Dover Eagles keep cool, come back to sink Suburban
Dover softball head coach Lauren Craig expects her team to hit well every game.
So, when the Eagles trailed by five runs after two innings during Friday's game against York Suburban, the home team didn't panic.
Dover reliever Taylor Lamparter came in to quiet the Trojans' bats, giving the Eagles hitters time to rally. Eight of the nine Eagle batters had at least one hit and as a team, and Dover collected a total of 15.
No. 9 hitter Cierra Hockensmith had a crucial at bat for the Eagles, which ended with a double with one out in the bottom of the seventh.
Hockensmith scored when Alyssa Lawton's blooper fell into left field, giving the Eagles a thrilling 7-6 win.
"We have been hitting better than we have in the past," Craig said. "We're a better hitting team this year. We have confidence throughout the lineup that at any time, any one of them can step up and hit."
Hockensmith tried twice to bunt her way on in the seventh, before doubling to left center.
"After those two bunts, I just used my mechanics and it felt perfect," Hockensmith said. "I hadn't bunted in a while, but it calmed me down and gave me the chance to get the timing down."
Lawton followed with her second hit and second RBI of the game, which proved to be the game winner.
"She was just trying to make contact and (the team) just needed her to hit the ball hard somewhere. It was just wonderful how it all worked out," Craig said.
Dover (5-2), battled back after trailing 5-0 after the visitors scored five runs on five hits and four walks during the second inning.
Lamparter relieved Dover starter Lexi Gohn with the bases loaded and two outs in the second.
The freshman lefty walked in one run, but after a wild pitch turned into an out at home plate, Lamparter settled in. She would go on to record 12-straight outs and finished the game with four strikeouts and two walks with just one run allowed.
"Taylor has a lot of confidence," Craig said. "She has great chemistry with (catcher) Karsyn (Blauser). She has that maturity."
Suburban (3-3) finally got to Lamparter in the seventh inning, when Hannah Taylor led off with a single. A sacrifice bunt by Jess Clancy moved Taylor to second and Brooke Day's double to left-center field scored Taylor to tie the game at 6-6.
"Our girls came in and did what they needed to do," Trojans head coach Jennifer Weitzel said.
Day led the Trojans by going 3-for-4 with two RBIs. The Trojans are in a tight Division III battle with Kennard-Dale and Littlestown and with Friday's contest against the Division II Eagles, Suburban knows there is still room for improvement.
"We just have to learn from the small mistakes," said Weitzel of the two Suburban errors. "The errors are going to kill you in a game like this."
Natalie Cutright paced the Eagles offense with a 3-for-3 showing. The junior had 3 RBIs and walked once.
"I know when she steps to the plate that good things are going to happen," Craig said of Cutright. "She is the stability factor in our lineup."
Jordan Baum scored three runs for Dover and provided a huge play from her center-field position in the top of the seventh, when she threw out Day at home plate for the second out of the inning.
Gohn, Blauser, Cassandra Root and Abbey Lower each finished with two hits for Dover.
Dover 7, York Suburban 6
YS, Olivia Eytcheson and Emmy Turybury; Do, Lexi Gohn, Taylor Lamparter (2) and Karsyn Blauser.
SO-BB — YS, Eytcheson 1-3. Do, Gohn 0-3, Lamparter 4-2; W — Lamparter; L — Eytcheson; 2B — YS, Brooke Day. D, Cierra Hockensmith.