SOFTBALL: Panthers, Rams to face off for league title
- Central York captured a 14-0 mercy-rule victory over Delone Catholic in five innings.
- Kennard-Dale slipped past Northeastern 4-3 in the other York-Adams League softball semifinal.
- The Panthers and Rams will meet for the league title at 5 p.m. Wednesday at New Oxford.
GLEN ROCK — Yielding a two-out run usually will get a team in trouble.
Yielding nine of them will get you a loss.
The Delone Catholic softball team learned that painful lesson Tuesday.
The Squirettes appeared on the verge of keeping Central York off the board in the top of the first when they had two outs with one runner aboard. Five errors and four hits later, the York-Adams Division I champions (20-1) had plated nine runs in an eventual 14-0, five-inning, mercy-rule semifinal victory in Y-A Softball Tournament semifinal action.
The victory sends Division I champion Central into Wednesday’s championship game beginning at 5 p.m. at New Oxford against Kennard-Dale, a 4-3 winner over Northeastern in the other semifinal. The Panthers will be looking for their third consecutive league crown and fifth in six years.
“We might have been able to get away with some errors during the regular season but not today, not against this team (Central) and that pitcher,” Delone Catholic coach Don Smith said. “Nine unearned runs will kill you and then to go up against that pitcher … “
That pitcher, of course, was Central ace Courtney Coppersmith. The junior, who hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a contest all year, was dominant again. She yielded just one hit and one walk. She finished with 12 strikeouts in 15 total outs and struck out the side in four of the five innings.
“Courtney is just outstanding,” said Central third baseman Natalie Craig, who was one of the hitting standouts for the Panthers. She had a double and a home run and four RBIs. “She’s a big asset for us.”
Central coach K.J. Livingston agreed.
“She’s obviously a very accomplished pitcher and we’re lucky to have her,” the coach said. “When we got those nine runs in the first, that was a nice cushion to have.”
The Panthers’ leadoff hitter, Erin Cabry, who had three hits, smacked a double over the left-fielder’s head to start the contest. But it looked like she might be stranded at third until Coppersmith’s infield grounder was mishandled with two outs. That allowed Cabry to score and opened the floodgates. Four more errors and an RBI double by Craig and a RBI single by Karli Fink helped Central bat around in the inning.
Cabry had another single in the inning to score a run and it wasn’t until Coppersmith grounded out to second that the inning concluded.
“We’re solid top to bottom, so we can take advantage of some things,” Livingston said. “And that’s what we were able to do today.”
Delone pitcher Maggie Rickrode retired Central in order in the second, but three singles and an error enabled the Panthers to score twice in the third to make it 11-0. Brianne Dobson had a RBI single in the frame. They made it 14-0 in the fourth thanks to Craig’s rocket homer off the scoreboard in left center and two other hits by Brianne Smith and Taylor Sanders.
“I saw the pitch real well,” said Craig of her home run swing. “It felt good coming off the bat.”
Meanwhile, Coppersmith was shutting down Delone. She allowed one walk in the first inning, then a hard single to right off the bat of No. 9 hitter Amanda Barca in the third. Those were her only mistakes.
Division IV champion Delone dropped to 13-5.
Rams looking for first league title: At New Oxford, the Division III champion Rams outlasted the Division II champion Bobcats.
That moved K-D within one win of its first York-Adams softball championship.
The Rams trailed 2-0 early in Tuesday's game before rallying for the win.
Alexis Hurley got the complete-game win, giving up two earned runs with three strikeouts and a walk. Amber Belt (two hits, double, run, RBI) and Lexie Kopko (two hits, run) led K-D's offense.
K-D and Central didn't meet this season. K-D improved to 15-2 overall. Northeastern dropped to 11-10.
Eastern York 3, Fairfield 0: At Fairfield, Maelynn Leber led the Golden Knights by throwing a two-hit shutout, striking out five and walking none. McKenzie Buchmyer homered.
Reach George Hammond at firstname.lastname@example.org.