The Shippensburg Lady Greyhounds squandered a chance to move into first place in the Colonial Division with a sloppy performance against the Waynesboro Maidens Wednesday.
The Lady Hounds (3-1, 2-1 Colonial) committed four errors and ran into two big outs on the base paths in a 6-3 loss at home. The miscues were compounded by a subpar offensive performance against Waynesboro (2-2, 1-2 Colonial) starter Jadyn Horner, who held them to just 3 runs on 3 hits in 5-plus innings of work.
“We were not as good as we can be offensively. When you are only going to put up 3 runs of offense, you have got to play solid defense behind your pitcher,” noted Ship softball coach Mike Peters. “Errors always lead to extra chances for the other team, and if you can't hit your way out of those defensive problems you are going to lose.”
The Maidens jumped ahead early with an unearned run in the top of the first. A leadoff walk and an error on a bunt attempt led to a first inning RBI single from Waynesboro center fielder Alexis Rosenberry.
Rosenberry reached on an error in the third and crossed home plate on the back end of a double steal to give the Maidens a 2-0 edge.
Ship third baseman Rachel Kline started a Greyhound rally with a sharp single to lead off bottom half of the frame. Second baseman Zoe Holtry followed with another line drive single to centerfield, but Rosenberry was able to gun down Kline attempting to go first to third for the initial out.
Holtry would later score on a passed ball to get the Greyhounds on the board, 2-1, but the miscue on the base paths cost the Greyhounds at least one run.
The Maidens then got to Shippensburg ace Emily Wenner with a 3-run rally in the top of the fifth.
No. 9 hitter Jenna Stoops led off the frame with a bunt single, setting the table for the heart of the Waynesboro batting order. Leadoff hitter Kyla Kimple poked a single down the left field line, and Drew Alldredge connected on a sacrifice fly to plate Stoops. Rosenberry, the Maidens' No. 3 hitter, delivered another big hit, sending a bouncer back through the middle to drive in Kimple. The Maidens would tack on another unearned run to put the visitors ahead 5-1.
A leadoff walk to Shippensburg’s Jess Lindsay came around to score via a passed ball in the bottom of the fifth, and back-to-back walks to start the sixth forced the Maidens to dip into their bullpen.
Reliever Emily Bittinger came on to replace Horner in the circle and retired Wenner on strikes for a big first out.
Hayleigh Highlands followed with a base hit to left that drove in Amber Orndorff, but the trailing running was thrown out at third base to short circuit the Greyhound rally.
The Maidens added an insurance run in the seventh, and the Greyhounds final chance at a comeback fell short, resulting in the 6-3 final score.
Bittinger tossed a pair of scoreless frames to seal the victory for Horner. Wenner was charged with the loss.
Wenner's final line included 6 runs (2 earned), 7 hits, and 7 strikeouts over 7 frames.
“I though Emily pitched pretty well. Their first four hitters are tough, but we just helped them too much on defense and didn't do enough on offense,” Coach Peters said.
For Waynesboro, they scored a big early season victory inside the Colonial Division. They avoided their third league loss and remain squarely in the middle of the Colonial Division race.
Rosenberry was the player of the game, finishing 2-for-3 at the dish with 3 RBIs. Kimple reached base four times (2-for-3, BB) and scored three runs.
“We always struggle when we come down here. It seems like the wind is always blowing in on us,” mentioned Maiden head coach Aaron Burke. “Wenner is great. The game plan was to put the ball in play and bunt if we could. The timely hitting, which hadn't been here all year, showed up against Ship today. We forced a little action on the bases, took some chances, but more importantly we made about every defensive play when they tried to put the pressure on us. You have to do those things to beat good teams.”
The Greyhounds will have to regroup ahead of another big Colonial Division showdown Tuesday night in Greencastle. First pitch against the rival Blue Devils (3-0) is slated for 4:15 p.m.