SOFTBALL: James Buchanan pulls out gutsy win over Shippensburg
SHIPPENSBURG >> James Buchanan's softball team had a lot to play for Tuesday afternoon against Shippensburg.
The Rockets needed a win to keep a stranglehold on the Mid Penn Colonial Division, and they also had a chance to have their best start in history. And they had to do it all without reigning Public Opinion Player of the Year Taryn Miller, who was out with an injury.
But JB faced the pressure and put on a gutsy performance, pulling out a 7-6 win in nine innings. James Buchanan pushed its record to 9-0 (5-0 MPC), marking its best start in program history.
"This game says a lot about this team," Rocket coach Eric Reed said. "We talked to the girls before the game that we are more than one player. We're a team. The girls believed in themselves and did an excellent job."
The Lady Hounds (6-4, 3-2 MPC) trailed 6-4 but scored a run in the fifth and another in the sixth to tie the game and send it to extra innings. In the top of the ninth, JB's Carly Caron led off the inning with a single, and after an out, Shania Fogelsonger (2-for-4) singled. Nina Shatzer then lined a ball down the third-base line, and it bounced right off the end of Brooke Barrett's glove, loading the bases. After a strikeout, Charity Miller hit a ball to shortstop, and Nicole Baker fielded it cleanly, but she struggled to get the ball out of her glove, and Caron scored to give James Buchanan the lead.
"It was such an exciting win," Fogelsonger said. "We all said that we were playing for Taryn today, and we got it done."
Shippensburg coach Mike Peters said, "Every time we play them, the fans get a quality game. I thought we could have tightened things up a little on both sides of the ball, but overall I'm proud of the girls' effort. They played to the last out."
Ship jumped out to a three-run lead in the third inning. Kayla Carbaugh started things with an infield single, and Morgan Fetter, who finished 3-for-5 with two doubles and two runs scored, doubled to put runners on second and third.
Baker then hit a single and advanced to second on the throw home to put runners on second and third again, and Courtney Coy laced a two-run double to left-centerfield to give Ship a 4-1 lead.
But the Rockets answered with five runs in the fifth to take back the lead. Cara Bender started the inning with a single, and after an out, Brooke Pittman and Fogelsonger both singled to bring home Bender. Shatzer followed with a two-run double to tie the game at four, and after Miller was hit by a pitch and Jennae Piper walked, Kayla Cummings came through with a two-run single to give JB a 6-4 lead.
Shatzer improved to 4-0 on the mound for the Rockets, giving up six runs (five earned) on 10 hits.
"I have a great defense behind me, so that really calms me down," Shatzer said. "I can let them put the ball in play, and I don't have to worry about errors."
Reed said, "Nina had a gutsy performance today, and our defense played great, especially in extra innings."
Outside of the fifth inning, Coy was also impressive for Ship. She gave up seven runs (five earned) on nine hits with eight strikeouts. She pitched five three up, three down innings.
Said Coy, who also finished 2-for-4, "Overall, I think we had a decent day. We just have to keep working, and everything will come together."
"I really felt bad for Court, because I thought she deserved the win in this one," Peters said. "She threw a heck of a game, and I think the sky's the limit for her."
NOTES >> Madison Miller hit a leadoff double for Ship in the eighth inning, but Ashley Macedo, who was pinch running, was stranded on third with one out ... Baker finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs for the Lady Hounds ... Bender and Caron, hitting eighth and ninth in the lineup, respectively, both went 2-for-4.
James Buchanan 7` Shippensburg 6, 9 innings
J. BuchananShippensburgabrhbabrhbPittman cf5110Wolfe 2b5100Foglsngr ss4121Crbagh cf5110Shatzer p5012Fetter c5230Kline cr0100Baker ss4122Doyka c5000Coy p4022Miller 1b4200Macedo cr0100Piper 2b4000Miller dp3010Cmmngs lf3012Lawson4011Bender 3b4121Barrett 3b2000Caron rf4120Horst lf4000Porter 1b0000Totals38796Totals366105
E: JB 1, Ship 4; LOB: JB 8, Ship 6; 2B: Shatzer, Fetter 2, Coy, Miller; SAC: Fogelsonger, Cummings, Miller; SB: Miller, Bender, Pittman.
WP: Shatzer 3; HBP: by Coy (Miller).