SPORTS

BLUE DEVIL DISPATCH 5-23-11

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Ashton Rockwell was one of two Blue Devil girls to score points at the Mid-Penns.

SOFTBALL

The Blue Devil softball team (14-6, 10-2 MPC-Colonial) had quite a week, having to defeat Big Spring twice after a surprise loss en route to winning the Mid-Penn Conference Colonial Division. Add to that a double date with Chambersburg and it’s a more than full week.

G-A looked to settle its divisional business and add another title to the program this week. A trip to Gettysburg Tuesday made that tougher than expected. The Devils rallied in the sixth after being down 1-0 for a seemingly comfortable 5-1 lead over the last place Warriors going into the final at bat for the home team. Several walks and some singles that dropped in for Gettysburg was enough to tie it and then win it 6-5. Mary Ward, Rachel Kline (homerun, double) and Jenna Crunkleton (double) each had two hits for the Devils. Tiffany Briggs tripled.

The loss to Gettysburg put more pressure on the Devils as they traveled to Newville where they now needed to beat Big Spring to earn another shot at them for the title. Win the Devils did by scoring in every inning and riding an 11-K complete game victory from Autumn Appleby for the 9-3 win. Kline again supplied much of the fire power, launching a pair of solo homeruns on a 3-for-5 outing and four RBIs. Several other Devils hit safely in the offensive effort. Appleby didn’t walk a batter in the circle win.

The victory kept the Devils tied atop the Colonial with Big Spring and produced a one-game playoff for the title the next night. And it was a Blue Devil night. Big Spring took a 2-1 lead after an inning, but G-A scored in every frame after that to keep the pressure on and hold on for a 9-6 victory for the divisional title. The Devils tallied nine hits and capitalized on six Big Spring errors. Eight different Devils recorded hits. Wendy Wolff was the lone Devil with multiple hits. Cassey Cordell, Crunkleton, Ward and Brittany Norling each doubled. Appleby again inked the win.

As the Colonial champs, the Devils will take part in the Mid-Penn Conference Tournament, which they won a year ago. UPDATE: G-A blanked Central Dauphin 7-0 in the semifinal Monday and will take on Lower Dauphin Tuesday for the title. The Falcons advanced with a 3-2 win over Boiling Springs.

District 3-AAA play for the Devils will begin Tuesday, May 24.

After doing double duty to wrap up the divisional title, G-A faced some more tough competition at the Lower Dauphin Tournament as the lone Class AAA school among three Class AAAA. And the first team the Devils drew was Chambersburg — for the second time this week. This time the Devils forged a 4-1 lead going into the seventh inning before the Trojans found their bats with a triple and home run that equaled enough for a 5-4 win. G-A’s offense came all in the third inning as Amanda Wink blasted a three-run homer. Rachel Kline doubled twice on a 3-for-4 outing.

The Devils used the heartbreak to unload on Lower Dauphin in the consolation game, accumulating 19 hits en route to a 19-9 mercy rule final over the host Falcons. Kline knocked in four of the runs. Mary Ward had three hits and drove in three. Wendy Wolff set the table with 4-for-4 production. Whitley Mongan added three RBIs.

The first time around with Chambersburg on the week ended with a 9-6 victory by the Trojans. There was lots of hitting in this game. Chambersburg just got a little more power out of its knocks with a pair of homeruns and a double. Each time the Devils would put up numbers in the top of the frame, the home-standing Trojans answered with a bit more. Cordell drove in two of the G-A runs in going 3-for-3 on the afternoon. Kline also had three hits, while Wolff and Crunkleton each had two.

In junior varsity action, G-A edged Chambersburg 8-7.

BASEBALL

G-A’s varsity baseball team also had a busy week, but wins just weren’t in the cards. The Blue Devils (11-8, 8-4 MPC-Colonial) faced all non-divisional foes, but looked to up its district stock as all the opponents were Class AAAA. It wasn’t to be as Chambersburg posted a 14-4 win, Central Dauphin claimed a double header (3-0, 8-3) and Red Land eked out a 3-2 win in eight innings.

Blue Devil pitching had more walks than Ks against Chambersburg, leading to the lopsided score. Denton Ensminger had two RBIs on a homerun, but no Devil had multiple hits. Drew Deshong also homered.

Spring rain created a double header with Central Dauphin and G-A was at the short end of each five-inning game. The Devils were one-hit in the opener. Cam Chilcote shined in the second, driving in all three of the Devil runs on a 2-for-2 outing with a double. Devin Schaeffer doubled twice.

Red Land needed eight innings to bypass the Devils. G-A rebounded from a 2-0 deficit to ink runs in the fourth and sixth with Cody Ezolt and Denver Cordell driving in runs for a 2-2 tie. The Devils didn’t score in the top of the eighth, but Red Land managed one for the win. Josh Young went all eight innings for the Devils on the mound.

 With the regular season over, G-A has qualified for the District 3-AAA playoffs and is now waiting for word on its position in the bracket.

The junior varsity Devils had a very busy end of season and ended up .500 for the slate at 8-8.

