WILLOW STREET — It took a little longer than expected, but the Elizabethtown Bears softball team pulled through.
Bears pitcher Lauren Allison took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, Mackenzie Peters had three hits, and Sadie Seaman had a bases loaded double as Section Two runner-up Elizabethtown (16-5) dispatched Section Four co-champion Pequea Valley (14-6), 7-2 in the first game of the L-L quarterfinals at Garrett Field.
Both Allison and Braves’ pitcher Sabrina Ryan were sharp from the get-go as the teams went scoreless through the first four innings.
“We came out ready to play, we were loud, we had a lot of energy,” Allison said, who struck-out seven and walked just one, crediting pitch location for her strong start.
The Bears stranded a pair of baserunners in both the first and fourth innings, Ryan racking-up nine strikeouts on the afternoon, before leadoff batter Jocelyn Zook was hit by a pitch to start the fifth.
After Kirsten Mumma’s sacrifice bunt was thrown wide, moving Zook to third base, Etown’s Payton Halbleib followed with another bunt. Ryan fielded, and checking the runner at third, threw Halbleib out at first. But on the throw, Zook scampered home, the throw-and-tag from first baseman Lenea Riehl to catcher Tara Doratt coming a hair too late.
Etown added on in the sixth. Emily Brubaker reached on an error, Peters singled to left, and with one out Allison was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Seaman, who served as designated player for much of the season, came on to pinch-hit for nine-hole batter Olivia Cook.
But Seaman responded, lofting a two-strike fly ball over leftfielder Olivia Weaver to bring in two runs.
“We do that a lot with her,” Allison said of the Bears’ pinch-hitter. “She knows she needs to get her job done and I think she was prepared, she took some good batting practice before the game and she came up ready to hit.”
Etown added two more in the inning to go ahead 5-0 before Pequea Valley’s bats came to life.
Weaver singled to lead-off the sixth, breaking up Allison’s no-hitter. With two outs, singles by Alee Feister and Mackenzie Dienner brought home Weaver, with catcher Nicole Baker throwing out Feister at third base to end the inning.
That proved huge as Ryan tripled to lead-off the seventh, scoring on Riehl’s single. But by then, Etown had a 7-1 lead and Allison and her teammates were eager to move on.
Etown will face either Section Three runner-up Donegal or Section One champion Penn Manor in Monday’s semifinal, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. back at Garrett Field.
“We know we’re going to be playing a tough team,” said Allison. “We have to come in and focus and do what we can do.”
Elizabethtown 7, Pequea Valley 2
ET 0 0 0 0 1 4 2 — 7 8 0
PV 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 — 2 5 3
SO-BB — Lauren Allison 7-1; Sabrina Ryan 9-1
WP — Allison; LP — Ryan
2B — ET 1 (Sadie Seaman)
3B — PV 1 (Sabrina Ryan)