Despite having many chances to score during Tuesday’s District 3 Class AAAA softball tournament opener, Dallastown’s season was jujst two outs away from being over.
Dallastown had left six on base, several in scoring position, through the first six frames. Still, trailing Mechanicsburg by two didn’t seem to faze the seventh seed when it came to the seventh inning.
With the bases loaded for the second time in three innings, Lyndee Anders sliced a 1-2 pitch down the right field line, tying the game. Two batters later, Danielle Ludwig singled in the winning run in Dallastown’s 3-2 walk-off victory.
Dallastown improves to 17-2 and moves on to face the winner between Exeter Township and Wilson, on Thursday.
After her tying hit, Anders stole second, Jaelyn Harbold walked on four pitches and Ludwig came up and grounded a base hit past diving Mechanicsburg third baseman Megan Gloeckler.
“We are a team that always keeps fighting. Never say die, when we’ve got that energy going,” said Ludwig. “Maggie Noll was on third and I was like, ‘I just need to get a fly ball to the outfield. That’s all I need. I hit a ground ball, it went to the gap and I am happy with it.”
Anders said she kept her approach simple, especially with two strikes, but wasn’t sure her hit had tied the game.
“I was nervous coming up to bat from the last at bats. But I just tried to go up there, forget about it and focus on the bat at hand,” she said. “I looked at the first base coach and asked, did that score two?”
“I said at the (team) banquet last week if it was the last inning, bases loaded and I could name one player, it’s Lyndee Anders,” said Dallastown coach Howie Merriman.
No. 7 hitter Kayla Flemmens led off the seventh by ripping a single to center. Kelsie Merriman singled to left field and one out later, Noll walked to load the bases, setting the stage for Anders.
Howie Merriman added two previous comebacks this season occurred starting with the same part of the batting order.
“The three comebacks that we have down two or more going into the seventh inning this year we were in the same situation, 7-8-9 and they have come through,” the coach said. “We practice every day, and practice these type of situations so we were ready.”
The sides were scoreless after five, when No. 10 Mechanicsburg (16-5) got a two-out triple from pitcher Erica Smiley. Rachel Devaney followed with an RBI double.
Mechanicsburg added a run in the seventh, also with two outs, when Megan Williamson walked, moved up on a wild pitch and scored all the way from second on a Maddie Hurst infield single.