The Blue Devils took advantage of 11 Waynesboro walks to coast to a 15-2 five-inning victory. Thomas Bowers led the Devils at the plate going 3-for-4 with four RBIs. Chambersburg erased a 9-5 G-A lead with nine runs in the fifth to cruise past the visiting Devils 17-9. Jake Crist got the mound win and went 2-for-3 in the first game of a doubleheader with Central Dauphin. In game two, the Devils jumped out to a 5-1 lead after three, but ran out of steam as Central Dauphin stormed to a 16-8 victory. Bowers lead the Devils at the plate going 2-for-4 with an RBI. Red Land rallied from a 7-1 Blue Devil lead after three to nip the Devils 10-9 in the season finale for both squads. Crist homered to get the Devils off to a good start. Ashtin Byers lead the Devils at the plate going 3-for-3 with a triple.

GIRLS’ SOCCER

The Blue Devil soccer team (9-6-2, 5-6-1 MPC-Colonial) finished the regular season strongly and checked into the District 3-AA playoffs with the effort.

G-A blanked West Perry 2-0 with both goals coming from Sharon Juarez and then ended its home slate with an important 4-2 win over Susquenita. The work put the Devils into the 18th seed in the district playoffs and a play-in game Monday against 15th seeded Eastern Lebanon County. That game was postponed to Tuesday with no results available as of press time.

The Blue Devils showed solid all-around play against the Blackhawks with four different players scoring.  Emily Mairoana opened the scoring with a header off a Juarez cross before Susquenita tied it before the half. G-A owned the second half. Juarez scored with a header over the advancing Blackhawk keeper for the go-ahead goal. Again Susquenita tied it, but Sarah Gipe got the lead back for the home team, booting a shot from 35 yards out over the keeper’s head. Tabitha Rudy provided more insurance with a header, again over the keeper off of a misplayed Juarez shot. G-A led in shots, 13-7, and in penalty corners, 5-2. Krista Kelly made five saves.

"We won ugly,” said G-A head coach Greg Cole. “We did not play our best ball until well into the second period. We found our legs and our rhythm.”

The junior varsity team finished with a 5-0 shutout of Susquenita.

TRACK AND FIELD

Blue Devil athletes took advantage of the Mid-Penn Conference Championships to do various things — qualify for districts, win medals and set a school record to boot. The boys’ team finished 12th out of the 27 competing teams. The girls’ team was 19th of 26.

Greg Boyer went into the Mid-Penn Championships the seventh seed in the 300 hurdles and came out with third place and a time of 40.64, more than a second faster than his seed time. And the time was good for a G-AHS school record in the event. Boyer also finished in the points with a seventh in the pole vault and a height of 12-6, a career-best.

Alex Yoder was fast as usual and came home with a second in the 100 and a third in the 200, just .03 behind the leader in each race. Yoder anchored the third-place G-A 400 relay team. Teammates were Trentin Dixon, Austin Scott and Denton Cordell in a time of 43.73.

Ashton Rockwell and Nakita Gearhart accounted for the G-A girls’ points in the meet. Rockwell was third in the 100 hurdles with a time of 16:16, just .04 out of the runner-up spot. Gearhart collected a fifth in the high jump (5-0), eighth in the javelin (107-07) and was just out of the points in the discus with ninth (104-7).

Also competing for the Devils were: Aaron Bumbaugh, Josh Spoonhour, Danny Combs, Daulton Monn, Brandon Thrush, Gabe Fridgen, Hunter Rawlings, Matt Montedoro, Kareen Aikem, Cody George, Brandon Garlitz, Colby Zarger, Casey Zarger, Ben Hockman, David Spinder, Alex Waddelow, Ronnie Stine, Ben Leitzel, Ryan Hickey, Grant Murray, Tyler Szaflarski, Danae Timmons, Gretchen Westley, Lauren Powers, Caitlyn Hetrick, Montana Duty, Molly Nowell and  Morgynn McKenzie.

G-A got a warmup for Mid-Penns with the Route 16 Last Chance Qualifier at James Buchanan High School Monday with Waynesboro also competing. The unscored meet provided another opportunity to shoot for postseason action. Gearhart had another stellar day in the javelin, discus and high jump, while Powers (middle distance) and Amber Crider (hurdles) stood out on the track, along with the 400 relay team of Rockwell, Duty, Westley and Timmons. McKenzie delivered in the shot.

On the boys’ side, the following performed in hopes of extending their seasons: Boyer (pole vault), Eli Bock (100, triple jump), Taylor Blattenberger (triple jump), Spoonhour (800), Monn (1,600), Garlitz (3,200) and Szaflarski (javelin).

MIDDLE SCHOOL

Volleyball

The eighth-grade team swept James Buchanan with scores of 26-24 and 25-18. Abbey Eich had three kills. Claudia Hissong produced five assists and three digs. Erin Koons and Tarah Perry tallied three aces each.

In seventh-grade action, G-A won game one over the Rockets, 26-24, but Buchanan rebounded for the match wins with games of 25-11 and 15-8. Alyssa Rudy had a kill and accumulated seven aces.

Alex Yoder takes off in the 100.