For a team with seemingly nothing to play for, Delone Catholic continues taking care of business in Division IV of the YAIAA softball league.

The Squirettes have already wrapped up the division title, securing their spot in the upcoming YAIAA tournament. Yet, judging by Tuesday's visit to York Catholic, Delone is going to keep pushing every team in its path.

Freshman pitcher Cassie Rickrode did plenty of damage with her bat and her arm, leading the Squirettes to an 11-1, six-inning victory against the Fighting Irish.

Delone remains unbeaten at 12-0 in the division and 14-0 overall, while York Catholic fell to 6-7, 7-8 overall. The scariest part is how young the Squirettes are. Coach Don Smith knew he had a special group and has found the right motivation.

"It's more trying to do fundamental stuff for districts, because the teams we are going to play then are going to be fundamentally sound," Smith said. "We are trying to do fundamental stuff that gets us ready."

Rickrode struck out eight and walked only one. At the plate, she went 3-for-3, reached base all four times and drove in three runs, including the first and last runs of the game.

Her second-inning triple down the right-field line plated fellow frosh Shelbee Holcomb with the first run, and her courtesy runner, Lizzy Hernandez, scored on a Lauren Alascio sacrifice fly.

In the third inning, Holcomb and Casara McCleaf drove in runs on consecutive sacrifice flies, and Rickrode followed with a bad-hop RBI single that Irish second baseman Brook Ricks had no chance on. The play gave the Squirettes a 5-0 lead.


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"I know that when I have bad days hitting I can go out and pitch, I just have to forget about it," Rickrode said. "It helps a lot knowing everyone else is doing good and I can go out and hit too ... makes it more fun."

York Catholic managed a run when singles from Arianna Sindelar, Liz Lynch and Carrie Fix loaded the bases and Juely Baez brought in Sindelar with a sacrifice fly.

However, every other time the Irish got runners on base, Rickrode got even tougher. York Catholic left the bases loaded in the first and third innings and stranded nine for the game.

"When you get runners on, you think more about how you have to step it up and throw hard to try and get the next batters out so they can't score," Rickrode said. "Our defense is really good. I know when I am out there I can trust my defense. I know if they get hits, they will get it in fast."

"That is one of the things we have done all year. We have kept away from the big inning. One or two is about the most anybody has gotten," Smith said. "It happened today, bases loaded, nobody out, and they only got one. That is important and will be important down the line."

Shayna Rider's fourth-inning sacrifice fly put Delone up 6-1. A McCleaf single, combined with three walks and an error, plated three more Squirette runs in the fifth.

Holcomb and Rickrode drove in runs with singles in the sixth inning.
@stevenavaroli; 771-2060
  

DELONE CATHOLIC 11, YORK CATHOLIC 1
Delone Catholic   023 132 -- 11 8 1
York Catholic   001 000 -- 1 7 3
   DC, Cassie Rickrode and Casara McCleaf; YC, Amanda Summers and Juely Baez. SO-BB -- Rickrode 8-1, Summers 1-8. W -- Rickrode. L -- Summers. 3B -- DC, Rickrode.