Despite playoff loss, Delone proud of season
Check out highlights from Central York's 8-1 league title win over Kennard-Dale at New Oxford High School on Wednesday. Central pitcher Courtney Coppersmith struck out 12 batters and walked none while giving up three hits.
The Squirettes finish the season 13-5 and will bring most of their players back next season.
Delone Catholic's softball season may have ended sooner than Lauryn King would have liked, but the Squirettes senior said it was hard not to be proud of what the team accomplished this spring.
The Squirettes lost to Tulpehocken, 8-2, at home in a District 3 Class 3A quarterfinal playoff game Tuesday to finish the season 13-5. While Delone has certainly had better seasons the past few years, it's been a while since the Squirettes have had to prove themselves like they did this campaign.
After losing three of the league's best players (Katie Laughman, Shelbee Holcomb and Cassie Rickrode) to graduation last spring, the Squirettes entered 2017 with lowered expectations. Still, the team won its sixth straight division title and made it back to the District 3 playoffs. Because of that, seniors like King are leaving the program without much regret.
"Expectations weren't as high, but we still proved that we're a good team," King said. "It's tough, because we had a team that played mostly travel ball, and now you have girls that don't play mostly travel ball or some that are getting out. Considering that we won our division, that's good for us."
One of just two senior starters on the Squirettes, King has been a solid center fielder and leadoff hitter and helped Delone capture a District 3 title two seasons ago. The team's other senior starter, Callie Shearer, transferred from New Oxford before last season and batted second and played shortstop this season.
Delone head coach Don Smith said both players have been underrated parts of the team's success the past few years.
"Through the years they've meant a lot, Callie just came last year and played two good years, Lauryn's been here since day one and got better every year," Smith said.
While their season may have been solid overall, the Squirettes still left Tuesday's game with a bitter taste in their mouth. The No. 4 seed in the 3A bracket, Delone struggled defensively against Tulpehocken as the Trojans bunted consistently throughout the game. The Squirettes gave up three unearned runs in the second inning and never recovered.
Offensively, the Squirettes managed five hits and struck out 10 times against pitcher Maddie Schies. Delone got its two runs in the second inning when MacKenzie Buckley hit a ground ball that led to an overthrow with runners on second and third.
More softball: Central York wins third straight YAIAA title
King said she thought some of the Squirettes had trouble staying focused with the school holding finals this week. Smith added that the team never recovered from its 14-0 loss to Central York in the YAIAA playoffs.
"There's a lot of girls that have to study tonight so that's probably distracting them too since their brain was fried all day from taking tests," King said.
Delone will bring back some of its top players next season, including pitcher junior pitcher Marlee Lackey and freshman catcher Katie Ernst.