MANCHESTER — It seemed like every time Northeastern pitcher Belle Bortner turned around on Monday afternoon, there was a Susquehannock player on base.
The Warriors went quietly in just one inning, the second, but placed runners on in every other inning. The constant traffic on the paths, though, didn't bother Bortner.
The junior forced the visitors to strand 11 runners, allowing just one to score.
Bortner's team, meanwhile, scored twice and Northeastern squeezed out a 2-1 victory in a match-up of the two leading softball teams in York-Adams Division II.
The Bobcats (8-4 overall) improved to 8-3 in league play, while the Warriors (5-5 overall) fell to 5-4 in D-II.
"It (the extremely close game) was nerve racking, but you have to keep it together, and you have to pitch," Bortner said. "I just focus on my catcher, Haley Updegraff, and you have to trust what you're throwing."
Bortner and her teammates came out on top on a day when Northeastern honored its four seniors.
"Today was very important," Bortner said. "We knew that Susquehannock was coming for us. It was my job to keep it together."
After Bortner shut out the visitors in the first three innings, Northeastern broke through for both of its runs in the bottom of the third.
Samantha Shroyer, one of the seniors, was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Updegraff then followed with an opposite-field single to right. Another senior, Krista Anderson, moved the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt, and they both scored on an error.
Susquehannock responded with its run in the top of the fourth when Kendra Gemmill drilled a double to left-center field and ended up scoring on an error.
The Warriors put runners on base in the fifth, sixth and seventh, but weren't able to push across the tying run.
"We played well, but we left too many runners on base," Susquehannock head coach Jeff Deardorff said. "First time we played them this year, we didn't play well at all."
Deardorff's team features just two seniors.
"Most of the girls were here last year," he said. "We've been getting better and better."
The Warriors outhit the Bobcats, 8-4 with Gemmill collecting three of the hits for Susquehannock. The junior also pitched for the visitors, giving up four hits.
Northeastern, though, found a way to maintain the top spot in the division.
"I told them after the game that now they know they can make it through a struggle," Northeastern head coach Dave Marsh said. "Almost every inning, there were runners on base, and we had to make plays. There were a couple of miscues, but they didn't compound it by having mental lapses after that. It was neat to win on Senior Day because they (the seniors) helped turn this program around."
The Bobcats finished 2-16 two years ago.
"It seemed discouraging, but there was plenty of room for improvement," said Bortner, who also plays on a travel team out of Lancaster County. "We struggled defensively my freshman year, and we even struggled a little bit last year. This year, they've played sound defensively behind me."
Bortner and her teammates set the goal for this season back in January.
"When we hit the gym, our goal was districts and to keep getting better each game," she said.
Northeastern was 16th in the most recent District 3 Class 5-A power ratings. Only the top 16 will make the field.
Spring Grove 4, New Oxford 3: At Spring Grove, the Rockets plated three runs in the bottom of the seventh to rally for the win, capped off by Bailey Rapson's walk-off RBI triple. Rapson finished with two triples, an RBI and a run scored. Briana Dicandeloro (two hits, double, RBI, run) and Sara Jones (two hits, triple, run) also excelled for Spring Grove. Jones got the win on the mound with four innings of two-run relief. The Rockets improved to 9-4 overall and 7-2 in York-Adams Division I.
York Catholic 10, Hanover 9: At York, the Irish scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to rally for the win. Rebecca Baum starred for York Catholic, banging out four hits (including a double) with three runs scored and an RBI, while also pitching a complete game to get the win, allowing four earned runs with nine strikeouts. Alexis Logsdon (two hits, two RBIs, run), Kelleigh Pollock (two hits, run), Demetra Conner (two hits, RBI, run) and Grace Gardini (homer, three RBIs, run) also excelled for York Catholic, which improved to 7-4 overall and 7-2 in York-Adams Division IV.
West York 20, Dover 5 (3 innings): At West York, the Bulldogs pounded out 18 hits behind big games from Breanna Harvey (three hits, homer, four RBIs, four runs), Dorian Ileyes (three hits, two doubles, three RBIs, three runs), Hannah Harlacher (three hits, two runs), Nat Hirn (three runs, RBI), Paige Weekly (triple, three RBIs, run), Leah Jamison (two hits, two runs, RBI), Savannah Bortner (two hits, two RBIs, two runs) and Allie Cullen (two hits, two RBIs, run).
York Suburban 16, Bermudian Springs 2 (5 innings): At York Springs, the Trojans got big games from Emily Myers (three hits, two doubles, three RBIs, two runs), Kylie Strebig (two hits, three RBIs, run), Aly Golden (two hits, triple, three RBIs, two runs), Sarah Hartinger (two doubles, two RBIs, run), Alexis Jury (two hits, two runs, RBI), Zoe Prats (three runs, RBI), Taryn Stein (two hits, RBI, run) and Kathryn Snyder (two RBIs, run). Hartinger pitched a complete game to get the win, striking out six.
York Tech 16, Biglerville 6 (5 innings): At Spry, the Spartans got their first win of the season behind big games from Alazaya Watts (four hits, three runs, RBI), Alissa Smith (four hits, three RBIs, two runs), Joslin Bond (three hits, three runs, two RBIs), Jamie Hudler (three hits, three RBIs, two runs) and Ze'Yone Hawkins (two hits, three RBIs, three runs). Hawkins also went the distance to get the win.
Dallastown 14, Red Lion 4: At Red Lion, Delaney Kolb (four hits, two triples, double, four RBIs, three runs), Shauna Stotler (three hits, two RBIs, run) and Brianna Rufo (three hits, three RBIs, two runs) powered Dallastown. Red Lion was led by Hailey Inguanti (three hits, triple, two runs) and Gianna Dovell (three hits, two RBIs). Kelsie Merriman went the distance to get the win, allowing three earned runs. Dallastown improved to 12-3 overall and 9-3 in York-Adams Division I.
Central York 7, South Western 4: At Central, the unbeaten Panthers scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth to break away from a 4-4 tie. Courtney Coppersmith pitched three innings of hitless, scoreless relief, striking out eight, to get the win. She also had two hits at the plate. Erin Cabry (three hits, double, RBI, run) and Briana Smith (two hits, triple, RBI, run) also excelled for Central, which improved to 14-0 overall and 11-0 in York-Adams Division I.
Kennard-Dale 3, Littlestown 0: At Fawn Grove, the Rams improved to 11-0 both overall and in York-Adams Division III. Lexie Kopko pitched a two-hit shutout, striking out 11. Crystal Mullins drove in two of K-D's runs. The Rams won with just four hits.
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