Littlestown swiped two wins from Delone Catholic in the regular season. The Squirettes had no intention of letting it happen a third time in a YAIAA softball semifinal Friday. Cassie Rickrode threw a three-hit shutout and Mikayla McCleaf drove in two runs, providing Delone with a 4-0 victory and a bit of revenge over their rivals.

In the first two meetings, the Squirettes were outscored, 13-3, but Friday was a different story.

Delone jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning courtesy of a sacrifice fly by Rickrode and an RBI single by McCleaf.

"This time we put the pressure on them," Delone Catholic manager Don Smith said. "Last time we didn't push them."

The two runs would end up being all Rickrode needed to secure a victory. The right-hander retired the first eight Bolts in order before Lindsey Snyder singled in the bottom of the third.

"The more she pitches, the better she gets," Smith said of Rickrode, who was pitching for the fourth time this week. "You would think she needs some rest, but she keeps getting better. And when she gets everything working like she did today, she's tough to beat."

The Squirettes added two insurance runs in the third. McCleaf drove in a run with an infield single, then, Shelbee Holcomb scored on the same play after Littlestown's throw sailed over the first baseman's head.

"It's really hard to beat a team three times," Littlestown manager Henry Wardrop said. "That's a good team, and we were fortunate to beat them twice in the regular season."

Rickrode seemed to get stronger as the game progressed. All five of her strikeouts came in the last three innings, and only one Littlestown base runner reached second base all game.

"I guess it was just a good day," Rickrode said with a laugh. "I don't go to strike a lot of girls out. I go for groundballs and rely on my defense."

The Bolts' best chance at a rally came in the bottom of the fifth when Snyder and Vickie Skillman hit back-to-back, two-out singles. But Rickrode forced Michaela Yealy to ground out to end the inning.

"It feels really good because the last two games we went down, but we really wanted this one," Rickrode said. "We knew we had to hit and that happened for us. Our heads were in it and we knew what we needed to do to win."

The Bolts' season isn't over just yet. They qualified for the District 3 Class AAA playoffs.

"Losing sucks, period," Wardrop said. "But we went 17-3, won the division and still have the whole district tournament. It's just one game. Now we regroup for May 19 (districts)."

Meanwhile, the Squirettes will move on to face Central York in the YAIAA title game at 5 p.m. Monday at New Oxford High School.

"The big schools have an advantage because they have more students to pick from, but all we can do is give it our best," Smith said of the pending matchup with Central. "We hung with them two years ago, so we'll see how it goes this time."

Delone Catholic 4, Littlestown 0

Delone Catholic2020000—451Littlestown0000000—033

DC, Cassie Rickrode and Lauryn King, LT, McKenzie Somers and Kaitlin Yealy

SO-BB — DC, Rickrode 5-2, LT, Somers 5-2; W — Rickrode; L — Somers.

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