YORK, Pa. – The York College softball team pulled off a sweep of Capital Athletic Conference newcomer PSU-Harrisburg in a pair of contests by scores of 6-3 and 5-4 on Wednesday afternoon at Spartan Stadium on Breast Cancer Awareness Day.
Sophomore Natalie Fritz (Fayetteville, Pa./Chambersburg) and freshman Katie Maloney (Aston, Pa./Sun Valley) led the Spartans (12-18, 4-6 CAC) with four hits each on the day. Fritz knocked in two runs while Maloney drove in one run, scored two runs and hit two doubles.
After surrendering three runs to the Lions (6-14, 1-7) in the top of the first inning in game one, the Green and White exploded for five runs in the bottom of the second to take a 5-3 lead. Jena Ruby (Hampstead, Md./North Carroll) got the scoring started with an RBI double to right center to score Ashley Chenoweth (Fredericksburg, Va./Stafford) from second. A two-RBI single by freshman Amanda Lewis (Aston, Pa./Sun Valley) tied the score up 3-3 as her single drove in Ruby and Carleigh Ruleman (Owings, Md./Northern).
The Spartans were not done scoring in the second as Maloney drove in Vanessa Mendez (Lititz, Pa./Warwick) with a double to right center and then a sacrifice fly to shallow right field by freshman Mackenzie Ewell (Hamilton, N.J./Steinert) scored Lewis from third to cap off the second-inning scoring surge.
An RBI walk by Lewis in the third with the bases loaded scored Ruby from third for the Spartans' sixth and final run of the ball game.
Jennifer Taff (Germantown, Md./Clarksburg) collected the win and improved to 8-11 as she pitched a complete game, giving up three runs on eight hits with no strikeouts and no walks.
PSU-Harrisburg's Amanda Hartman suffered the loss and falls to 1-6 as she tossed just two innings, giving up five runs on three hits with one strikeout and three walks.
York got off to a consistent scoring pace in game two, scoring one run in each of the first two innings with an RBI single by Fritz in the first and an RBI-ground out by Lewis in the second.
The Lions wiped away the York lead in the top of the sixth, first with an RBI single up the middle by Gabrielle Wolfe and then two batters later, a three-run blast by Erika Love put the Lions ahead 4-2.
Maloney made two critical assists to get the last two outs in the sixth and prevent the Lions from doing any further damage. The freshman shortstop made a full-extension diving stop up the middle, got up and fired to first for out number two. Then on the next play she stayed composed and completed the throw to first after fielding a hard shot that deflected off the glove junior pitcher Sara Thacker (Ijamsville, Md./Urbana).
York responded in the bottom of the sixth with two runs of its own, started by a leadoff bomb to left center by Chenoweth. The Spartans were seeing the ball well and making solid connections as the next batter, Lewis, poked a shot into right center, but an acrobatic catch by the center fielder at the warning track prevented Lewis from reaching base.
The Green and White tied the game with an RBI single by Fritz that scored Maloney from third, who initially reached on a walk.
After neither team was able to get a run across in the seventh, the game moved to extra innings and the use of the international tiebreaker format came into play where each team places a runner on second base to start each inning.
York held PSU-Harrisburg to zero runs in the top of the eighth, which meant the Spartans needed to move their runner just two bases for the win.
Alyssa Molino (Montgomery, Pa./Montgomery) was the runner put on second to start the bottom of the eighth and she was moved to third following a sacrifice bunt by Chenoweth. The next batter up was Lewis who was able to lift the ball deep enough to center field to score Molino on the sacrifice fly.
Taff picked up the win and improves to 9-11 as she tossed the first two innings and then came back in to pitch the final two frames for a total of four innings. The freshman allowed zero runs and just one hit with two strikeouts and zero walks.
Kayla Seyfert suffered the loss and falls to 1-2 as she came in to pitch the final two and one-third innings, allowing one run on one hit with one strikeout and zero walks.
The Spartans return to action Saturday as they travel western Maryland to face Frostburg State in a CAC doubleheader. First pitch for game one is slated for 1 p.m.
Natalie Fritz and story photos courtesy of David Sinclair