MILLERSVILLE — As the season progresses, good hitting usually catches up to good pitching.
That’s welcome news for the Penn Manor Comets, who had a day of big hits in support of ace Brittany Hook Friday afternoon in a 9-0 victory over Section One opponent Warwick.
The Comet offense pounded-out 12 hits, five for extra bases, as Penn Manor (13-2 Overall, 11-1 League) stayed tied with Hempfield atop Section One with four league games to play.
A three-run lead after two innings ballooned to 7-0 in the bottom of the fourth on five straight two-out hits by the Comets, beginning with a single from Bri Wood-Hickey (3-for-3, 3 runs, RBI). She and Abby Busswood scored on Pam Perez’ deep double to right before Danielle Wright tripled to centerfield, coming in when Hook’s blooper fell into left-center for a double.
The Comets never looked back, Hook working around four Warriors’ hits and a trio of defensive errors to maintain the shutout.
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
All nine of Penn Manor’s runs came with two outs in the inning.
Penn Manor took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on Morgan Yingling’s two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the first that scored Perez and Hook.
As the teams’ leadoff batter, Perez (2-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBI) expressed a mentality for working hard and staying focused.
“Just keep your mind on the game and hit the ball,” said Perez, a junior transfer from McCaskey, whose presence in the lineup should not be underestimated. “It’s going pretty well,” she added, with Wood-Hickey in full agreement.
The two players combined on both ends of a sacrifice fly off Warwick starter Amanda Herr in the second inning. Perez lofted a shot towards the line in right to score Wood-Hickey, who had dropped the first of her two triples to the same spot.
“My triple that was down the line, Amanda throws outside, so it’s going to go to right field,” said Wood-Hickey, who later lined a triple off relief pitcher Nicole Mengel, scoring Yingling before plating the final run, herself. “The (second one) just came off the bat so nice.”
Incidentally, Herr was coming off a 1-0, eight-inning shutout of Section Two contender Garden Spot on Wednesday, but the Comets offense was simply in another gear.
“We have grown a lot,” Wood-Hickey stated. “I mean every practice in the cage hitting, hitting… we’re strong on our defense, we’re very confident with our defense, we’re just trying to get the confidence up with our bats and it’s obviously working.”
Warwick got hits from Katelyn Seibert (2-for-3), Mack Russell, and Marissa Treibley after Hook had no-hit the Warriors earlier in the season.
But the Comets kept the Warriors off the board Friday as Hook notched eleven strikeouts and cut-down a runner at the plate on a delayed steal in the fourth inning, before the bats put together the game-changing rally in the bottom of the inning.
“Oh, it would have been such a great feeling (to have nine runs of support),” said Wood-Hickey, who spent parts of her first two seasons pitching for the Comets. “Brittany is probably feeling so good right now. I don’t know how many strikeouts she had, but she’s doing great this year.”
Warwick travels to Cedar Crest Monday. Penn Manor travels to Manheim Township before hosting Hempfield — a 3-1 winner over Cedar Crest — on the Comets’ Senior Night Wednesday.
Penn Manor 9, Warwick 0
WW 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 04 4
PM 2 1 0 4 2 0 x — 9 12 3
SO-BB — WW Amanda Herr 1-0, Nicole Mengel 3-2; PM Brittany Hook 11-0
WP — Hook; LP — Herr
2B — WW 1 (Katelyn Seibert); PM 2 (Pam Perez, Brittany Hook)
3B — PM 3 (Bri Wood-Hickey 2, Danielle Wright)