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SOFTBALL: Big 3rd inning leads Shippensburg past Greencastle-Antrim

SHIPPENSBURG >> The Mid Penn Colonial Division softball race just got even more interesting.

Two days after Greencastle-Antrim beat James Buchanan to push both of their records to 6-1 in the division, Shippensburg used a four-run third inning to jump ahead and beat the Blue Devils 5-3, putting itself right in the mix at the top of the division.

The Lady Hounds (12-5) are 6-2 in the division, moving into a tie for second place with G-A (11-5) and one game behind the Rockets (7-1). Ship plays JB on Thursday, and if Shippensburg wins that game, there could be a three-way tie atop the division.

"The girls really wanted this one, and they showed it," Shippensburg coach Mike Peters said. "We're in Class AAAA this season, so we really needed this one to help ourselves in the district rankings."

Greencastle out-hit the Lady Hounds 9-6, but a couple of costly defensive plays helped Ship jump out to a 5-0 lead.

"We came into this game on a high, but the girls have to start making plays on defense," Blue Devil coach Mark DeCarli said. "I've been preaching it to them all season, but I can't go out and catch the ball for them. They have to look themselves in the mirror and turn it around."

In the bottom of the first inning, Ship's Lexi Wolfe led off with a bunt, and an error allowed her to reach first. A sacrifice bunt moved Wolfe all the way to third when nobody covered the base, and Morgan Fetter hit a sacrifice fly to put Ship on the board.

Then in the third, Ashley Macedo and Brooke Barrett led off with singles to put runners on the corners with no outs. After a popout, Kayla Carbaugh scored Macedo with a groundout, and Fetter came up and hit a line drive to centerfield. The ball appeared to hang up long enough for the centerfielder to catch it, but the ball fell in for a single to put runners on the corners.

Fetter then stole second, and Courtney Coy laced a liner into left-centerfield for a two-run double. Taylor Davidson followed with a towering fly ball to leftfield, but Greencastle couldn't track it down and Coy scored to give the Lady Hounds a 5-0 cushion.

"We're all excited, because we knew we needed this for districts," said Coy, who also got the win on the mound. "I was just looking for something to hit on that play, and I was glad I was able to give us a cushion."

Ally Brown, who pitched for Greencastle and gave up just one hit after the third inning, said, "Our defense has been a roller coaster all season. Deep down I know we all still believe in each other, but we need to come together and start showing it if we're going to get back up from this."

Brooke Zeger hit a solo home run – her second of the season – in the fifth inning to put the Devils on the board. In the seventh, Erin Bontrager singled and Alicen Hoover doubled to lead off the inning. Alison Shockey then hit a small popup behind the plate, and Fetter spun around with her mask still on and dove to make the catch for the first out of the inning.

Peters said, "You can't give Greencastle extra outs, and that play by Morgan was fantastic."

Coy then got Morgan Wagaman to popout on a bunt attempt, and after Ali Sherman scored Bontrager and Hoover with a single, Brown bounced out to second to end the game.

"We came out with a lot of energy, but then we got down and it seemed like the girls started feeling sorry for themselves," DeCarli said. "We can't win games like that. We have to be 100 percent ready to go no matter if we're up 10 or down 10."

NOTES >> Macedo, who has mainly been a courtesy runner for Ship this season, got the start in rightfield and made the most of it ... She made a sliding catch in the field, had a single, a walk, a sacrifice bunt and also scored for the Hounds ... Hoover finished 3-for-3 for the Blue Devils, and Sherman was 2-for-4.

Shippensburg 5, Greencastle 3

GreencastleShippensburgabrhbabrhbWagamn cf4000Wolfe 2b3100Sherman lf4022Crbagh cf2001Brown p4010Fetter c2111Gelsinger c3010Coy p3112Ward 3b3000Davidsn lf3011Zeger 1b3111Miller 1b3010Bontrgr ss3110Kline pr0000Hoover dp3130Barmnt ss1000Reitz rf0000Macedo rf1110Walck rf2000Barrett 3b3110Shockey ph1000Totals30393Totals21565

E: GA 1, Ship 1; LOB: GA 5, Ship 5; 2B: Hoover, Coy, Davidson; HR: Zeger (2); SAC: Carbaugh, Barmont, Macedo; SF: Fetter; SB: Fetter.

Greencastle pitching

Shippensburg pitching

WP: Brown.

T: 1:15.