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Duplissey's walk-off HR pushes Penn Manor past Waynesboro

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It’s a situation that most high school softball players dream about.

District playoffs. Extra innings. Winning run on base. You step into the batters’ box.

With one swing of the bat, Penn Manor’s Samantha Duplissey achieved said dream after crushing a game-winning home run in the bottom of the eighth inning against Waynesboro to lock up an 8-6 victory and push the Comets into the second round of the District 3 Class AAAA softball playoffs.

“I didn’t watch it go over the fence. I just ran as hard as I could and I just heard my first base coach say, ‘You gotta touch them all,’" Duplissey said. “I saw my team waiting at home plate and there’s no better feeling than that.”

Penn Manor (20-3) will face No. 11 Solanco (17-5) in the quarterfinals Thursday at Garrett Park at 5:30 p.m.

Duplissey’s dream shot staved off what could have been a nightmare for the Comets after Wayneboro scored five runs in the top of the seventh to knot the score at 6-6.

The Maidens notched five of their 10 hits in the seventh; including extra-base hits by Elisabeth Churchman, Nicole Kreimer, Jenna Powell and Tiff Stull.

Stull also smashed a home run in the second inning.

Extended Highlights: Penn Manor walks off with win over Waynesboro
Penn Manor held off a huge comeback by Waynesboro when Samantha Duplissey hit a walk-off homerun in the bottom of the eight inning to push the Comets into the second round of the District 3 Class AAAA softball playoffs on Tuesday, May 24, 2016.
Video by John Buffone.

“All year we have been in spots where it’s been tough and this team has been special. We’ve found ways to chip away and get back into games. We have just had different players all year making big plays,” Waynesboro coach Aaron Burke said. “Today we never gave up because we know that until that last out is recorded, we always have a chance with the way we hit the ball.”

Despite a rough seventh inning, Comets ace Brittany Hook racked up 16 strikeouts on the day while allowing 10 hits and a single walk.

“My teammates were just cheering me on because I was getting a little frustrated,” Hook said. “That’s one thing we do well is picking each other up.”

Hook also flashed at the plate on Tuesday; smashing a home run in the second inning and tallying four total RBI.

“I was frustrated and just wanted to take my anger out on the ball. It was a good pitch and I hit it hard and it went over,” Hook said.

The loss ends Waynesboro’s season with a 13-7 record; a big improvement on their 5-15 2015 campaign.

“We started back in January with the goal of making this tournament and we worked so hard with our athletic trainers in our gyms taking ground ball after ground ball and learning a new approach to hitting and it showed,” Burke said. “We may not have been the best today, but we came a heck of a long way.”

As for Penn Manor, their win has earned them a date with fellow L-L participant Solanco. The Mares upset no. 6 Central Dauphin, 1-0.

“I think this game is going to help up with our confidence,” Hook said. “I think this is going to give us more energy to go further in districts.”