SOFTBALL: Shippensburg, James Buchanan split Colonial Division title after Lady Hounds' victory
MERCERSBURG >> With two outs in the top of the sixth inning, Shippensburg's softball team was given a golden opportunity.
A walk to Taylor Davidson loaded the bases in a 1-1 tie with James Buchanan on Thursday afternoon.
Talk about a pressure-packed situation for a freshman who was pulled up to the varsity team just two weeks ago. But with a full count, Sami Barmont delivered.
"When I had that full count, I was just really nervous," Barmont said. "But I knew I had to get the ball in play. I had it in my mind that maybe this was going to be our last chance, especially with all those runners on base. I just had to do my job to get the ball in play."
Barmont did just that as she smacked a ball that sailed over the second baseman's head, giving Morgan Fetter and Courtney Coy time to motor home. Coy then shut the door on the Rockets for the next two innings, and Shippensburg claimed a 3-1 victory. The win makes Ship and JB co-champions in the Mid Penn Colonial Division.
"Court just pitched a whale of a game," Ship coach Mike Peters said. "The girls really played their best game of the season, and they picked a great day to do it. We always talk about getting a banner in the gym to have your team remembered, and the fact that they'll be able to share the division championship means a lot to these kids."
James Buchanan (17-3, 8-2 MPC) will still represent the Colonial Division in the Mid Penn Tournament next week due to having a higher power rating than Shippensburg (15-5, 8-2 MPC).
The Rockets had several opportunities to take a stranglehold on the game. They finished with more hits, totaling six compared to just four for Ship, but they had more than one in only one inning.
"We had runners in a couple innings there and couldn't get a sacrifice bunt down," JB coach Eric Reed said. "That's huge when you get this far into the season and face a good pitcher like Courtney. You've gotta be able to play some small ball and put some pressure on the defense."
Shania Fogelsonger, who finished 3-for-3, was left stranded in scoring position twice. She scored the Rockets' only run on an RBI single from Taryn Miller in the third inning.
"(Coy) had a lot of good movement on the ball, especially the outside pitches, but you just have to go with it," Fogelsonger said. "I worked on some stuff earlier because I was pulling out too early. My coaches kept telling me that, so I focused on that and was able to hit the ball well."
Coy threw off the majority of the batters she faced, though. She had a season-high 12 strikeouts and didn't walk any.
"I felt that if I didn't strike them out, I knew that the team was going to be behind me," Coy said. "Morgan (Fetter) was calling great pitches against the batters, and she knew where to place them, so I was just going with it."
Reed said, "We struck out way too many times today. If you have two strikes, you have to go up swinging, and we took a lot of called third strikes."
Barmont was also clutch for the Lady Hounds early in the game. Ship scored its first run in the top of the second inning after Coy led off with a single. She was moved along by a sacrifice bunt from Maddie Miller and a single by Davidson. Barmont then notched the only other RBI of the game with a groundout to the shortstop.
"I can't say enough about Sami Barmont," Peters said. "(In the sixth), she gets up in that situation and has a great at-bat against a great pitcher and comes out on top. To see her succeed makes me smile."
Shippensburg 3 James Buchanan 1
ShippensburgJ.BuchananabrhbabrhbWolfe 2b4000Fglsngr 3b3130Carbaugh cf3000Pittman cf3000Horst ph0000TMiller ss3011Kline cr0000Doyka c3000Coy p3220Piper 2b3010MMiller 1b2000CMiller 1b3000Dvidson dp2010Shatzer p3010Barmont ss3013Cmmngs rf3000Lawson lf2000Bender lf3000Barrett 3b3000Macedo rf0000Totals25343Totals27161
E: JB 1; LOB: Ship 6, JB 5; 2B: Piper; SAC:M.Miller; SB: Davidson, Fogelsonger 2.
James Buchanan pitching
Shatzer1.221111TMiller (L,7-1) 5.122237
WP: Coy 1.