SOFTBALL: Hempfield creeps past Shippensburg in district opener
LANDISVILLE- Behind a brick wall defense and a solid outing from pitcher Lauren Lichtenwalner, no. 5 Hempfield (17-6) was able to hold off no. 12 Shippensburg (15-6), 1-0 in the opening round of the District 3 Class AAAA softball playoffs.
"I didn't have everything working today so that was rough, but the defense was behind me all game so as the game went on, I knew I could keep counting on them," Lichtenwalner said.
The Lady Knights scored the lone run of the game in the bottom of the second when Bree Wingett hit a groundball with the bases loaded with one out. Although Wingett was thrown out at first, Lexie Unangst was able to score from third to put Hempfield on top.
"I was proud of the girls when they (Hempfield) had bases loaded and no outs and we only gave up one," Shippensburg coach Mike Peters said.
That small lead was all it took for Lichtenwalner to get in her groove as she no-hit the Greyhounds through five innings.
"It's easier if you start game at a really high level and keep riding that the whole way through," Lichtenwalner said.
Shippensburg would have their best opportunity in the top of the sixth when Morgan Fetter and Courtney Coy both singled with one out.
"It really boils down to that in a one run game, you have to get that hit when you have people in scoring position and we had an opportunity in the sixth," Peters said. "Most times throughout the season we have found a way to knock them in but tonight we didn't."
Lichtenwalner would shut the door on the Shippensburg momentum by getting Nicole Baker to ground out and then striking out Madison Miller.
"She located her pitches well and jammed us on some pitches. We weren't able to hit anything very hard or in the gaps," Peters said. "It was just an off-night hitting and unfortunately in a one run game, that can hurt you."
The Hempfield junior finished the game with five strikeouts while allowing two hits and three walks in seven innings pitched.
"I think today what you saw was some of her maturity winning this game," Hempfield coach Brian Lohr said. "As a freshman, she was in there firing away and now she's more of a thinker."
Lichtenwalner's counterpart, Shippensburg's Courtney Coy, went the distance for the Greyhounds and allowed five hits and one walk.
"I thought Courtney Coy pitched a great game against a good hitting team," Peters said. "She had several 1-2-3 innings and the defense was solid."
The Lady Knights will now look on to Thursday when they will play no. 4 Lower Dauphin, who downed no. 13 Solanco, 6-4 on Tuesday.
"Playing in the L-L League, particularly Section One, on any given night, a team can win. Our whole season has been like this,"Lohr said. "What you saw there was there was the experience of playing in a league that keeps that pressure on you."
"They're a good team and beating them gives us more momentum and more energy for the next game and hopefully our bats will wake up a little bit too," Lichtenwalner said.
Girls' High School Softball
District 3 Class AAAA First Round
Hempfield 1, Shippensburg 0
S 0 0 0 0 0 0 0- 0 2 1
H 0 1 0 0 0 0 0- 0 5 1
WP-L. Lichtenwalner; LP-C. Coy
K-BB-M. Lichtenwalner (7IP, 5K, 3BB); C. Coy (6IP, 0K, 1BB)