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MOUNT JOY — The Pioneers of Lampeter-Strasburg High School can hit at their home park, or they can hit in neighboring Willow Street. They can hit at their rival’s home field, and heck, they can hit in a three-car garage.

Regardless of venue, however, this season’s Pioneers are a hit, clinching the L-L Section Three title Monday afternoon thanks to a 6-2 victory over rival Donegal.

The undefeated Pioneers (19-0 overall, 15-0 Section Three) pounded out 11 hits including four doubles to back starter Jordan Weaver and momentarily keep the Indians (16-4, 13-3) from clinching an L-L playoff berth.

“We’re a little bit of rivals,” deadpanned sophomore Hanna Garber, who along with big-sister Bri hosted the team in their family garage for some extra hitting this weekend. “All weekend we were hitting and mentally getting prepared and we’re glad we could come out and hit.”

Things started well in the opening frame as Bri Garber singled to right, and following Jordyn Kondras’ sacrifice, scored on Hanna Garber’s single through the left side.

“Deep in the count, I don’t do very well against (Donegal pitcher Makyla Yoder) so I just decided to hit at the first pitch,” said Hanna Garber, who finished 3-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and three runs scored.

“It’s just a confidence booster,” said Weaver, who’s double extended the first-inning lead to 2-0. “Especially that first inning where we scored those runs. It was nice.”

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The Pioneers claimed the Section Three title with a 6-2 win over Donegal on Monday, May 9, 2016. Video by Daryl Simione.

TOUGH STARTS

Neither Yoder, who was battling an illness, nor Weaver, who ultimately walked four batters, had her best stuff on Monday.

But the L-S lineup tacked on runs in the third and fifth innings. Hanna Garber doubled in the third inning, and following another sacrifice, scored on Weaver’s grounder.

Kondras led-off the fifth inning with a double, scoring on Garber’s single. Delaney Baker doubled to the centerfield wall before Robin Feaster’s bunt single and Caroline Braungard’s sacrifice fly brought in a pair for a 6-0 cushion. Catcher Kylie Weaver also hit a double for the Pioneers.

For her part, Jordan Weaver settled into the middle innings, recording six straight outs via the ‘K’ and finishing with 11 strikeouts overall. Her defense also helped, with Bri Garber patrolling the second base side of the infield and Baker snagging several low-throws at first base.

“I’m confident in myself that I know I can just come back and bear down and throw strikes,” Weaver said of facing a lot of full counts early on. “If I strike them out okay, but if they hit the ball, even better, and my defense will do the work and get them out.”

Donegal manufactured a pair of runs in the sixth inning, aided by back-to-back hits from Natalie Orr and Kaitlyn Witmer (2-for-3, RBI). Rachael Overlander, running for Orr, came in on a wild-pitch to cut the deficit to 6-2 before Weaver ended the threat with a strikeout.

“You always want to compete when you play against L-S and I thought they hit the ball well,” said Donegal head coach Wayne Emenheiser. “I thought we hung in there though and bounced back a little bit, got a couple runs to help our confidence maybe for a future game.”

NOT LOOKING AHEAD

Donegal likely must wait until Wednesday to find out if they make Saturday’s L-L quarterfinals, depending on the result of the Pioneers’ senior night contest versus Manheim Central (12-5, 11-2 pending Monday night’s outcome).

“Playing Donegal and winning against them always means a lot,” said Weaver, one of five L-S seniors along with Bri Garber and Feaster. “I’m not worried about Saturday yet; I’m still looking at senior night on Wednesday. That’s a big game there still.”

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Lampeter-Strasburg 6, Donegal 2

LS          2  0  1    0  3  0    0 — 6  11  0

DN         0  0  0    0  0  2    0 — 2  04  1

SO-BB — LS Jordan Weaver 11-4; DN Makyla Yoder 1-0, Mackenzie Bedwell 3-1

WP — Weaver; LP — Yoder

2B — LS 4 (Jordan Weaver, Kylie Weaver, Hanna Garber, Delaney Baker)

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