York Suburban's softball team was down by four runs on two occasions during Monday's Senior Day game against Kennard-Dale, but it was never out.
The Trojans, who trailed 4-0 and 6-2, rallied for five runs in their last two at bats to pull out a dramatic 7-6 York-Adams Division III victory.
Kennard-Dale's loss, combined with Littlestown's 10-0 triumph over Eastern York, allowed the Adams County team to clinch the outright Division III title.
Brooke Day batted across what proved to be the winning run for the Trojans with a two-out single in the bottom of the sixth. Day drove a 1-1 pitch into left field to score Susan Lloyd from second. Day, one of four Suburban seniors, had a huge game in her final regular-season appearance on the home field behind Suburban Middle School. She went 3-for-4, including two doubles, and drove in four runs, two with a double to the right-center gap in the third inning.
"It's amazing, one of the best wins we've ever had," Day said when asked about winning on Senior Day. "When I went up to bat (in the sixth inning), I was just thinking, 'we need to keep getting runs.' This was probably one of my best days."
Suburban coach Jennifer Weitzel is used to seeing Day have good days with the bat.
"She's a clutch hitter, I can count on her," Weitzel said of the Kutztown University-bound Day. "This was our best win of the year."
Weitzel and her players kept the faith when the team went down by four runs.
"I was confident," Weitzel said. "They (the Suburban batters) just needed to hit line drives. We got the hits, and our pitcher (Olivia Eytcheson) held her ground and picked up her arm speed as the game went on."
Eytcheson held the visitors to two runs over their final four at bats.
After K-D scored two runs off Eytcheson in the top of fifth to expand its lead to 6-2, Suburban matched the Rams' deuce with two of its own in the bottom of the fifth.
Eytcheson held K-D scoreless in the top of the sixth to set the stage for Suburban's winning, three-run outburst in the sixth. Alexandra Reinecker reached on an error to start the inning, and another freshman, Courtney Fishel beat out a bunt single. Jessica Clancy then ripped a double to score Reinecker, and Susan Lloyd singled to deliver Clancy with the tying run. Day followed with a single to bring in Lloyd, who had two hits on the day.
Softball renaissance: The victory was Suburban's 10th against four defeats in league play. The Trojans are 10-6 overall with one game to play against Lancaster Catholic.
Suburban softball is enjoying a renaissance. The Trojans have clinched their first winning season in 14 years. They were a combined 12-39 the past three seasons.
"If you take this program and look at it from freshman year until now, you wouldn't believe it's the same team," said Clancy, a senior. "It's really hard to imagine that this is Senior Day. I've been playing softball with these girls since I was 6. This is like a family to me."
Rams move to District 3 playoffs: Despite the loss, K-D still has an excellent 15-3 overall mark and will compete in the District 3-AAA playoffs. The Rams finished second in Division III at 12-2 behind Littlestown, which finished 13-1. Littlestown will face Division IV champion Delone Catholic in the league semifinals at 5 p.m. Friday at Spring Grove. The league finals are set for 5 p.m. Monday, May 11, at New Oxford.
Rhiannon McGlone collected three hits for the Rams on Monday with a fourth-inning single being the 111th hit of the senior's career.
Kaila Beach, Kristen Stewart and Nicole McCleary each contributed two hits for Kennard-Dale.
The Rams were again without star pitcher Alexis Valentine, who recently suffered a knee injury.
Dover 3, Susquehannock, 1: At Glen Rock, the Eagles scored all of their runs in the top of the third, which was enough to take down the host Warriors. Dover's Alyssa Lawton went 3-for-5 and Natalie Cutright had a 2-for-4 performance with an RBI. Lexie Gohn earned the win for the Eagles, while reliever Taylor Lamparter completed the four-hit effort. Susquehannock's Kelly Rogers drove in the only run for her team on a fifth-inning single. Dover improved to 12-6 overall and 10-4 in York-Adams Division II. The Eagles had already clinched the division crown and earned a berth in the York-Adams Tournament. They will face Division I champion Central York in the league semifinals at 5 p.m. Friday at Susquehannock.
West York 9, Northeastern 2: At West York, the Bulldogs rolled behind big efforts from Kelsie Weaver (two hits, triple, three RBIs, run), Gabby Ilyes (two hits, two RBIs, run), Allison Ross (two hits, triple, run, RBI), Sarah Godfrey (two hits) and Cheyenne Warner (two hits, two runs). West York had 14 hits in all. Kayla Michael got the win on the mound, throwing a complete-game five-hitter. She struck out six and walked two. She also homered at the plate. Alli Sweitzer had two hits for Northeastern.
Spring Grove 17, Red Lion 9: At Red Lion, after being kept off the scoreboard in the first inning, the Rockets crossed the plate in every inning after that, en route to the big win over the host Lions. Hayley Norton launched two home runs for Spring Grove, while pitcher Julia Wivell helped her own cause with a home run of her own. Red Lion pitcher Megan Teal also hit a home run in the game, although it wasn't enough to keep her team from the loss.
Littlestown 10, Eastern 2 (6 Innings): At Littlestown, Kaitlin Yealy led the Thunderbolts by going 3-for-4 at the plate, including two homers and a double, with seven RBIs. Teammate McKenzie Somers threw a complete game on the mound, striking out seven and walking none, while going 2-for-3 at the plate, including a double.
Biglerville 13, York Catholic 2 (5 Innings): At Biglerville, Lauren Brough led the Canners by tallying four hits. Emilee Ryon, Katie McCauslin and Mykayla Herne each picked up two RBIs for Biglerville.
Fairfield 10, York Tech 7: At Spry, Casey Rice and Mariah Hilbert each had two hits for Tech in a losing cause. Courtney Harbaugh pitched a complete game for Fairfield to get the win.
— Reach Dick VanO'Linda at email@example.com.