Central York's star pitcher, Courtney Coppersmith, brought the heat on a frigid day.
Competing in 41-degree weather on Tuesday afternoon with a brisk wind blowing in her face, Coppersmith averaged two strikeouts per inning as the Panthers shut out Northeastern, 3-0, in a pivotal York-Adams League crossover game.
The left-hander struck out 14, walked just three and didn't allow a single hit in the complete-game performance. Coppersmith improved her record to 5-0 as Central pushed its overall mark to 7-0, including a 6-0 mark in Division I.
"The first inning was the warmest," she said. "After that, it just got colder and colder. You're looking to drive forward, but you don't go anywhere because the wind is pushing you back. It was so nice on Friday when we played, but today when we were warming up, it was snowing."
Coppersmith has a variety of pitches, but she picked out one that's been extremely effective for her this season.
"My main one that's been going well this season is my rise ball," she said."Normally, if I get ahead (in the count), I'll pull that (the rise ball) out and use it once or twice."
Coppersmith, who already has two perfect games on her resume, gave a shout out to the defense, singling out a play by center fielder Kristina Landis in the third inning.
Landis raced into right center in the third inning to spear a line drive off the bat of Megan Sweitzer.
"I thought it was going to drop in, but she caught it.," Coppersmith said. "I thought, OK, this is great."
The Panthers also supported Coppersmith with their bats by collecting nine hits.
Natalie Craig went 3 for 3 and drove in a run, while Erin Cabry and Alexis McAnnaney came through with two hits each. Cabry ripped a triple and a double, and McAnnaney belted two doubles.
"Our bats have been a little inconsistent so far this season, but we did pretty well today," Central head coach James Miller said. "I like the balance of this team. If it's not one kid coming through with the bat, it's someone else."
Central's outscored opponents 52-8 so far.
Of course, with Coppersmith, a future NCAA Division I college pitcher (UMBC) in the circle, the Panthers don't need a lot of runs.
"The thing with Courtney, she has the rise pitch, but then she can come back with the screwball," Miller said. "She keeps them guessing. She just mows them down one batter after another. I wouldn't want to face her."
Miller, who's in his first year as head coach, said the players have high hopes for the 2018 season.
"All the girls here have won the (York-Adams) title every year they've been here, and they want to keep that going. They're shooting for four in a row," Miller said. "We lost by one run in the district (Class 6-A) semifinal last year, and we lost 1-0 in states to a team that went on to win the state title."
Northeastern, meanwhile, is aiming for another successful season after finishing first in Y-A Division II last year. The Bobcats dropped to 4-2 overall and 4-1 in D-II.
"They did a great job today," Miller said. "It was 2-0 for a long time (until the sixth inning). I really think that they're going to have a great year."
West York 5, Dallastown 4: At West York, the home team plated five runs in the sixth to rally from a 3-0 hole. Nat Hirn went the distance to get the win, striking out seven. Dallastown’s Kelsie Merriman also went the distance and fanned seven, allowing three earned runs. Savannah Bortner had two RBIs and a run scored for the winners, while Dorian Ileyes doubled with an RBI and run scored. Dallastown’s hitting leaders were Delaney Kolb (two hits, two RBIs, run), Elena Rosas (two hits, double, two RBIs), Merriman (two hits, run) and Shauna Stotler (triple, run). West York improved to 3-6 overall and 2-3 in York-Adams Division II. Dallastown fell to 9-2 overall and 6-2 in D-I.
Reach Dick VanO'Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org.