SOFTBALL: Chambersburg beats Red Land 12-2 to end regular season on 7-game win streak
FAYETTEVILLE >> It was Christmas in May on Thursday afternoon at Norlo Park.
Red Land, the No. 6 team in the District 3 Class AAAA softball rankings, did not look like a highly-ranked team, making seven errors, several mental mistakes and a pair of baserunning blunders.
Chambersburg, a team on a serious roll, didn't need that much help, but it took those gifts and ran with them, posting a 12-2 five-inning Mid Penn Commonwealth Division victory.
The Trojans finished the regular season with a 13-7 record (8-6 MPC) and are on a seven-game winning streak, their longest since they finished the 2011 regular season with seven straight wins.
"We didn't expect that kind of game, but I guess you never know," Chambersburg co-coach Ted Bittinger. "I'm sure their coach is gritting his teeth over this one."
Patriot coach Jason Munns said, "I don't know that we could have played any worse than we did. I'd bet we haven't had a day with this many errors even if you count all of our practices."
After winning pitcher Laken Myers (9-4) got out of the top of the first inning with no score, the ugliness started right away for Red Land. Chambersburg's first two hitters reached on a dropped fly ball and a bunt that was thrown away. They scored on a grounder by Tara Harmon and an errant pickoff throw at third base.
It became 3-0 after two innings when Leah Hunt singled and scored on a double ripped to left-centerfield by Sam Bender, who ended up 3-for-3 with a pair of runs driven in.
Bender said, "We were sort of worried. We had a good game when we played them at Red Land (an 8-1 win), and we figured they'd come down here with a lot of emotion. But since they're higher than us in the district (rankings), we were really trying hard to beat them. We hit the ball better this time, and they helped us with some errors."
The Patriots (12-6, 8-6 MPC) got on the board in the third when Brittany Carroll doubled and Madi Christiansen singled her home.
But the Trojans came right back with two more. Lily Nolan popped a triple to right and Harmon singled for her second RBI. Bender later brought in a run with a bad-hop single.
Despite batting No. 8 in the order, Bender has been a key contributor on offense.
"When I go home I work on hitting a lot," she said. "We've pretty much kept the lineup from the beginning of the season and it's working well now."
Bittinger said, "We've been dealing with the lineup as it is. Caeley Etter was out sick, but Lexi (Shearer) came back today so we just plugged her in. It's great to have her back."
The inning that epitomized Red Land's day came in the fourth. Relief pitcher Taylor Artley got the first two outs, then the Trojans scored two more runs on a hit by Nolan and three consecutive errors.
Munns said, "We got here a little late and then came out flat after our pregame routine ... but that's not an excuse. This was just not how we played ball all year."
The game ended in the bottom of the fifth when Chambersburg's first eight batters reached base. The carnage included three regular singles, two bunt singles, a pair of walks, a passed ball and an error. Harmon blooped a hit to right that brought in two and gave her four RBIs and Hunt ended the game with a single off the first baseman's glove.
Bittinger said, "This was a good win for us. If we'd lost it might have been a little iffy until next week to see where we ended up in the rankings. Now we know we're in. We have gotten some confidence and the girls know their roles better."
Chambersburg 12, Red Land 2 (5)
Red LandChambersburgabrhbabrhbMunns p3010Shearer cf4210BCarroll 1b3110Somrvll 2b4210Chrsntn ss3131Nolan c3320Artley lf3010Harmon 3b4224Brietgn c3000Kaufmn rf4010Thomas cr0000Hunt lf3121Snyder dp3000Myers p3000Zehrng 2b0000Bender 1b3132Gettys 3B3010Glunt ss2000ACarroll cf2010Kump ph0100Chubb rf1000Totals24281Totals 29 12 127
E: RL 7, Chbg 3; LOB: RL 8, Chbg 6; 2B: B.Carroll, Bender; 3B: Nolan.
Munns (L)365311Artley1674 2 0
Artley pitched to 8 batters in the 5th inning.
WP: Munns, Artley; PB: RL 1.
JV: Chambersburg 9, Red Land 7. The Trojans (16-1) got three hits apiece from Jordyn Amsley, Natalie Saylor and Maggie Myers, while Dori Loukopoulos finished 2-for-4. Amsley, Saylor and Loukopoulos each had two RBIs. Emma Carbaugh and Megan Gossert both finished 1-for-1 with an RBI. Gossert had a home run in the top of the seventh. Bri Boyd, Carbaugh and Loukopoulos combined for 14 strikeouts.