Pitchers Star as Spartans Split with DeSales in Non-Conference Twinbill

Pitchers Star as Spartans Split with DeSales in Non-Conference Twinbill

YORK, PA-The York College softball squad split a non-conference doubleheader with DeSales University on a cool and overcast Sunday afternoon in York. The Spartans won game one 2-1 while the Bulldogs returned the favor with a 2-1 win in eight innings in the nightcap. The Spartans are now 22-8 for the campaign while DeSales is now16-8.

In game one, DeSales threatened in the first as they got two runners on but Spartan starter Megan Lahner (Finksburg, Md./Westminster) extracted herself from the jam, keeping the Bulldogs off the board. In the bottom of the first, the Spartans got on the board courtesy of a bases loaded walk to Amanda Atieh (West Milford, N.J./West Milford). York left the bases loaded in the inning as they could only get one run in the frame.

York pushed the lead to 2-0 when Ali Merrifield (York, Pa/Dallastown) jacked a solo homer to deep left in the fourth inning.

The Spartans had a chance to add to the lead in the sixth as they had runners at second and third with one out but could not push an additional insurance run across.

That inability to drive in that insurance run almost cost the Spartans in the seventh. Jamie Pfitzenmayer singled to second with one out in the inning. A sacrifice bunt moved her to second and she then stole third. Pfitzenmayer scored when Kylie Fehnel spoiled the shutout with a triple to left center. With the tying run at third and two outs, Lahner coaxed Kerri Andrews into a ground out to short to end the game.

Lahner earned the win with a complete game as she allowed one run on eight hits with five strikeouts and one walk. Lahner improves to 10-2 with the win.

Kristen Cybularz started for the Bulldogs and went just one inning as she allowed one run on two hits and two walks. That one run was enough to tag her with the loss as she falls to 5-3. Larissa Tenley relieved Cybularz and was solid as she allowed one run on five hits with one walk and one strikeout.

The Spartan offense was paced by Merrifield as she was 3-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI. Atieh was 1-for-2 with her first-inning RBI.

Amanda Kensecki was 2-for-3 for DeSales while Kate Steiner also had two hits for the Bulldogs. Fehnel was 1-for-2 with her RBI triple.

In game two, the two starting pitchers were completely dominant through the first seven innings of play. Spartan starter Megan Mickles (Havertown, Pa./Haverford) allowed the Bulldogs five base runners over the first seven innings of action. Bulldog starter Jen Lococo was even better as she allowed just two base runners over the first seven innings. The Spartans’ first hit came from Michelle Barwick (Cockeysville, Md./Dulaney) as she had an infield single. Lococo then retired the next 14 Spartans she faced before Kelly Smith (Riverdale, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) had a one-out single to center in the seventh.

In the eighth, the tiebreaker came into play. The Bulldogs began their eighth inning with Kelly Moran getting put on second base. She was sacrificed over to third before Pfitzenmayer stroked a triple to right center, scoring Moran with the game’s first run. Pfitzenmayer then scored when Maddie Roxandich squeezed her home as the Spartans had a play at the plate but could not get the tag down on Pfitzenmayer. Mickles would get out the inning without further damage but the two runs would eventually prove to be enough for the visitors.

In the Spartans’ half of the eighth, the green and white had runners at second and third with one out. Kristen Gray (Mickleton, N.J./Kingsway Regional) singled to short and Barwick came home to score when the shortstop attempted to pick off the runner at second and the second baseman dropped the ball. Lococo got the final two outs of the game with a strikeout and a fly out as the tying run was left on second and the game-winner standing on first.

Neither pitcher deserved to lose but Mickles absorbed the hard-luck loss as she allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits with eight strikeouts and two walks. She falls to 10-4. Lococo allowed one unearned run on three hits with three strikeouts and no walks. She improves to 8-3 with the win.

Kensecki, Moran, and Pfitzenmayer had the three Bulldog hits while Smith, Barwick, and Gray had York’s safeties.

The Spartans return to action on Thursday, April 19 as they host a second round CAC Tournament game at Spartan Stadium. The game time and opponent will be determined after Tuesday’s first round games.