FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – The York College softball team got off to a blistering start on Friday at the Methodist University Early Bird Tournament. The tournament, which was condensed to a one day event with very wet conditions forecasted for Saturday, saw the Spartans defeat Division II Goldey Beacom 5-0 in the opener, followed by a 4-3 win over Methodist. York then shutout Roanoke 4-0 and concluded the long day with another 4-3 win over Methodist.
In the season opening win over Goldey-Beacom, the Spartans jumped out to the lead in the top of the second as Sam Lawrence (Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty) jacked a solo homer to left. The Spartans extended the lead to 2-0 as Lawrence went yard again but this time it was an inside-the-park homer in the fourth.
York got their final three runs in the top of the fifth as Julie Norris (Frederick, Md./Frederick) singled to lead off the frame. Pinch hitter Desiree Halaka (Southampton, N.Y./Southampton) then singled to put runners at first and second. Freshman second baseman Meghan Van Meter (Hanover, Md./Archbishop Spalding) then made her first collegiate hit a memorable one as she launched a three-run homer to left-center, giving York the 5-0 lead.
That would be more than enough for freshman hurler Brittany Therres (Hughesville, Md./Thomas Stone) as she twirled a five-hit shutout in earning her first collegiate win. Therres went the distance allowing four singles and a double while she struck out one and did not walk a batter. Heather Draper took the loss for Goldey-Beacom as she allowed five runs on nine hits with four strikeouts and no walks. She falls to 0-1 with the loss.
Offensively, Lawrence was 2-for-2 with two runs scored and two RBI as she had her first collegiate multi-homer game. Van Meter was 1-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored while Norris was 2-for-3 in her Spartan debut.
Caitlin Cavanaugh had Goldey-Beacom’s lone extra base hit with her two-out double in the sixth inning.
The Spartans then squared off against the host Monarchs. York took the lead with single runs in the first and second innings. In the first, preseason All-American Kelly Smith (Riverdale, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) stroked a triple to right before riding home on a Sam Koehl (Frederick, Md./Gov. Thomas Johnson) double to left. In the second, Michelle Barwick (Cockeysville, Md./Dulaney) singled to left with one out. Barwick advanced to second on a Halaka ground out before scoring on a Van Meter single to left.
The Monarchs reached Koehl, the Spartans’ starter, for three runs in the fifth. The Monarchs had loaded the bases in the second but Koehl was able to work out of trouble. She wasn’t so lucky in the fifth as the Monarchs opened the inning with back-to-back singles. After a pop up and a force out at third, Sara Poling banged out a double to left center, scoring the Monarchs’ first run. Kenzie Maloney then drove in the other two runs with a single to left center as the Monarchs took the 3-2 lead.
York tied the game in the bottom of the sixth as pinch hitter Kristen Gray (Mickleton, N.J./Kingsway Regional) walked to open the frame. Caitlin Keppler (Owings, Md./Northern), reentering the game and running for Gray, advanced to second on Barwick’s bunt single. Keppler then moved to third on a fielder’s choice before scoring on a Van Meter single to right, tying the game at three. The Spartans left the bases loaded as they could not break the tie in the sixth.
The Spartans then recorded the win in the seventh as Lawrence opened the frame with a single to center. She stole second and then moved to third on a passed ball. She came around to score when Keppler singled to left, winning the game for the Green and White in walk-off style.
Koehl earned the win as she allowed three runs on nine hits with a strikeout and no walks. Emily Beck suffered the loss for Methodist as she allowed four runs on 10 hits with three walks and three strikeouts. She falls to 1-2 for the year.
The Spartans then faced off with Roanoke in their third game of the day. The Spartans opened the scoring in the fourth as Koehl singled up the middle to open the inning. Lawrence followed with a single of her own to put runners at first and second with no outs. After a fly out, Barwick singled to score Koehl before Lawrence scored on a Keppler ground out to short.
The Spartans struck for two more runs in the fifth as Heather Bormann (Brick, N.J./Brick Memorial) singled to third. She came around to score when Smith launched a triple to right center. Smith touched the dish after Koehl grounded out to second, giving the Spartans a 4-0 lead.
That would be more than enough for Therres as she twirled her second shutout of the day. Therres scattered five hits with three strikeouts and no walks as she tossed 14 innings in the tournament allowing no runs and 10 hits as she has gotten off to an amazing start for the Green and White. Clarissa Norwich absorbed the loss for the Maroons as she allowed four runs on eighth hits with four strikeouts and no walks in six innings of action.
Smith led the Spartans with two hits, an RBI and a run scored. Koehl was 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored while Bormann and Lawrence were each 1-for-3 with a run scored.
Sarah Caudle and Norwich each had a double for the Maroons.
In the final game of the marathon day, the Spartans again struck first as Bormann singled and moved to second on a fielding error by the left fielder. She moved to third on a Smith single and scored when she stole home.
Koehl helped her own cause in the third inning as she jacked a two-run homer to center, scoring Bormann, who had walked, giving York a 3-0 lead.
The Monarchs trimmed the Spartan lead to 3-2 on a pair of unearned runs in the sixth but the Spartans answered with a key insurance run in the top of the seventh as Gray drew another pinch hit walk. Kelly Morrow (Olney, Md./Sherwood) pinch ran and moved to second on a wild pitch, to third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch.
The Monarchs looked like they were going to salvage a split against the Spartans in the seventh as they opened the frame with back-to-back doubles to draw to within 4-3. Koehl got a sacrifice bunt that moved the tying run to third. After a walk to put the winning run at first, she got a pop foul and a fielder’s choice to earn her second win of the day.
Koehl allowed three runs, just one earned, on eight hits with four strikeouts and two walks in seven innings of work. Lesley Hewitt suffered the loss as she allowed three runs, two earned, in five innings of work. She surrendered four hits and recorded two strikeouts while she walked one. Alex Bass tossed the final two innings as she allowed a run on a hit and two walks while she also had a pair of strikeouts.
Bormann led the Spartan offense as she was 2-for-2 with two walks while Koehl was 1-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored. Smith and Lawrence had the other hits for the Spartans.
Crystal Metzger and Tabatha Stephenson each had two hits to pace the Monarch offense.
The Spartans are now off until Monday, March 2 when they begin their 10-game stay at the Rebel Games in Kissimee, FL. The Spartans play Eastern University at 11:00 am followed by a 3:00 pm game against Eastern Mennonite.