SOFTBALL: Chambersburg strands 15 in 8-5 loss to Central Dauphin
FAYETTEVILLE >> Central Dauphin pitcher Carlee Gochenaur might be seeing Chambersburg baserunners in her sleep tonight, but they won't be starring in a nightmare.
Gochenaur and her Rams somehow collected an 8-5 Mid Penn Commonwealth Division softball victory at Norlo Park on Thursday afternoon even though the Trojans put 21 runners on base and had ample opportunities to break the game wide open.
The difference was that CD (5-5, 3-5 MPC) scored seven of its runs in the third inning and went 6-for-13 with runners in scoring position. Chambersburg (5-4, 4-4 MPC) batted 13 times with runners in scoring position and had four hits. The Trojans left the bases loaded in the second, third and fifth innings and left two on in the sixth and seventh innings.
"I was glad the game was only seven innings," CD coach Ken Williams said.
One reason for Williams saying that was that his team was shut down by Leah Hunt, who entered in the third inning when Chambersburg starter Sam Bender was touched for six hits, two walks and seven runs. Hunt gave up a two-run double to Nicole Bechtel, then retired the final 13 Ram batters.
"Their pitcher is good – she throws a heavy ball and our girls couldn't square up on it," Williams said. "I told my assistant, 'Don't tell me she's a freshman.' She said, 'No, just a sophomore.'"
Hunt said, "It's the first time I've pitched this year and I was glad to get in there and help Sam out. My change of speed seemed to work and I was able to locate pretty well."
But the Rams had done enough damage before Hunt relieved. Bechtel had a single and double for three RBIs in the inning, and Bender walked one with the bases loaded. It was 8-1 after the 12-batter half inning.
"We had a couple of seeing-eye hits in that inning," Williams said.
Hunt jacked a solo home run in the second – her fifth of the season and third in three games ("I'm just glad to be in the groove," she said) – but the game's biggest play came in the bottom of the third.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Bender cracked a shot to centerfield that looked like it would be a base-clearing hit. But Rams centerfielder Alex Cunkle reached far out to make a nifty back-handed snag.
The same scenario unfolded in the sixth – bases loaded and two outs for Bender – and this time she hit a vicious liner to center that Cunkle came in on, then reached up and caught it as it was rising. That was six potential RBIs for Bender on balls she crushed.
Trojan coach Ted Bittinger said, "They had some terrific defensive plays, and that one in the third inning really made a difference."
Chambersburg did score two runs in the fourth. With two outs, Chelsea Sommerville singled, Lily Nolan walked, and Tara Harmon spanked a double to right-center to bring them both in.
In the fifth, the Trojans strung four hits together, by Hunt, Laken Myers, Caeley Etter and Sommerville, but it produced only one run.
In the seventh, down four runs, leadoff pinch-hitter Riley Burkholder got a gift when her short pop-up was dropped by the pitcher and the ball rolled to the backstop. She easily made second base, but was thrown out at third trying to get one more base.
That gaffe was magnified when Etter, Sommerville and Nolan followed with base hits to make it 8-5. But Gochenaur got the final two outs on pop-ups.
In the first game of the year, Chambersburg had beaten CD 21-4.
Williams said, "That might have been the worst score we've ever been beaten by in the history of our program. We've been coming back ever since that game."
Bittinger said, "We told the girls to be ready and not be overconfident, because CD had won their last two games, and we knew revenge would be in their minds."
Central Dauphin 8
C. DauphinChambersburgabrhbabrhbRose ss4011Etter lf5120Cunkle cf4120Smrvll 2b5131Bechtel c4023Nolan c4111Smith cr0100Harmon 3b5022Gochenr p4110Glunt ss4000Cusick 1b3100Ovrcsh ph1000McGraw rf3101Hunt dp3221Delpierre lf2211Secrist cf0000Weaver ph1000Myers 1b4020Longacr 2b3000Bender p3000Koontz dp3111Kaufmn rf3010Fortney 3b0000Brkhldr ph1000Totals31887Totals385135
E: CD 5, Chbg 2; LOB: CD 5, Chbg 15; 2B: Cunkle, Bechtel, Harmon; HR: Hunt (5); SB: Cunkle.
Bender (L,2-2) 2.178731Hunt 4.2100 0 4
JV: Chambersburg 2, Central Dauphin 1, 8 innings. Taryn Brookens had an RBI single and Kassidy Hunt singled in Natalie Saylor in the 10th for the win. Dori Loukopoulos earned the pitching win for the Trojans (7-0).