GRANTHAM, Pa. – The York College softball team surrendered a pair of non-conference contests to Messiah College on Wednesday afternoon by scores of 8-1 and 9-0 at Starry Field.
Freshman Mackenzie Ewell (Hamilton, N.J./Steinert) was one of two Spartans who recorded two hits on the day as she went 2-for-5 and scored York's only run.
In game one, the Spartans (13-24) found themselves in a deep hole early, falling behind 5-0 after just one inning of play.
Winning pitcher Mallory Rutledge did not do York any favors as she nearly silenced the Spartan bats by giving up just three hits and striking out 11 batters.
Two of those hits came in the third inning. First, with a single down the left field line by Ewell and later an RBI single by Jena Ruby (Hampstead, Md./North Carroll), that drove in Ewell from second.
Rutledge picked up the win for Messiah (25-7) and improves to 12-5 as she tossed a complete game, giving up one run on three hits with 11 strikeouts and no walks.
Jennifer Taff (Germantown, Md./Clarksburg) received credit for the loss and falls to 10-16 as she threw six innings, giving up eight runs (five earned) on 12 hits with no strikeouts and no walks.
Game two started much like the first, as Messiah jumped out to a first-inning lead by putting four runs on the board with four hits.
The Spartans had an opportunity to answer back in the second and possibly change the complexion of the contest. Payton Hill (Staunton, Va./Fort Defiance) led off the inning with a single through the left side and moved to second following a Spartan ground out. Now with two outs, Ewell singled through the right side, but Hill was forced to hold up at third. York then popped up to end the inning and was unable to get either of its two base runners home.
The Spartan bats stayed quite for the remainder of the game until a lone single by Hill came in the sixth but did not lead to any run production.
With a 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth, the Falcons decided the game had gone on long enough as they tallied the necessary amount of runs, with two outs, to end the game early with a double, a triple and a home run on consecutive batters.
Claressa Mees earned the victory for Messiah and improves to 11-2 as she threw six innings, giving up four hits, no runs, four strikeouts and two walks.
Sara Thacker (Ijamsville, Md./Urbana) was credited with the loss and falls to 2-7 as she tossed five and two-thirds innings, giving up nine runs (five earned) on 12 hits with three strikeouts and two walks.
York will return to action on Thursday as it will play host to McDaniel College in a non-conference doubleheader. First pitch of game one from Spartan Stadium is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Mackenzie Ewell photo courtesy of Taylor Gamber