Spring Grove falls in PIAA softball opener
The Spring Grove softball team fell to Cedar Cliff, 13-9, in the District 3 Class 5A title game on Thursday. Matt Allibone
GRANTHAM – Spring Grove got into trouble with walks and strikeouts in a 5-2 season-ending loss to Bishop Shanahan in the PIAA Class 5A softball first round on Tuesday afternoon.
The Rockets (18-7) struck out 15 times against Eagle starter Devon Miller, who allowed six hits and three walks.
“She can move the ball well,” Spring Grove head coach Mark Hull said. “She threw the rise ball well, and a lot of our girls were swinging at pitches above their heads.”
Two Rocket batters found their aim against Miller. Leadoff hitter Brianna DiCandeloro was 2-for-3 with a walk, and clean-up batter Caroline Cornman was 2-for-2 with a walk and a double. The rest of the lineup was 2-for-21.
Meanwhile, Spring Grove starter Julia Wivell allowed four of her seven walks in the first two innings, allowing the Eagles to put pressure on early.
“I think Julia lived on the edge the four years she's been with us,” Hull said. “They got runners, but they didn't score in the first, and with the bases loaded in the second they still only got one.”
The Eagles, who threatened with their first two batters walking in the first, set up a two-out rally in the second with a hit batter, a walk and an infield single to load the bases. Miranda Bedics drew a walk to score Alexis Peterson for a 1-0 lead.
Bishop Shanahan increased its lead to 2-0 in the third without any free passes. Anne Weyand doubled to right to lead off the inning, moved to third on a fly ball and scored on Peterson's single.
Spring Grove broke onto the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth, with Cornman doubling to center, and courtesy runner Sara Jones scoring on Hannah Gartrell's sacrifice fly.
But the Eagles benefitted from a Spring Grove misplay in the fifth to regain a two-run advantage, 3-1. Weyand walked to start the frame, and after a sacrifice bunt and fly ball was on third with two outs. Peterson popped up, but the ball dropped between the third baseman and the catcher, allowing Weyand to score.
Bishop Shanahan got some more breathing room with two runs in the sixth. Miller reached on an infield error that plated Emily Sano, and Casey McAllister singled to center to score Miranda Bedics for a 5-1 advantage.
The Rockets tried to generate some two-out magic in the seventh. DiCandeloro singled to center and scored on Bryn Sporer's double to left. But Miller struck out Wivell to end the game and a season that included a District 3 finals appearance.
“When we got through the first half of Section 1 with one loss to Central, that was when the girls realized they could play against the good schools and win, and win by scores of 2-1, 3-1,” said Hull, looking back on the spring.
Bishop Shanahan will play Lampter-Strasburg in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
Bishop Shanahan 011 012 0 – 5 7 2
Spring Grove 000 100 1 – 2 6 1
Devon Miller and Katy Newton; Julie Wivell and Carolina Cornman.
K-BB: Miller 15-3; Wivell 3-7.
2B: Anne Weyand, BS; Carolina Cornman, SG.