YORK, PA – The York College softball team split a Sunday afternoon doubleheader against Bridgewater in York. The Spartans won game one 4-3 in eight innings before the Eagles stormed back to take game two, 5-3, in the nightcap.
The Spartans celebrated Senior Day, honoring their five seniors prior to game one. York is now 18-12 overall while the Eagles stand at 23-9 after the split.
In game one, the Spartans played long ball to get on the board early. In the bottom of the second, senior Karen Carr launched a high fly ball to left that dropped just over the wall, giving the Spartans a 1-0 lead. Junior Brittany Schlorff followed Carr with a sharp single up the middle. She then rode home on a majestic two-run homer to deep left from sophomore catcher Rachel Klein as the Spartans led 3-0.
Bridgewater got one run back in the third as Kasey Anderson had a bunt single, stole second and scored on a Hilary Rees RBI double to left. Rees advanced to third on an error but was cut down at the plate on a fielder's choice.
The Eagles struck for two more runs in the top of the fourth, tying the game at three. The Spartans hurt themselves with a pair of errors in the frame. However, the Green and White managed to wiggle out of the jam as Bridgewater left the bases loaded.
Bridgewater had a great chance to notch the game-winning run in the top of the seventh as Lauren Childress hit a ringing double to left center to lead off the inning. Drew Rutledge then coaxed a walk out of Britanny Therres who re-entered the game to pitch for York. Sarah Heretick flew out to deep center for the first out. Therres then got a strikeout of Heather Jenkins and a harmless pop out to short off the bat of Kristen Combs to extricate herself from the Eagle uprising.
York got the game winner in the bottom of the eighth. With Kelly Smith on second due to the tiebreaker, Therres laid down a beautiful bunt single that just hugged the first base line, moving Smith to third. Therres moved to second on defensive indifference before Carr walked to load the bases. Schlorff then hit a smash to third base that was fielded but the throw to the plate was too late as the Spartans' junior picked up the game winning hit.
Therres notched the win as she started, was lifted for freshman Chelsea Bock, and then returned to finish out the game. Therres tossed five innings, allowing three runs on five hits with a pair of walks and a strikeout. She improves to 10-8 with the win. Bock threw three innings, allowing a pair of hits with two walks and a punch out.
Heather Jenkins suffered the loss as she allowed four runs, three earned, on 10 hits with six strikeouts and a trio of walks. She falls to 12-3 with the loss.
Klein led the Spartans as she was 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored on her first collegiate home run. Schlorff was 2-for-2 with the game winning RBI in addition to a run scored. Senior Michelle Barwick added two hits to the 10-hit Spartan offense.
Childress paced the Eagle offense as she picked up three of Bridgewater's seven hits. She also scored a run for the guests. Rees, Jenkins, and Combs each had RBIs for the Eagles.
Game two was highly entertaining as the Eagles broke out on top in the second inning courtesy of a Rees RBI single to center.
York answered with three runs in the bottom of the second as the Green and White banged out three hits while the Eagles committed two errors in the frame. York got their first run when senior Desiree Halaka laid down a safety squeeze that Eagle third baseman Childress threw into right field. With Spartans at the corners, Halaka stole second and the throw escaped into centerfield, allowing Carr to score the Spartans' second run of the frame. Sophomore Cory Urkuski then had a pinch-hit single to center to score Halaka with the Spartans' third run of the of inning.
Bridgewater cut their deficit to 3-2 with a single run in the top of the fourth. It could have been a much bigger inning for the Eagles but they left the bases loaded as the Spartans maintained the lead.
York would keep the lead until the seventh inning. The Eagles started the fateful seventh inning with a Spartan error as Aven Thomas reached on the miscue. Thomas went to second on a passed ball and then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Childress then drew a walk after apparently striking out on a check swing. The appeal on the check swing was denied as the Eagles set up shop with runners on the corners. York got a break on the next batter Drew Rutledge banged into a fielder's choice as Barwick made a great play to gun down Thomas at the plate. A walk then loaded the bases for Bridgewater and Combs cleared the sacks with a three-run double.
York would be unable to mount a charge in the bottom of the seventh as they settled for the Senior Day split.
Thomas earned the win as she went the distance, allowing three runs, one earned, on seven hits in seven innings. She improves to 6-1 for the year as she registered five strikeouts and just one walk.
Therres was tagged with the loss in relief as she allowed three runs on three hits with two walks in her 3.0 innings of work. Bock tossed the first 2.1 innings, allowing a run on three hits and a walk while Urkuski tossed 1.2 innings, allowing a run on three hits and a walk. The three Spartan pitchers did not record a strikeout while they combined to walk four.
Rees paced the Eagle offense with three hits and an RBI. Combs was 1-for-3 with three RBI while Thomas was 1-for-4 with an RBI.
Barwick led the Spartans as she was 2-for-4 while Carr was 1-for-3 with a run scored. Urkuski was 1-for-1 with an RBI.
The Spartans return to action on Tuesday when they travel to Frostburg State University for the opening round of the double elimination Capital Athletic Conference tournament. First pitch is set for 4:00 pm.
Photo: York College senior softball players on Senior Day at York College. Photo courtesy of Athletic Communication practicum student Chris Meegan.