Central York's youth and experience shine in YAIAA tourney semifinal vs. Dover
For all the experience on the Central York softball team, it was the youth that came through when the Panthers faced Dover in Friday's YAIAA tournament semifinal.
Sophomores Briannah Dobson and Lorna Colberg had two hits each, accounting for all four of Central's hits, and the Panthers defense and pitcher Kayla Resh did the rest in a 4-0 win at Susquehannock.
The Division I champs improved to 19-2 and will face Delone Catholic (Div. IV) in Monday's YAIAA championship game, scheduled for 5 p.m. at New Oxford. The Squirettes defeated Littlestown by the same 4-0 margin in Friday's other semifinal.
With one out in the bottom of the fourth, Dobson smashed double to left and Kelsey Shifflett walked. After both moved up a base on a passed ball, Colberg continued her torrid pace by ripping a two-run single, putting the Panthers up 2-0.
Colberg made it all the way to third on the play via a throwing error, and would eventually race home on a perfect safety-squeeze bunt by Monica Albers.
"I needed to hit a line drive somewhere. I had to hit it hard, if it gets through great," Colberg said of her approach in a scoreless game. "It felt great, actually I didn't feel it at all. I know when I make good solid contact, I can't even feel the ball hit the bat."
The two were back at it with one out in the sixth as Dobson singled to right. Courtesy runner Courtney Coppersmith advanced to second on a ground out and came around to score when Colberg ripped a single to left-center for her third RBI of the game.
"I feel like I am in a pretty good groove," Colberg said. "A new thing I am doing at the plate is really working for me, but I am afraid if I give it away it will mess it up. I am pretty comfortable in the box."
"It felt really good," said Dobson, who also handles the catching duties. "I love these girls, but at the beginning for the year I kind of felt a little out of place because all those seniors were there and I was just a little underclassman. Now I feel like I fit in with these girls. We are all perfect together."
But Central's seniors also showed what they're capable of, as Resh fired a five-hit shutout and the Panthers' upperclassmen made several outstanding plays in the field.
The great plays started on the game's first batter when the senior Albers ran a long way from her left field position to snare a foul ball off the bat of Alyssa Lawton.
The game ended as the Eagles had runners at first and second and Karsyn Blauser hit sharp grounder up the middle that was stopped by Panthers shortstop Kyla Caruso, who then dove to beat the runner at second.
In between, there were several other stellar plays, none bigger than in the Dover fourth. Natalie Cutright led off with a single and advanced to second on a ground out.
Taylor Lamparter followed with a ground up the middle that Central second baseman Alyssa Stonebraker dove and stopped. Although Stonebraker's throw to first was late, Panthers first baseman Rachel Butler fired a strike home to get Cutright out.
"We've had a couple of games where we've stumbled a bit but after those they've come back and played exceptionally well," Central coach Shane Walker said.
Flashy glove work wasn't limited to Central either as Dover center fielder Jordan Baum raced into the gap to rob Shifflett of a hit and saved a run.
The Division II champion Eagles (12-7) will play against Red Land on Tuesday before getting ready for the upcoming District 3 Class AAA tournament. .
"We just have to do a better job of bringing girls around once they are on base," Dover coach Lauren Craig said after her team left five on base through the first five innings, and seven for the game.
Do, Lexi Gohn, Taylor Lamparter (4) and Karsyn Blauser. CY, Kayla Resh and Briannah Dobson.
SO-BB — Gohn 1-5, Lamparter 3-0, Resh 3-1; W — Resh; L — Gohn; 2B — CY, Dobson.