SOFTBALL: Warwick shuts out Lampeter-Strasburg, 10-0
LAMPETER - The Warwick Lady Warriors softball team never thought their nonleague battle versus Lampeter-Strasburg could be such a breeze. Even so, the sharp, north-western winds seemed to blow in the Warriors' favor throughout the contest, as Warwick blew away the host Lady Pioneers, 10-0, Saturday morning at Lampeter-Strasburg high school. For two teams that were coming off dominant rebound victories following their first losses of the season, Saturday's matchup turned out to be anything but a tightly contested showdown between two one-loss teams. "I expected it to be a good, solid game today," agreed Lampeter-Strasburg head coach Tim Shoff. "Obviously they outplayed us. They outpitched us, they outhit us, they played better defense than us. All the credit goes to them, they did a nice job."
After a tough, 3-2 loss in nine-innings to Section One rival Hempfield on Wednesday, Warwick (8-1) got on the board early against Pioneers' ace pitcher Jordan Weaver.
"It was very cold (Wednesday), but it was a close game," said senior centerfielder and three-hole hitter Ashley Royer on the earlier loss to Hempfield. "So we just brushed it off and came ready to play L-S."
Led at the top of the order by sophomore Mack Russell (4-for-4, BB, 3 RBIs, two runs), the Lady Warriors took advantage of some early struggles by the Pioneers (6-2).
A leadoff walk to Russell preceded an infield single by Vanessa Strohm (2-for-5, RBI, run), who reached base in part because of a wind-blown pop-up that wasn't handled in foul-territory.
After a passed ball moved both runners, Royer followed with a seeing-eye single up the middle for two of her three RBIs on the day, staking freshman pitcher Amanda Herr to an early lead that she would never come close to relinquishing.
Back-to-back doubles with two outs by Russell and Strohm added a run in the second inning before a pair of one-out walks in the third ended Weaver's day. The Pioneers' junior allowed 4 hits and 5 walks, striking-out five, in just 2 1/3 innings pitched.
Sophomore Natalie Carson came-on in relief, allowing an RBI single to Russell as Warwick led 4-0 after three.
"Knowing that (Weaver) was down, it kind of motivated us a little bit more," said Herr, who conversely didn't allow a walk in her six innings of work. "I tried to help my team out by at least pitching around the strike zone but not too much in the strike zone ... that no one could defend it."
Although Carson pitched a scoreless fourth inning, Warwick tallied two runs in the fifth on a misplayed triple off the bat of Lexi Leonard, Russell's infield single and Royer's sacrifice fly. The Lady Warriors put the game away with a four-run sixth that included five hits, including a double by Nicole Mengel (2-for-4, RBI, run) and another misplay in the outfield.
L-S seemed to have righted the ship following a 3-1 loss to Section Three rival Donegal on Thursday, besting Section Four front-runner Annville-Cleona 13-3 on Friday. But the Pioneers were unable to duplicate their effort Saturday.
"(Their) pitcher did a nice job, threw the ball on the outside corner, made us hit that pitch and we didn't execute hitting wise," Shoff said, noting that his pitcher, Weaver, was experiencing some soreness after pitching for the third day in a row. "Jordan wasn't herself, but that's no excuse for what happened."
In the bottom of the sixth, the Pioneers loaded the bases on an infield single from Hannah Garber (2-3, double) and a pair of wind-aided singles falling in front of Royer in center. Incidentally, Garber's double came in the first inning-landing in the infield between shortstop and third.
"It was very hard to judge the ball," Royer said of the conditions. "It would come in instead of go back, so it was really hard to judge it. We had to play in more."
Even so, L-S was unable to bring-in a run in order to extend the contest, Herr forcing an infield pop-up to second baseman Russell and striking out Robin Feaster to end the game.
"Especially with them being the league favorite, it was great beating them," Royer said, calling the ten-run victory "a big surprise."
"It's just kind of a wakeup call for us," Shoff said. "That's what we told them in the huddle, it's time that we communicate a little bit more defensively and talk more. We have to execute, we have to catch the ball better.
"Outfield, we told them about the wind. They have to catch those balls. It's a challenge, but it was the same for both teams."
Except that in the Warriors' case, it was more like a breeze.
Girls' High School Softball
Warwick 10, Lampeter-Strasburg 0 (6 innings)
WW 2 1 1 0 2 4 x - 10 13 0
LS 0 0 0 0 0 0 x - 00 08 2
WP-A. Herr; LP-J. Weaver
K-BB-Herr (6IP, 8K, 0BB) and J. High; J. Weaver (2.1IP, 5K, 5BB), N. Carson (3.2IP, 1K, 2BB) and K. Weaver
2B-WW 3 (R. Russell, V. Strohm, N. Mengel); LS 1 (H. Garber)
3B-WW 1 (L. Leonard)