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SOFTBALL: Greencastle rushes out to big lead and holds on against Shippensburg

GREENCASTLE >> After allowing five runs in the bottom of the first, Shippensburg's softball team started to worry about taking a big loss.

"It was one of those games that looked like it could've been a 10-run rule early on," Lady Hound coach Mike Peters said.

Things got even better for Greencastle-Antrim in the second inning, when the Blue Devils scored two more runs. Although Ship did a nice job of minimizing the damage, it was not enough to overcome the deficit, and the Blue Devils walked away with a 7-3 Mid Penn Colonial Division victory.

"We knew we had to play our hardest because this could be a big win for us," G-A first baseman Brooke Zeger said. "The bunting really pumped us up and got us started to get a good game going."

Greencastle (5-2, 2-1 MPC) showed off its bunting skills early and started a quick but high-scoring inning.

Jess Root and Morgan Wagaman led off the first with back-to-back bunt singles, and they were moved along by a sacrifice bunt from Ally Brown. A walk loaded the bases, and Erin Bontrager hit the first pitch she saw for a single to drive in the first run of the game.

"When our first two girls bunt and get on, it's basically like a double," Greencastle coach Mark DeCarli said, "because you know they're gonna get to second. If they don't steal, we'll find a way to move them over. We practice bunting all the time. Being aggressive is a big part of how we play this game."

Before the inning's end, Zeger had smacked a two-RBI double, Shayla Walck plated a run with a line drive hit and the Blue Devils led 5-0 after only 15 pitches from Ship starter Courtney Coy.

"They just hit the ball really well," Coy said. "They were placing it in places that we couldn't get to it, and they kept finding different holes."

The Hounds (5-2, 2-1 MPC) allowed two more runs on four hits, including RBI singles from Zeger and Liz Ward, in the second inning.

But then Greencastle went silent. Coy and the Hound defense finished the game with four perfect innings, but they couldn't capitalize on enough opportunities on the offensive side of things.

In the top of the fourth, Ship finally made some noise. Nicole Baker reached on an error to start, and Coy followed her with a single. Maddie Kline then drove them both home with a double to left-centerfield, and Kline rounded the bases on an RBI single from Lexi Wolfe.

But other than that frame, the Lady Hounds never had more than one hit per inning.

"We left a couple out there late in the game, and I thought a few more hits could've made the difference," Peters said. "I thought our hitters adjusted fairly well, but we didn't get that big one that we needed."

NOTES >> Kayla Carbaugh and Coy each had two hits for the Hounds ... Every Greencastle batter had at least one hit ... Despite taking the loss, Coy fired just 64 pitches in six innings of work ... Brown struck out three and allowed only one earned run in the complete-game victory.

Greencastle 7, Shippensburg 3

ShippensburgGreencastleabrhbabrhbWolfe 2b3011Root dp3110Crbaugh cf3020Shocky ph1100Fetter c4000Wagmn cf4110Baker ss4110Brown p3010Coy p4020Gelsingr c2210Macedo cr0100Bontrgr ss3111Kline lf3112Zeger 1b3123Lawson rf3010Ward 3b3011Miller 1b2000Walck rf2011Davidsn ph1010Shermn lf3010Barrett 3b3000Reitz 2b0000Totals30393Totals277106

E: Ship 1, GA 1; LOB: Ship 8, GA 4; 2B: Kline, Baker, Zeger; SAC: Carbaugh; SB: Lawson, Wolfe.

Shippensburg pitching

Greencastle pitching

T: 1:28.