Four-year starter departed for college, leaving Warriors with big shoes to fill on softball diamond

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Glancing at the school record book for Gettysburg High's softball program, one would see the name of 2015 graduate Madelyn Yannetti populating it quite often.

But the four-year starter graduated last spring and matriculated 20 miles north to Messiah College. Leaving the Warriors in a position where they will need to find a new anchor in their batting order and a new starting pitcher.

Yannetti is the school's all-time record holder in career hits, doubles, home runs, runs batted in, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage on the offensive lists. Pitching-wise, she is second in career wins, second in strikeouts and third in innings pitched.

"It's a completely different lineup without her in there. She hit third in the order since her first game as a freshman and was our starting pitcher for the last three years," Gettysburg head coach Max Laing said. "You're always going to a have a different team every year. You're going to have players playing different positions and hitting in different spots in the order than they did the previous year."

Gettysburg opened the 2016 campaign with a come-from-behind 5-4 victory over New Oxford on Monday and received a solid pitching performance from sophomore Shanna Martin.

Making her first varsity appearance in the circle, Martin went the distance and allowed one earned run and six hits with two strikeouts and two walks.

"We know that Shanna is going to throw strikes and we want to play good defense behind her," Laing said. "It was her first time pitching for the varsity and there were definitely some nerves. But she's pitched before and I kept reminding her of that throughout the game."

Martin said of her game, "I haven't pitched in a varsity game before, but I've pitched a lot on the travel team that I've played for."

Junior Bri Crushong, who moved from second base to shortstop following Dani Cool's graduation, took over Yannetti's spot in the batting order and drove home three runs with a pair of singles to lead the comeback from down 4-0.

Crushong batted .295 with 19 RBI a year ago.

"We've done a lot of tee work to prepare for the season," Crushong said. "I feel like the coaches have done a good job of getting us ready to play."

Also returning offensively for the Warriors are senior first baseman Taylor Mummert (.387, 17 RBI), senior second baseman Dalyce Kump (.346, 14 RBI) and junior catcher Alexis Kennedy (.298, eight RBI).

"We have some talent back this year and I feel that we will be able to score runs," Laing said. "We have to be able to put pressure on our opponents, and hopefully, we can come through enough when we have the chance to score."

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