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Spartan Softball Tournament Run Ends In Heartbreaking Walk-Off Fashion
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The York College softball team's run in the 2014 Capital Athletic Conference Softball Tournament came to a close on Friday afternoon in Newport News, Va. after giving up a two-run walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh to hand over a 7-6 victory to Frostburg State University.
The Spartans (13-22) took a 1-0 lead through one half inning of play when freshman Katie Maloney (Aston, Pa./Sun Valley) scored from third on a Bobcat error. Maloney reached base following a leadoff double.
After the Bobcats (18-10) tied up the score in the bottom of the first, York exploded in the third with five runs to regain the lead.
The Spartans loaded the bases with just one out after two walks by Mackenzie Ewell (Hamilton, N.J./Steinert) and Carleigh Ruleman (Owings, Md./Northern), followed by a single down the right field line by Jena Ruby (Hampstead, Md./North Carroll). The next batter up was Vanessa Mendez (Lititz, Pa./Warwick) who singled through the left side to knock in Ewell from third.
Then with two outs and the basses still juiced, Annie Hartman (Landisville, Pa./Hempfield) came up with a huge three-RBI double to right center to drive in Mendez, Ruby and Ruleman. Amanda Lewis (Aston, Pa./Sun Valley) was the next Spartan batter at the plate and she singled up the middle to score Hartman from second.
At this point, York held a 6-1 advantage through two and a half innings of play.
Frostburg did not get discouraged by the deficit, as there was still plenty of game still to be played.
The Bobcats chipped away at the Spartan lead, tallying one run in the third, two in the fourth and one in the sixth, to cut the deficit to 6-5 heading into the seventh.
Ruby started off the seventh for York with a single, followed by Mendez who reached on a fielder's choice. Back-to-back fly outs ended the inning for the Spartan offense and left a crucial insurance run stranded on the bases.
With one runner on and two outs recorded in the bottom of the seventh, Frostburg loaded the basses following a walk and a single to left field. Up to the plate stepped Hannah Tavik who already had three hits on the day including a home run and a double. This time up, Tavik poked a single up the middle and drove in two runs to end the game in walk-off fashion.
Tavik also picked up the win in the circle for the Bobcats and improves to 11-6 as she tossed seven innings, giving up six runs on eight hits with two strikeouts and five walks.
Jennifer Taff (Germantown, Md./Clarksburg) received credit for the loss and falls to 10-15 as she threw six and two-thirds innings, allowing seven runs on 14 hits with one strikeout and five walks.
Lewis and Ruby paced the Spartans with two hits each. Lewis drove in a run and Ruby scored a run.
Hartman recorded a career-high three RBI as she finished the day 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored.
After suffering back-to-back losses, York is eliminated from CAC tournament action and will return to the diamond on Wednesday in a non-conference doubleheader at Messiah. First pitch for game one is scheduled for 4 p.m.
Jena Ruby photo courtesy of Taylor Gamber