Gettysburg softball gets crucial win against South Western
Tuesday's slate of softball action pitted two teams squarely on the District 3 playoff bubble — Gettysburg and South Western — against each other.
The Warriors came in on the outside looking in — five spots and .04 percentage points out of the current Class AAA postseason standings — while the Mustangs occupied the 16th and final playoff slot in AAAA.
It was essentially a must-win game for both squads.
South Western squandered its chance to control its own destiny, stranding eight runners on base and falling, 6-1, on a warm, muggy evening in Gettysburg.
Madelyn Yannetti pitched a complete game for Gettysburg, striking out four and giving up just one run. The senior also went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and two runs scored.
"We've brought our A-game several times this season, and this is definitely one of them," Gettysburg coach Max Laing said. "We hit and pitched well and brought them both on the same night. A lot of times we'll get one or the other, but we had both tonight."
Yannetti opened the scoring in the first with an RBI single to shallow left. She would later score on a throwing error, giving the Warriors a 2-0 lead.
The Mustangs had plenty of chances to cut into the lead, but none stung more than when Yannetti squashed a rally in the second.
Kaitlyn Chell reached on an infield single, then Allie Fleming, who also pitched a complete game, laced a double to deep right field two batters later. Tessa Gracey walked to load the bases with one out, but Yannetti struck out the next batter, and got Allie Zombro to foul out to end the inning.
"Even when she got in a deep count with the hitter, she came back," Laing said of Yannetti. "I think it takes the winds out of your sails when you're up there with a 3-0 count and runners on, then all of a sudden you're grabbing your glove to go back out in the field. She did that to them a few times."
Down 2-0 in the third, South Western had a runner at third base, but Yannetti induced a fly out before any damage was done.
"It was a combination of their pitching and our hitting," South Western coach Megan Pilarcik said of her team's inability to score base runners on Tuesday. "Maddie (Yannetti) threw really well today, and we just couldn't quite get the big hit when we needed it."
Fleming seemed to be in a groove, retiring seven straight Warriors before running into trouble with two outs in the third. Yannetti singled to left, then Taylor Mummert crushed a two-run homer to left field, pushing the Warriors lead to 4-0.
"We scored some early, then we kept it going instead of going quiet," Laing said. "That obviously helped a lot."
The Mustangs finally broke through in the fourth when Fleming's courtesy runner scored on a Kaitlin Peck RBI-single, but Yannetti cut the rally short when she got Bailey Moses, who represented the tying run at the plate, to fly out.
"She kept them off-balance and mixed things up," Laing said of Yannetti. "I don't think they knew what to expect sometimes, and it helps to keep them guessing."
Overall, South Western reached base in six of the seven innings but plated just one run. Now the Mustangs' fate will be left to the computer ratings and what happens elsewhere around the district.
"It's not a 'must-win' but we would've had control over it," Pilarcik said. "Now we'll have to wait and see. We took it out of our hands, but we're not done. There's a whole week of games left. This is a good group so I hope we get to continue with them."
Gettysburg added two more insurance runs in the fifth, sealing a crucial late-season win. The Warriors will play their regular-season finale at Red Lion on May 6.
"We've talked about the fact that they're all playoff games for us at this point," Laing said. "And even then, it may not be enough. But you can control your piece of it, and that's what we did today."
Gettysburg 6, South Western 1
SW, Allie Fleming and Kaitlyn Chell, GB, Madelyn Yannetti and Dalyce Kump
SO-BB — SW, Fleming 5-3, GB, Yannetti 4-4; W — Yannetti; L — Fleming; 2B — SW 2 (Chell, Fleming), GB (Kump); HR — GB (Taylor Mummert).