MANHEIM — Anyway you can swing it, a winning season is something to celebrate.
On the strength of opportunistic hitting and another strong outing from pitcher Maddie Walter, the Manheim Central Barons clinched a winning record by besting Pequea Valley 3-1 Wednesday night at Manheim Central high school.
The Lady Barons took matters into their own hands early when Jillian Wolgemuth looped a two-out single to score Reagan Rohrer (1-for-3, R) in the bottom of the first inning.
“Just to put one on the board right away just gives us a little bit of confidence that we can go and hopefully score more runs,” Wolgemuth said. “It always fires you up when one of your teammates gets out there because it’s an opportunity to score.”
Case in point, Manheim Central (11-4 overall, 10-1 Section Three) added two more runs in the second inning when Rohrer brought home Tayler Lauver, who had doubled, and Emma Beamesderfer, who had reached on a bunt.
“We have, for hitting, a lot of diversity,” said Beamesderfer, who despite having hit a homerun earlier in the season took the selfless approach to extend the inning. “It’s good to hit homeruns, but it’s also good to lay down the bunt, too.”
Wolgemuth’s third inning single was the last baserunner off Braves’ pitcher Sabrina Ryan (11K, 0BB), who settled-in nicely for Pequea Valley (9-5, 7-4 Section Four).
Walter, meanwhile, kept the Braves’ hitters off balance by hitting all four corners of the strike zone. The Braves’ Makenzi Dienner reached on a first-inning bunt and clean-up batter Lenea Riehl singled up the middle in the fourth off Walter as the Barons’ sophomore racked up eight strikeouts through the first six innings.
In the seventh, Ryan reached on an error to lead off the Braves’ inning. After a groundout to first base, a nifty fielder’s choice by third baseman Codi Bollinger to second baseman Emily Stolzfus led to the second out of the inning before Olivia Weaver broke-up the shutout with a two-out, two-strike line single to left.
But Walter got Claudia Shaubach to ground back to the circle for the final out.
“For pitching, like, all the games, she’s always doing well and we’re always there to back her up,” Beamesderfer said of Central’s sophomore ace.
Winning seasons are plenty familiar for Wolgemuth and Beamesderfer, who have enjoyed their fair share of success on the field hockey pitch the last several seasons.
But both are excited to see their final season of softball culminate with the program’s return to relevancy in an always difficult Section Three race.
“It’s awesome, especially because I joined a little bit later and all of a sudden we’re kind of turning our whole team around,” said Wolgemuth, a Duke field hockey recruit who has been told on more than one occasion that her softball swing bears an uncanny resemblance to her powerful field hockey swing.
Beamesderfer, who will play field hockey for Alvernia University next season in goal, reiterated Wolgemuth’s point.
“Like she said,” said the senior captain, “the past few years we kind of struggled a little bit, but this year to actually have a chance at postseason, that’s nice.”
Manheim Central 3, Pequea Valley 1
PV 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 1 2 1
MC 1 2 0 0 0 0 x — 3 5 2
SO-BB — PV Sabrina Ryan 11-0; MC Maddie Walter 0-0
WP — Maddie Walter; LP — Sabrina Ryan
2B — MC 1 (Tayler Lauver)