SOFTBALL: Donegal advances to L-L semis with win over Solanco
WILLOW STREET - It was an understated victory, and yet for the Donegal Lady Indians softball team, it was business as usual.
Coming in as the runners-up from Section Three, the Lady Indians used shortstop Rachel Robinson's 3-RBI game and pitcher Makyla Yoder's cruise control performance in the circle to defeat Section Two champion Solanco, 4-0, in game one of the L-L Quarterfinals Saturday at Garrett Field.
Donegal (19-3) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Robinson's two-out homerun over the new-this-year, just-for-the-playoffs fence to give Yoder all the run support she would need to defeat the Golden Mares (12-6).
"It was like the best feeling (knowing there was a fence)," said Robinson. "When we played against L-S (earlier in the week at Garrett Field), I got pretty close. Then I was like, a fence? Nailed it."
Yoder, meanwhile, shook-off Leila Redmond's double in the first inning and a hit-batter in the second before settling-in. The sophomore ace struck-out five Golden Mare batters in a row between the second and third innings on her way to ten strikeouts for the game, allowing just an Allison McDowell single the rest of the way.
"I came into this game knowing that they're a good hitting team," said Yoder. "I kind of just pitched the ball and let my defense do the work, because I came out kind of flat, I think. I kind of had to trust in my defense to get the job done for me, and help me out."
Coming off a week in which Donegal lost to Section Three rival Lampeter-Strasburg twice, including in a tie-breaker game on Wednesday, the Lady Indians seemed to be gearing up for bigger things to come.
"I think we all came out a little flat with the bats, but then we stepped up and got the job done," said Yoder, who contributed an RBI single in the fifth inning.
The Indians finished with just six hits, but two walks from Solanco starting pitcher Kalyn Burger in the fifth helped load the bases with Robinson (3-for-3, 3 RBI, R) coming to the plate.
The sophomore shortstop nearly delivered a grand slam before the ball curved foul down the third-base side. But Robinson regrouped, sending a hard line-drive to left to plate a pair of runs.
"I was like aw, really," Robinson said of just missing out on the grand slam. "It's one of those moments you really want, it was like, alright. I'm here for my team, we need more runs. That's what I did."
Leading 4-0, Yoder finished off the game setting down the Mares 1-2-3 in both the sixth and the seventh innings to advance Donegal to Monday's semifinals at Garrett.
"I think we were trying to regroup ourselves," said Robinson of the slow start. "(After) two tough games, I think we did a good job. A good way to start off the postseason I guess."
Monday's semifinal, opposite the winner of Annville-Cleona and Hempfield, is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., with the second semifinal to follow. The finals are slated for Wednesday, May 13 at Garrett Field.
Girls' High School Softball
L-L Quarterfinal at Garrett Field, Willow Street
Donegal 4, Solanco 0
DON 1 0 0 0 3 0 0 - 4 6 0
SOL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0 2 1
WP-M. Yoder; LP-K. Burger
K-BB-M. Yoder (7IP, 10K, 0BB, 1HB) and R. Mummau; K. Burger (7IP, 0K, 4BB) and B. Borcky
2B-L. Redmond (SOL)
HR-R. Robinosn (DON)