Central York perseveres, rallies in bottom of sixth inning to top West York
West York pitcher Kayla Michaels and the Bulldogs defense held the Central York bats in check for five innings during Wednesday afternoon's YAIAA softball crossover game.
The Panthers then unleashed a nine-batter, five-run bottom of the sixth to rally for a 6-3 win against West York at Central York High School.
"I was really pleased with our perseverance," Central York coach Shane Walker said. "Listen, West York is a solid team. Those kind of games can go either way. (Michaels) pitched a great game. I'd love to say our girls just won it, but sometimes the other team gets some credit there."
Central York (11-1, 9-1 Division I) opened the bottom of the sixth with a single to center by No. 8 hitter Alyssa Stonebreaker, and Monica Albers followed with a bunt hit. Pitcher Kayla Resh reached to load the bases, and No. 2 hitter Haley Klunk got the tying run home on a force out at third.
Shortstop Kyla Caruso singled to load the bases again, and cleanup hitter Kelsey Wisner followed by ripping a double into the left-center field gap, plating both Resh and Klunk.
"I knew the people in front of me did their job and got on base," Wisner said. "I had to do my part. Ultimately, I wanted to hit it to the right side and get at least one run in. It turned out better than I could have hoped for."
After the second out of the inning, No. 6 hitter Briannah Dobson singled home Caruso and Wisner to give Central York a three-run advantage heading into the seventh.
"Briannah has had a solid year for us," Walker said. "I'm not surprised to see her come through like that. She's been a consistent hitter for us. A strong hitter."
It was a stunning turn of events for Michaels and West York, who had held the Panthers to only one hit up to that point. Klunk belted an inside-the-park homer over the West York right fielder's head in the top of the first. Michaels then retired the next 14 batters before Stonebreaker's leadoff single in the sixth.
"Kayla pitched phenomenal," West York coach Chris Ilyes said. "The defense played great behind her. We had Central on the ropes."
West York (6-7, 5-5 Division II) took the lead in the third inning as No. 2 hitter Gabrielle Ilyes belted a run-scoring triple and Jossalin Shipley followed with a single to score Ilyes. Shipley drove home another run in the fifth with a one-out double that scored Kelsie Weaver.
Central York righty Resh struggled a bit, allowing 10 hits and two walks in the game, but battled to keep the Panthers in it.
"Reshie hung in there," Walker said. "She came through it, and I think got stronger as the game went on."
West York had at least one base runner in every inning but stranded six. The Bulldogs had runners on second and third with one out in the fifth, but Resh picked up a strikeout and a pop out to the second baseman to escape.
"I wasn't getting the corners," Resh said. "That's what I go for when I'm out there (pitching). I just had to pitch my game and adjust to it."
Ilyes and Shipley were 3-for-4 and Michaels 2-for-3 for West York.
"We hit up and down the lineup," Chris Ilyes said. "We won that ballgame in every statistic except for the one that counts. The scoreboard. I couldn't have asked for anymore from the girls. It's a heartbreaking loss. No doubt about it."
Central York 6, West York 3
West York0020100—3100Central York100005x—660
WY, Kayla Michaels and Kelsie Weaver; CY, Kayla Resh and Briannah Dobson.
SO-BB— WY, Michaels 3-0. CY, Resh 3-2; W — Resh; L — Michaels; 2B — WY, Gabrielle Ilyes, Jossalin Shipley. CY, Kelsey Wisner; 3B — WY, Gabrielle Ilyes, Kayla Michaels; HR — CY, Haley Klunk.