The cold weather at Garrett’s Field wasn’t enough to cool down the flames being thrown Pequea Valley pitcher Amanda Houck and Lampeter-Strasburg pitcher Courtney Martin Monday night. Despite temperatures dipping under 50 degrees, Houck pitched seven shutout innings, struck out five and allowed only three hits as the Braves (8-5) squeaked past Lampeter-Strasburg (11-2), 1-0.
“Amanda does a nice job. She’s solid in the circle and is able to place her pitches and change speeds,” Braves coach Amy Shay said. “She definitely kept us in the game.”
Houck had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning until Lampeter-Strasburg’s Cortney Tantala registered an infield single.
“Give all the credit to the pitcher, Amanda from Pequea Valley. She pitched a phenomenal game,” Pioneers coach Tim Shoff said. “She kept us off stride and we didn’t get good swings at her and ultimately, that made the difference.”
Opposite of Houck, Lampeter-Strasburg pitch Courtney Martin actually had better statistics despite taking the loss. Martin only gave up one hit while tallying an impressive eight strikeouts.
The only offense in the game came in the first inning when Pequea Valley’s Valerie Stolzfus registered a sacrifice fly to bring in leadoff batter Victoria DeHaven. After the initial score, another hit wouldn’t be seen in the game until the sixth inning. The one-run deficit marked the first time the Pioneers trailed in a home game all season.
“It was a nail biter. It’s hard to believe the run in the first inning was the only run scored throughout the entire game,” Shay said. “It was a game of defense and trying to get people on base.”
Lampeter-Strasburg did have their chances down the stretch, however. The Pioneers loaded the bases in both the sixth and seventh innings but were unable to manufacture a single run.
“We struggled the first five innings but we had some opportunities in the sixth and seventh and just couldn’t get the big hit when we had the opportunity to do so,” Shoff said. “That comes with experience and comes with more game time and hopefully we’ll be able to get the big hit later on in the season.”
Shay credited her defense for hanging tought under pressure but admitted that there was some good fortune involved as well.
“There’s some skill and a little bit of luck involved there,” Shay said.