BLUE DEVIL DISPATCH 6-2-10

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Katrina Wright finished her Blue Devil track and field career at the highest level last week at the PIAA State Championships where she won the silver in the discus.

Greencastle-Antrim senior thrower Katrina Wright put a fine exclamation point to her storied Blue Devil track and field career last weekend at the PIAA State Championships. Meanwhile, both the Greencastle-Antrim baseball and softball teams saw their postseason journeys and seasons come to an all-too-abrupt end on a steamy spring afternoon Thursday.

Wright started her championship run with a less-than-her-best distance in the shot put for 14th place, but regrouped to deliver a silver medal in the discus.

Each Blue Devil team had sailed in Tuesday’s opening round of their respective District 3-AAA Tournaments. In Thursday’s quarterfinals not much went right for the baseball team and the softball team saw its hopes of repeating as state champs dashed in extra inning dramatics.

TRACK AND FIELD

In the preliminary rounds of the shot put Friday Wright managed a 36-6 1/2 which wasn’t enough to push her into the finals for another crack at the apparatus. That left the Blue Devil thrower short of a state medal in the event after taking fifth in 2009. Hampfield Area’s Rachel Serafin won the event with a throw of 44-3 1/4.

Wright found her usual groove on Saturday in the discus competition. She had placed third in 2009. Serafin came in as the top seed and while she was able to hold onto that ranking, Wright captured runner-up honors with a throw of 136-3. The G-A athlete opened with a 131-10 in the preliminaries and progressed to 134-8 during her fifth throw of the afternoon before putting together her longest of the day in her final high school throw. Serafin’s winning throw was 144-0.

G-A’s other entry in the state championships was the 400 meter relay team of Jake Statler, Kevin Piper, Trentin Dixon and Alex Yoder. The quartet couldn’t match its district time of 43.45 in the state prelimins and fell short of advancing to the preliminaries with a 43.76.

SOFTBALL

For the softball program team it was the end of a golden run of 11 postseason wins. Whatever good fortune followed the Devils through two district crowns and a state championship in 2008 and 2009 didn’t appear Thursday against Donegal in a 4-3 loss in 10 innings. Each time G-A tried to end it, the Indians came right back to stay alive. Eventually Donegal got the edge it needed to dash the Blue Devils’ 2010 run.

This game was as close as could be. No one scored in the regulation seven and nothing changed in the eighth. The Blue Devils were first to score in the top of the ninth. Kali Ball walked, moved to second on a Diamond Byers sacrifice bunt and was plated on a triple from the bat of Amanda Wink. Mary Ward’s ground out scored Wink for a 2-0 G-A lead.

Donegal wasn’t ready to relent. A single and a walk set the table for a double that knotted the game to invoked the international tie breaker rule in the top of the 10th. Wendy Wolff was placed on second for the Devils and moved to third on a ground out from Rachel Kline. Carly Mowen’s ground ball to short was misplayed and Wolff scampered home for the go-ahead run.

Once again the Indians were faced with scoring or going home. A wild pitch and a throwing error quickly tied the game again. Two walks followed by a wild pitch put Donegal runners on second and third. A single down the left field line easily scored the winning run and ended G-A’s season way too soon.

G-A used all three of its pitchers. Kline allowed just three hits in eight innings. She struck out eight with three walks and allowed two runs. Autumn Appleby was saddled with the loss as the two unearned and definitive runs scored on her watch.

The Devils, who outhit the Indians, had their chances in the game. G-A runners got to third in the second, third and sixth innings. Kline was the lone Devil with a multi-hit game. She had two hits and six other Devils had basehits. Ward and Wink had RBIs.

G-A had scored early and late against Twin Valley Tuesday for a 4-0 shutout in its first round game. Carly Mowen drove in the first-inning run. In the fourth, Ball singled and eventually scored on a passed ball. Wolff scored in a solid slide at the plate on a Kline grounder. Wolff also had a sacrifice fly in the fifth for the final Devil run. Mowen and Ball each had two hits.

Appleby struck out 11 with two walks in the shutout win. She scattered four hits. Wink pitched a hitless, scoreless seventh to close the game.

G-A’s season ends at 19-5.

BASEBALL

Some early bright spots faded for the Blue Devil baseball team in its effort to make a postseason run. An upstart Twin Valley team never seemed to misfire and sailed to a 14-3 quarterfinal victory that ended the 2010 campaign for the Devils.

Three runs by the Raiders in the top of the first put G-A in a hole early. Cole Sellers provided the Devils some of the way out with a two-run homer in the bottom of the first. Eric Schanzenbacher had singled ahead of Sellers. Twin Valley responded with a second-inning run and the Devils stayed in the game on an RBI single from Andrew Zeger. G-A left some unfinished business in the third as the bases were full and Twin Valley would prove that it could take advantage.

The top of the fifth proved the Devils’ undoing. Two walks and three errors helped lead to a five-run outburst from the Raiders. In all, G-A was outhit, 12-5, and didn’t connect in the final three frames. The Devils committed seven errors and the pitching stats showed two strikeouts and six walks.

Tuesday was a different story for the Devils, who dispatched Hamburg 9-1 in round one. With seven walks issued by Hawks’ pitching, G-A had less opportunity for hitting. In the end the Devils made the most of it. A 2-0 game was broken open in the bottom of the sixth despite just one hit from the Devils. Four walks and a balk fed the inning. Cody Ezolt connected with a two-run single and a wild pitch and error helped the Devils to a few more.

Sellers racked up six Ks in six and a third innings of work. He scattered six hits. Brett Meyers tossed hitless relief. Sellers and Ezolt each had two hits. Ezolt drove in three runs. Josh Short and Schanzenbacher each had RBIs.

The Devils went 19-4 this season.

G-A’s Amanda Wink gets lots of cheers from the dugout as she scored what was the go-ahead run in the district quarterfinal game Thursday. Unfortunately the Blue Devils lost in 10 innings to end the season.