The Chambersburg softball team won the Big Spring Tournament Championship with a 5-3 victory over Greencastle-Antrim in the tournament final. Video by Lindsey Smith
It's no question that the Chambersburg softball team is comprised of work horses, ready to battle their way to victory, something the team has successfully done 13 times this season.
But midway through the championship game of the Big Spring Tournament on Saturday, the team looked to be out of gas.
Well, who wouldn't after putting up 36 runs in 13 innings of work? But the Trojans did what they do best - and that's win.
Chambersburg beat Greencastle-Antrim in an all-Franklin County championship at the Big Spring Bulldog Tournament after the Blue Devils put up the biggest fight of the day in a 5-3 final.
"We scratched, clawed and did what we had to do to get the runs," Chambersburg coach Chris Skultety said. "We knew it would be a hard game, especially the third game of a long day. It's a testament to my girls. They stayed in there, they worked hard and they accomplished the first goal of our season."
The Trojans put up five runs in the third inning thanks to aggressive base running to give the team the cushion it needed to outlast Greencastle (8-4) in the final. Three stolen bases in the inning, a two-RBI double by Natalie Saylor, and RBIs by Lexy Leedy and Laken Myers did the damage for Chambersburg.
While the Trojans (13-1) continued to use strategic base running, the team was caught stealing three times.
"Besides that one inning, we ran with the top team in the district," Greencastle coach Mark DeCarli said. "If we didn't have that one inning it could have been different."
But after a pitching change to start the fifth inning, the Trojans' lead was threatened when Greencastle put up three runs thanks to pitching and defensive miscues by Chambersburg. Back-to-back hits to center put two runners on, and a long ball hit to right field Ali Sherman brought in the first run of the game for the Blue Devils, and put two runners in scoring position. Ally Brown was hit by a pitch to load the bases as Myers, the new Chambersburg pitcher, struggled to find a rhythm.
Myers later walked Alicen Hoover with the bases loaded to bring in a run, and a fielder's choice by Alison Shockey scored the third run.
"I was just telling them Laken was struggling; it doesn't matter how hard she throws that fastball, it goes out even harder," DeCarli said. "We were just teeing off in that one inning."
"I was just concentrating on hitting my spots and trying to get them off balance," Myers said. "I left a couple up for them to hit, but I wasn't nervous at all. I have confidence in my abilities and in my defense behind me."
Myers settled in for the remaining innings, with five straight fly-outs in the last two innings, thanks in part to strong outfield play, and struck out the final batter of the game, securing the tournament championship.
Prior to the pitching change, Greencastle registered just three hits off Leah Hunt, who struck out three batters and walked one. Brown pitched seven innings for the Blue Devils, allowed eight hits, four earned runs and struck out five.
NOTES: Chambersburg reached the championship after winning its first two games against Muhlenberg (16-0, 4 innings) and Big Spring (15-7, 6 innings) ... Dori Loukopoulous hit a three-run home run in the final inning of Chambersburg's semifinal ... Greencastle won its first game of the tournament 10-5 against New Oxford, and advanced to take on Shippensburg ... The Blue Devils took down Ship 12-4 thanks to Ali Sherman's first career home run, which happened to be a grand slam ... Ship (8-5) had beaten South Western 13-5, and took third by beating Big Spring, 18-9.