G-A softball makes run at district title

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
G-A senior Rachel Kline handles the pitch for a basehit. The Blue Devil softball team is in the midst of a run in the District 3-AAA Tournament. With wins over Kennard-Dale (9-1) and Twin Valley (2-0 in eight innings), G-A moved to the semifinals against Big Spring. As of presstime that game had been suspended Tuesday afternoon in Carlisle by storms. A win would not only put G-A into the district title game, but also assure a state tournament berth. A third place game requires a win for state qualification.

The Greencastle-Antrim Blue Devil softball team jumped out early in its District 3-AAA semifinal game Tuesday before the storms came and suspended play.

G-A was at bat first and Mary Ward drew a walk to lead off the game against Big Spring. She set the table by stealing second. One out later Rachel Kline tagged a basehit to score Ward. Rain drenched the field at Carlisle High School and the game was called. It will resume at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 30.

A win by the Devils would put them in the district title game schedule for Thursday, May 31. That means an automatic state tournament berth. A loss would drop G-A to the third place game, however with still a shot at state qualification.

G-A had advanced to the semifinals by outlasting fourth-seeded Twin Valley 2-0 in eight innings Thursday.

Amanda Wink allowed just one hit in the eight inning contest and had a no-hitter going into the extra stanza. On offense the Devils used a wild pitch and passed ball to forge the only runs Wink would need.

In the top of the eighth inning Mary Ward and Rachel Kline each singled to put pressure on Twin Valley. It worked. A wild pitch moved the runners up. Two pitches later a passed ball pushed Ward home to finally scratch the scoreboard. Kline also advanced to third on the play. Freshman Erin Bontrager came to the plate as a pinch hitter and was clutch with two outs. She drove the first pitch to right to score Kline and provide a two-run cushion.

Wink, who had gone the regulation seven innings without giving up a hit, now had runs on the board to work with. The senior hurler came within an out of the no-hitter. A bloop single took that away, but Wink finished with the eight inning one-hitter with just one walk and five strikeouts.

Both Ward and Kline, along with Casey German, had two hits each. Bontrager had the lone RBI. G-A hitters combined for eight hits and left seven on. The Blue Devils played errorless ball.

Two days earlier the Blue Devils took it to 12th-seeded Kennard Dale (11-10) in the opening round of the tournament. G-A unleashed 13 hits against the Rams and Wink limited the opponent to just three hits in the 9-1 Blue Devil victory.

Wink fanned eight and walked two in the three-hitter. The one Kennard Dale run was unearned and came in the top of the second for a 1-0 Rams lead. G-A answered with multiple runs in three of the next four innings to pull away. After the first time through the order the Devils were ready to roll. Cassey Cordell tallied three hits (triple) on the day and knocked in two. Jenna Crunkleton (two doubles) and Kline (double) each drove in three runs.

Senior Jenna Crunkleton drives the ball for the Blue Devils.