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Dover softball claims first division title in 19 years

DOVER >> Pitcher Lexi Gohn and catcher Karsyn Blauser have spent the past four seasons as part of the Dover's varsity softball team.

Before Friday afternoon's game against West York, the two were the only teammates recognized as part of senior night.

Then the battery mates went out and helped make a little bit of Eagles history.

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Dover used a nine-run, 15-batter fifth inning that propelled the Eagles to a 10-3 win over West York. The Dover win, combined with Susquehannock's loss at Gettysburg, gives the Eagles the YAIAA Division II championship outright. It marked Dover's first division title since it won the Division II championship in 1996.

"It's amazing," Gohn said. "We have worked so hard for this since we were freshmen. It's just awesome."

Blauser said the goal goes back longer.

"I think we've wanted this since the two of us were in seventh or eighth grade," Blauser said. "This is a dream come true. To do it our senior year on senior night ... we did it. We wanted it and we finally got it. And Lexi pitched great."

Blauser and Dover coach Lauren Craig said the team has "2015" written on a whiteboard to remind them of their quest to have this year added to the softball championship banner in the gym.

"To have (Gohn and Blauser) accomplish this on senior night in their last home game is something," said Craig, who first met Gohn and Blauser during her first making period as a Dover teacher four years ago. "It was great. I'm very proud of them and the entire team.

"They have been saying in all our team meetings that (winning the division) was one of their goals. I showed (the board) to them again at practice on Tuesday and asked them what it means to them. They all said they want that on the banner."

West York pitcher Kayla Michaels stymied Dover's bats for the first three innings, only allowing a game-opening walk to Alyssa Lawton in that span.

"Kayla has pitched some pretty good ball lately," said West York coach Chris Ilyes. "You can't fault that."

After Jordan Baum's one-out bloop single broke up the no-hitter in the fourth, she eventually came around to score the tying run on a fielder's choice hit by No. 5 hitter Cassandra Root.

Dover (10-6, 9-4) suddenly awoke in the fifth. A one-out dropped fly ball to center off the bat of Blauser was followed by an infield single from No. 9 hitter Cierra Hockensmith. Three straight doubles by Lawton, Baum and Natalie Cutright gave the Eagles a four-run lead.

"That's defined our season," Ilyes said. "One error and the floodgates open. It seems like we can't recover. We have to learn to kick the dirt, as I call it, and not let it bother you. Move on to the next play. There were other plays we had after that and we didn't make them. It's part of the game. Other players have to pick everybody up. We didn't do that."

A single by Gohn along with another fielding error helped score Cutright and chased Michaels from the game.

"We were hitting from the start, but West York is a good team and was making some good plays," Gohn said. "We kept hitting and they finally began to fall in, and they made a few mistakes. We did what we had to do."

West York (8-8, 7-6) got two seventh-inning runs on an error and a groundout off the bat of designated hitter Cheyenne Warner. Gabby Ilyes had a sac fly for the Bulldogs' first run in the third inning.

"We were ready to play," Craig said. "We had three straight days of practice since we lost on Monday to Gettysburg. That's unheard of this late in the season with makeup games and all that. I think we just came out ready to play."

Gohn went the distance for Dover, scattering six hits while striking out six and walking one. The righty picked up four of her six strikeouts after the fourth inning.

"They were hitting off me, so we started calling the change-up more," Gohn said. "They started hitting less after that. It always throws the batters off."

Dover 10, West York 3

West York0010002—362Dover000190x—10111

WY, Kayla Michael, Jossalyn Shipley (5) and Kelsie Weaver; Do, Lexi Gohn and Karsyn Blauser.

SO-BB — WY, Michael 1-2, Shipley 0-1. Do, Gohn 6-1; W — Gohn; L — Michael; 2B — WY, Kelsie Weaver. Do, Alyssa Lawton, Jordan Baum, Natalie Cutright.