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Maidens blanked in district title game

May 30, 2009|By CHRISTIAN WORSTELL/Staff Correspondent

ANNVILLE, Pa. -- Waynesboro softball coach Doug Stuart was searching for an answer that just wasn't there.

"Not too many teams get to play for a district championship two years in a row. Unfortunately, we haven't figured out how to score a run in the championship game," Stuart said.

A pair of fifth-inning runs gave the 11th-seeded Governor Mifflin Mustangs a 2-0 victory and its first District 3 Class AAAA title in school history on Friday at Lebanon Valley College.

It also marked the second straight year the Maidens have come up scoreless in the championship game, having lost 1-0 to Lower Dauphin a year ago.

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"It feels fantastic to be the first team in school history (to win a title)," Mustangs coach Frank Keating said. "That's what we used. I told the girls we could be etched into history if we could just get this one."

Waynesboro had just five base runners in the game, none of whom reached third base. Mustangs pitcher Jess Epler retired 13 of the final 14 batters she faced to put a lid on the Maidens offense.

"When we needed a big pitch, she gave us a big pitch," Keating said. "That's been the story all year."

"She did a nice job of spotting her pitches and keeping the ball on the outside of the plate," Stuart said.

Waynesboro pitcher Taryn Ashway was equally impressive through four innings, retiring 12 of the first 13 hitters she faced including six by strikeout. But a series of defensive lapses in the fifth opened the door for Governor Mifflin.

Alex Kissinger led off the inning with a line drive to right-center field. The ball was misplayed on the bounce by the Maidens outfield and turned a single into a leadoff triple. Rachel Kline followed with a bloop single to center field and a wild throw to the plate in an attempt to get Kissinger allowed Kline to move up to second as Kissinger scored.

Kline then reached third on a passed ball and after a pair of strikeouts, Rachel Laws hit a slow roller up the middle and Waynesboro second baseman Megan Baker lost her footing while breaking for the ball. Kline scored on the no-throw for a 2-0 cushion.

"A couple balls that if they go right or left just a little bit it could've been different," Stuart said. "But that's the name of the game. We just fell a little short. But the good thing is it's not over. States begin Monday."

Three of the Mustangs' five hits came from the six through nine hitters in the order.

"We knew they would focus on the middle of our lineup so we needed everyone to step up and hit," Keating said. "This is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow."

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