GLEN ROCK — If things would have turned out the way he wanted, Susquehannock softball coach Jeff Deardorff would still be coaching Dallastown this year.
Unhappy with how some things were being handled in Dallastown’s athletic department, Deardorff stepped down from his position after a season that saw him win his 100th career game.
Dallastown’s loss, however, was Susquehannock’s gain. With their coaching position open, the Warriors were looking for someone to direct a talented group of girls for this season.
Turns out, Deardorff was the perfect fit.
That made things a bit strange Thursday afternoon when Deardorff’s new team played host to his old one in a York-Adams League inter-divisional clash. Wearing a red-and-black cap and a red sweatshirt, Deardorff couldn’t have been more proud of how his Warriors handled a showdown with the Wildcats.
Susquehannock catcher Lily Yoakum collected two hits and drove in three runs to help propel her team to an impressive 7-2 victory over the Division I favorites. The Warriors improved to 3-0, while Dallastown fell to 2-1.
Yoakum refused to mince words regarding what her new coach has brought to the team so far this season.
“We have the best coach that I could (dream) of having,” she said. “I couldn’t be any happier.”
Deardorff isn’t one to look for the spotlight, but he managed to have a bit of fun with his new color scheme.
“These (colors) seem to fit me pretty good, don’t they?” he joked.
Quickly, however, he made it clear that this was a game between Susquehannock and Dallastown.
“This wasn’t really about me,” he said. “These girls really wanted this game badly.”
That was no understatement. One of a group of seniors who have not had a great history against Dallastown, Yoakum couldn’t have felt much better about Thursday’s outcome.
“We’ve played that team five times now,” she said. “The first four we lost (three in the regular season and once in the league playoffs). But we went out there today and made the routine plays, played as a team and we were able to win together.”
The fact that they were able to do so off a pitcher the caliber of Dallastown’s Jaelynn Harbold certainly was impressive. Deardorff knows Harbold well from his days as her coach. He had a sense of disbelief that his team was able to score two runs, let alone seven, off the Wildcat ace.
His surprise, however, shouldn’t actually be much of one. The top of the Warriors’ lineup is about as good as its gets. The top three hitters — Mallory Lebo, Yoakum and Maddie Staub — each collected two hits, which was part of an 11-hit attack.
It was the opening trio that did the damage early. Lebo, one of the fastest players in the league, beat out a swinging bunt single to start the game. After stealing second, Yoakum drove her home with a single. Three batters later, she scored when Anna Bryan (two hits) singled her in.
The lead doubled to 4-0 in the second, with Yoakum and Staub driving in runs. But no lead is exactly safe against the Wildcats. Harbold smoked a two-run single in the top of the third to cut the deficit to 4-2.
Staub, who allowed seven hits total, was steady, surrendering just three more hits after that to shut down the Wildcats.
“Maddie has a strong head,” Yoakum said. “Maddie and I have been working together since we were 7 or 8 years old. We know each other like we know the back of our hand. Cutting our lead in half doesn’t (scare) us. No sweat … we know what we’re doing.”
And there’s little doubt that Deardorff is enjoying himself after trading in the blue and white for the red and black.
“Words cannot even describe it,” he said. “It feels fantastic. I’m really happy now.”
Kayla Flemens and Harbold tallied two hits apiece for the Wildcats.
Dover 6, South Western 1: At Dover, Taylor Lamparter pitched a complete-game three hitter to get the win, striking out 10 and walking two. Cassandra Root, Natalie Cutright and Alyssa Lawton each had two hits for the Eagles. Root drove in two runs, while Cutright drove in one.
Central York 13, Northeastern 1 (5 Innings): At Manchester, Cameryn Rothrock led the Panthers by going 3 for 4, including a homer, with two RBIs and three runs scored. Also for Central, Cheyenne Miller went 3 for 3, including a double, with two RBIs, and also threw all five innings on the mound, striking out seven and walking two. Central's Rachel Butler went 2 for 3, including a double, with three runs scored.
Eastern York 8, Fairfield 5: At Wrightsville, McKenzie Buchmyer led the Golden Knights to the victory, going 2 for 4, including a triple, with one RBI. Also for Eastern, Carly Livelsberger went 2 for 4, including a double, with one RBI; Ashton Evans went 2 for 4 with one RBI; and Emily Smith went 2 for 4.
West York 12, New Oxford 11: At West York, the Bulldogs edged their guests on the strength of seven of their 18 hits going for extra bases. Leading the way at the plate was Leah Jameson, who went 4 for 5 with three RBIs and a run scored. Paige Weekly went 3 for 4 with two RBIs, including a home run and a double. Sierra Megonnel went 1 for 2 with two RBIs and two runs scored for New Oxford.
Delone Catholic 7, Kennard-Dale 2: At McSherrystown, the host Squirettes jumped out to a 5-0 lead over the Rams before both teams traded two-run innings in the late innings. Cassie Rickrode struck out seven K-D hitters, while Katie Laughman and Shelbee Holcomb combined to go 6 for 7 and drive in two runs. Rams pitcher Alexis Valentine struck out 12.
York Suburban 10, York Tech 4: At York Suburban, the home team scored seven runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to break open a close contest and down the Spartans. Suburban got a 5-for-5 night at the plate from Susan Lloyd.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch,com.