Two of the best teams from the L-L League went head-to-head tonight in a 5A, PIAA softball semifinal game at Millerville University’s Seaber Stadium. It was a “packed house” as they say.
Scoring two runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh inning, the Pioneers (22-5) defeated Solanco 6-4 and will now play West Alleghany in Thursday’s final at Penn State Nittany Lion Softball Field. This will be their second finals game in three years.
The Pioneers held a 2-0 lead after five innings. But Solanco, who had been held hitless by L-S’ Brynn Baker through 4 innings, erupted in the bottom of the fifth. Sierra Dean ripped an RBI single to plate Jadelyn Eshelman. Then up stepped Skyla Townsley who promptly tripled to tie the game. Alyssa Henretty then produced an RBI bunt/throwing error that scored Townsley and the Mares took a 3-2 lead.
Still in the bottom of the fifth, with only one out and runners on second and third, the Pioneers’ center fielder Summer Peters made a shoe-top catch off of a Kara McClune sinking line drive. She then doubled-off the runner at second base. That was the defensive play of the game.
Daisy Frank opened the top of the sixth with a triple over the head of the Solanco center fielder. Julz Garber bunted her way on. Then Pioneers’ double threat starting pitcher Brynne Baker, hit a 2-RBI single up the middle to give her team a 4-3 lead.
But Solanco (24-3), the co-winner of the L-L League, does not go away easily. Skyla Townsley tied the game in the bottom of the sixth inning with an RBI single. With the go ahead runner at third, Hanna Phillips ripped a shot to Cam Blantz at shortstop, who whipped the ball across the diamond a nano second ahead of the runner.
To the top of the seventh inning we go. With runners on second and third base, the Pioneers’ Julz Garber slapped a single to left field scoring Meghan Taggert and Cam Byler, with what would be the game winning RBIs.
Baker tossed a complete game for the Pioneers to pick up the victory, scattering four hits and four runs while striking out four batters.
Solanco’s amazing season with 24 wins, the most in school history, finally comes to an end.
Enjoy the highlights. This was a great to watch.
Interview with Julz Garber who drove in winning run:
Interview with Brynne Baker winning pitcher:
Interview with Kylie Weaver Pioneers’ catcher: