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Spring athletes tried out their artistic skills in a round of pictionary at GameTimePA's YAIAA spring sports media day. Jessica Sprenkle, GameTimePA.com

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Dallastown used patience at the plate and a stellar pitching performance to earn a 6-1, season-opening victory against Dover on Friday afternoon.

The Wildcats had an early opportunity, putting runners on second and third with only one out in the top of the first. But Dover induced two strikeouts to escape the jam.

Head coach Howie Merriman told his team to be patient and predicted other opportunities would come.

And they did, just an inning later.

Briana Rufe led off with a walk and stole second two pitches later. She moved to third on a groundout, and a batter later Rufe scored on a dropped third strike when the throw from first was off the mark.

It was déjà vu for Dallastown in the fourth as Rufe, Allison Hoffman and Sarah Deller all played a role in the team’s second run of the contest. Rufe led off with another walk and advanced to third after Hoffman singled and the throw clipped off the first baseman's glove at first. Rufe eventually scored on a ball hit back to Eagles pitcher Taylor Lamparter.

On the mound, Kelsie Merriman cruised through the Dover lineup.

At one point, Merriman retired nine batters in a row. Of the 21 outs, 19 came on the ground.

"We definitely prepared for (this game),” she said. “I kept the ball low and it worked.”

That wasn’t all for Merriman, though. She blasted a bases-clearing double in the sixth, driving in three of the team’s four runs that inning.

Coach Merriman was impressed with how his team handled the opener.

“It felt great to be out on the dirt today,” he said. “You always worry how it’s going to turn out but it worked in our favor today.

“We’ve got to work on a lot but we’ll get better.”

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