DALLASTOWN — A lot of high school softball teams in the York-Adams League have one or two strengths that they can rely on during a given game — be it dominating pitching, sound defense or proficient hitting.
Having just one or two of those assets can take a team a long way.
Then there are the teams such as Central York, which can check off all three boxes. That has separated the Panthers from their competition so far this season, and in recent seasons.
Entering play Monday afternoon at Dallastown High School against York-Adams Division I rival Dallastown, Central had a chance to officially clinch another outright division title.
Clinch it they did. The Panthers have won at least a piece of the D-I crown for seven straight seasons and 11 of the last 13 seasons.
Erin Cabry led off the contest with a home run to give the visitors all the runs they would need. Standout senior Courtney Coppersmith mowed down the Dallastown batters by striking out 19 while allowing just one hit over seven innings. While Coppersmith didn't need the extra run support, she still got it. The Panthers scored six times over the first two innings en route to an 8-0 victory.
“It definitely feels good," said Coppersmith, who set the tone for the game by fanning the first seven batters she faced. "This has always been a rivalry against Dallastown and Spring Grove, but especially against Dallastown. Both of them are solid teams, so it just feels really good to be able to come out here and get the win.”
Clearly one of the biggest reasons that Central remains unbeaten — 16-0 overall and 13-0 in D-I — is Coppersmith. The senior has been nearly lights-out every time she's toed the rubber this season.
“She was a No. 1 last year, but this year she's a clear No. 1," Central York coach Jim Miller said. "She's the best I've seen all year. She is exactly what they (Dallastown) would probably say about her. You can probably tell them what she's throwing and they'd still probably couldn't hit it. She's worked very hard and she's earned everything that she gets.”
Keeping ego in check: Coppersmith, however, isn't letting her ego get out of check. When it was suggested that her teammates nickname her "Goldsmith" or "Moneysmith," the Panthers standout shrugged it off rather quickly. Instead the Central senior quickly focused on the team.
“We just try to go out there and take every game individually," she said. "You can't come out and just think that you're going to win 10-0. You still have to come out and play the game.”
That's exactly what the Panthers have been doing all year long. It's one of the trademarks that most impressed Miller, a coach of softball teams for nearly 20 years.
“I'm very proud of everybody on the whole team," Miller said. "They do a great job. Everybody does their job.”
League playoffs up next: The Panthers have two more games left this week before the league softball playoffs begin next week. Central will likely get backyard rival Northeastern, which leads the D-II standings, in the semifinals.
Those two played once this season, with the Panthers claiming a 3-0 victory behind Coppersmith. The senior figures a similar contest could be in the cards next week.
“I think we're going to go into that with a stronger mentality," Coppersmith said, noting that the first game was played on a cold, windy afternoon. "It should be fun.”
Allison Hoffman collected the lone Dallastown hit, a single in the third.
Taylor Sanders led a nine-hit Central attack with four hits and four RBIs, while Cabry finished with two hits (triple, home run) and three runs scored.
Dallastown fell to 13-5 overall and 10-5 in D-I.
Eastern York 6, York Suburban 3: At Wrightsville, the Golden Knights rallied from a 3-2 deficit after 4 1/2 innings. Maelynn Leber pitched a complete game to get the win, allowing two earned runs. Katie Lehman (three hits, double, two runs) and Gillian Toomey (two hits, triple, two RBIs, run) led Eastern's offense. The Golden Knights improved to 11-4 overall and 9-3 in York-Adams Division III. Emily Myers paced Suburban with three hits (including a homer), three RBIs and a run scored.
West York 13, Susquehannock 6: At Glen Rock, Paige Weekly belted four hits, including two homers, while also driving in four runs and scoring three runs to pace West York. Breanna Harvey (three doubles, three runs, RBI), Nat Hirn (two hits, two runs), Savanah Bortner (two hits, run, RBI), Leah Jamison (two RBIs, run) and Dorian Ilyes (double, two RBIs, run) also excelled for the Bulldogs. Hirn also pitched 2 2/3 innings of relief without being charged with a run. Maddy Marzullo (two hits, run), Anna Bryan (two hits, double, two runs, RBI), Kendra Gemmill (two hits, double, two RBIs) and Alyssa Garrett (two hits, double, run) led Susquehannock.
Spring Grove 7, South Western 6: At Spring Grove, Briana Dicandeloro belted four hits, including a double and a triple, while scoring three times and driving in two runs for the Rockets. The Rockets' other leaders were Bryn Sporer (double, three RBIs, run), Hannah Gartrell (three hits, double, two RBIs), Bailey Rapson (two hits) and Hannah Shaffer (two hits). Rapson started and went 5 2/3 innings on the mound, allowing two earned runs. Sara Jones pitched 1 1/3 innings of relief without allowing a run to get the win. The Rockets scored in the bottom of the sixth to break a 6-6 tie.
Fairfield 12, York Catholic 6: At York, the Irish fell to 8-7 overall and 8-5 in York-Adams Division IV. Grace Gardini (two hits, run), Katelyn Danczyk (two RBIs) and Annabella Ebel (two hits, two RBIs) paced the Irish attack. Fairfield improved to 10-5 and 9-5.
New Oxford 10, Red Lion 0 (5 innings): At Red Lion, Taylor Radziewicz tripled in a losing cause. Alanna Molz pitched a five-hit shutout for New Oxford.
Gettysburg 7, Dover 0: At Gettysburg, Faith Boone pitched a three-hit shutout with eight strikeouts for Gettysburg.
Hanover 16, York Tech 1 (4 innings): At Spry, Alissa Smith drove in Tech's only run.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.