New Oxford, Konnor Gibboney led the Eagles by going 2 for 3, including a double, with three RBIs. Also for Dover Nathan Ifkovits, went 2 for 3 with a double, one RBI and one run scored; Dallas Evans went 2 for 3, including a double, with two runs scored; and Aaron Eckard went 2 for 4 with a double and one run scored. For the Colonials, AJ Baadte went 2 for 3 with a double, one run scored and one RBI, while teammate Brevin Neveker went 2 for 3 with two runs scored.
Dover 7, New Oxford 6 (completion of suspended game): The Eagles scored first in the continuation of a suspended game. The contest, which was started earlier this season, resumed with a score of 6-6. Dover scored a run in the bottom of the 11th to defeat New Oxford. Dover’s Nathan Ifkovits led the Eagles with two RBIs on two hits. Andrew Chronister had three hits and an RBI.
Littlestown 7, Eastern York 2: At Littlestown, Austin Kipple led the Thunderbolts by going 2 for 3 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Teammate Devin Peart went 2 for 4 with a double and two RBIs. For the Golden Knights, Drew Dellinger went 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs.
York Tech 3, Delone Catholic 2: Kaden Rogers' sixth-inning RBI double broke a 2-2 tie. Rogers finished with two hits and two RBIs. Joey VonRohr (three hits, run), Cam Schanberger (two hits, run) and Juan Lopez (double, RBI, run) also excelled for Tech. Zadin Zorbaugh got the complete-game win, striking out 10 and walking one, while allowing five hits and zero earned runs. Jake Sherdel pitched a complete game for Delone but took the loss. Avery Kuntz had three of Delone's five hits, including a double.
York Catholic 18, Hanover 3 (6 innings): At Hanover, the Irish were led by Brady Stauffer (2 for 4, double, two runs scored, five RBIs) and Chance Petteys (2 for 4, homer, three RBIs, two runs scored). Also for YC, Nick DeMarco went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored, Anthony Catterall went 3 for 5 with a double and one RBI, Nicholas Chrismer went 2 for 3 with a double and two runs scored and Chase Ford went 2 for 2 with one run scored.
Bermudian Springs 15, York High 5 (5 innings): At York Springs, Aden Juelich led the Eagles (9-4 overall, 8-3 in Y-A D-III) with a triple, a double, four RBIs and one run scored. Teammate Tanner Alhtoff went 2 for 2 with a double and three RBIs. For the Bearcats, Joseph Garabito Torres went 2 for 2 with one run scored, while Carlos Angeles Tejeda doubled and picked up two RBIs and one run scored.
Susquehannock 8, York Suburban 5: At Glen Rock, Josh Schmidt led the Warriors by going 2 for 3 with one run scored and one RBI. Ben Laubach (2 for 4, double, two runs), Joe Gusherowski (2 for 3, one RBI), Noah Miller (2 for 4, two runs, one RBI), Austin Ruth (2 for 4, one RBI, one run) and starting pitcher CJ Munch (six innings, seven strikeouts, four walks, one run, four hits, win) also excelled for the Warriors. For the Trojans, Adam Peterson (2 for 3), Ian Korn (2 for 4, double, two RBIs, run) and Spencer Butz (double, two runs, two walks) led the way.
York Catholic 25, Lancaster Country Day 6: At Lancaster, Natalie Neiman led the Irish by scoring four goals and adding five assists. Sydney Mentzer and Ella Linthicum each scored six goals and added two assists for YC (13-0 overall). The Irish also received help from Shannon Staples (four goals, one assist), and Kennedy Eckert (three goals, one assist).
Central Dauphin 10, Red Lion 4: At Red Lion, Kaiya Edwards led the Lions by scoring two goals. Teammate Zoe Watson made a career-high 23 saves in goal.
Susquehannock 5, Hanover 0: At Hanover, the Warriors rolled behind straight-set singles wins from Andy Snyder, Marin Thomas and Billy Lochte. Ian McDonald/Michael Watkins and Josh Amara/Lucas Reck grabbed straight-set doubles wins.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.