YORK, PA – The York College softball team closed out their regular season with a doubleheader split against Misericordia University on a brisk Wednesday afternoon in York. The Cougars captured the opener 5-3 before the Spartan offense erupted for an 11-3 five inning win in the nightcap.
York concludes the season with a school record 36 victories as they went 36-9. Misericordia is now 21-14 with the split.
In game one, the Spartans were never able to get on track against Cougar starter Kat Lucenti. The Spartans loaded the bases in the bottom of the first but were unable to get on the board. That inability to score would haunt them through the remainder of game one. The Cougars struck for a run in the second and two more in the third as they took the early 3-0 lead.
The Spartans finally got on the board in the fourth courtesy of an RBI ground out by Megan Van Meter (Hanover, Md./Archbishop Spalding) and a Lindsay Wood (Owings, Md./Northern) RBI single up the middle.
The Cougars quickly answered York's rally in the bottom of the fourth by getting those two runs back in the top of the fifth, making life much more difficult on the sputtering Spartan offense.
York got a single run back in the fifth on a Sam Lawrence (Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty) RBI ground out but York would not be able to get anything going in the sixth or seventh innings as the Spartans lost for just the second time at home in 18 games.
Lucenti improved to 15-10 with the win as she allowed three runs on eight hits with five walks and a strikeout in her seven innings of work. Spartan sophomore Brittany Therres (Hughesville, Md./Thomas Stone) absorbed the loss, just her sixth of the year, as she allowed three runs, one earned, on five hits with a strikeout in three innings. Megan Lahner (Finksburg, Md./Westminster) threw the final four innings, allowing two runs on seven hits with a pair of strikeouts.
Nicole Hoskins led the Cougar game one offense as she was 3-for-4 with a run scored and RBI. Gina Urbon added two hits and two RBI while Kat LaBrie was 2-for-4 with an RBI from the designated player position. Courtney Novajosky added two hits and a run scored from her leadoff spot in the Misericordia lineup.
York received two hits from Michelle Barwick (Cockeysville, Md./Dulaney), Lawrence, and Wood as the three combined for six of the Spartans' eight hits. Lawrence also had an RBI and a run scored while Wood and Van Meter also plated one run for York.
In game two, the Cougars jumped on Therres early with a single run in the top of the first. However, unlike game one, the Spartans took advantage of their first inning opportunities. The Spartans loaded the base with one out but a strikeout got the Cougars closer to getting out of the frame without damage. Lawrence came up huge with a two-run double to the wall in left to give the Spartans a 2-1 lead after one inning.
The Green and White continued the offensive onslaught in the second as Barwick jacked a two-run homer off the scoreboard, growing the lead to 4-1. Therres then scored Heather Bormann (Brick, N.J./Brick Memorial) later in the inning with an RBI single to right.
The Spartan offense continued to click in the third, exploding for five runs, increasing the lead to 10-1. Barwick had a pair of RBI with a double down the left field line. Bormann followed with an RBI single while Therres closed out the Spartan inning with a two-run single to left.
The Cougars got a pair of runs in the top of the fourth but York increased the lead back to eight with an Erin O'Leary (Coatesville, Pa./Bishop Shanahan) RBI single in the fourth as the Spartan lead was 11-3. Therres gave up a double in the top of the fifth but kept Misericordia off the board as the Spartans closed out the five inning win.
Therres picked up the win, as she is now 27-6. She allowed three runs, two earned on eight hits with two strikeouts in her five innings. Therres leads the nation in pitching victories in addition to blowing away the previous school record of 16 wins.
Karissa Kross took the loss as she allowed seven runs on nine hits with two strikeouts and two walks. She falls to 3-4 for the year.
Barwick concluded a great day with three hits, four RBI, and two runs scored including his first home run of the year in game two. Bormann ended her regular season career with three hits in as many at bats while she also had three runs scored and an RBI. Therres was 2-for-3 with three RBI while Brittany Schlorff (Hatboro, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) added two hits and a pair of run scored.
Maria Kidron led the Cougars as she was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Hoskins added a hit and an RBI while LaBrie was 1-for-3 with a run scored.
The day was the final regular season in the careers of Bormann, Lawrence, Wood and Julie Norris (Frederick, Md./Frederick). The Spartans accumulated 109 wins in four years as they fashioned a .652 winning percentage in four years.
The Spartans must now wait to see if their season will be extended with a berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Green and White, who sit firmly on the bubble of the national tournament, have made one previous tournament experience as an at-large squad in 2001 in Salem, VA. The tournament field is announced on Monday, May 10.
Photo: Spartan seniors (L to R): Lindsay Wood, Heather Bormann, Sam Lawrence, and Julie Norris. Photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh (Sharp Edge Photography)