Heartbreaking Defeat: Ephrata edged by PV in finals

By on June 29, 2016
Kameron Andes, Rylee Capwell, Averie Paparo, Jania Weist, Mallory Kline, Ali Zimmerman, Jordan Cilento and Macy Neff. (Back, l-r): Coach Sean Molchany, Allysa Weaver, Chloe Harting, Adrienne Maier, Coach Eric Zimmerman, Sydney Molchany, Maddie Fritz and Coach Randy Groff. Missing from photo were Hailie Dawson and Maddie Willis.

Kameron Andes, Rylee Capwell, Averie Paparo, Jania Weist, Mallory Kline, Ali Zimmerman, Jordan Cilento and Macy Neff. (Back, l-r): Coach Sean Molchany, Allysa Weaver, Chloe Harting, Adrienne Maier, Coach Eric Zimmerman, Sydney Molchany, Maddie Fritz and Coach Randy Groff. Missing from photo were Hailie Dawson and Maddie Willis.

Proving the point that all you have to do is put the ball in play to have success, Pequea Valley’s Trinity Garver hit a ground ball to first base. She was forced at first, but turned in time to see teammate Katelyn King dash all the way home from second base on the play.

The seventh inning run clinched the Lancaster County Girls Fastpitch softball 12 and under playoff championship over Ephrata 12-11. The game was knotted at 11-all after six innings of regulation with much of Monday’s game at Paradise Park played with periods of rain and drizzle.

“The tie breaker is an ASA international rule,” explained Ephrata head coach Sean Molchany of the extra-inning rule. “The last batter of the previous inning starts on second base.”

After the Lady Mounts were blanked in their half of the seventh, King was positioned on second, the result of her striking out to end the sixth inning.

Ephrata came into the championship game with a 9-3 league record, having beaten Warwick 16-15 in the semifinal. Pequea was 11-1 and edged Garden Spot 10-9 in their semi. On May 18, Ephrata handed the Lady Braves their only loss of the season by a 13-7 score.

The two squads traded the lead four times Monday with Pequea Valley leading much of the first three innings. PV led 8-6 in the bottom of the third with no outs when Camryn Bailey blasted a three-run homer to left center field, prompting Molchany to make a pitching change.

“At this age, a pitcher throwing a good inning can be a momentum killer,” added Molchany. “You saw that on both sides tonight.”

His relief pitcher Jordan Cilanto struck out the side to end the third, then watched her teammates plate four runs in the top of the fourth to take a 10-8 lead.

Ephrata pressed that lead to 11-9 after the top of the sixth, three outs away from a potential win. Pequea tied the game on an Emilie Thibeaut single, another unlikely hero after she struck out in both of her previous at-bats, setting up the dramatic seventh.

“Before the game, I just told them to relax,” said Molchany. “Against Warwick in the last game, we were very tight for the first two innings. At the end of the game, I told them I was very proud of them. It’s not fun to lose, but we got here and we can say that. Not a lot of teams can.”

Cilanto struck out seven while only walking four. Starter Kameron Andes fanned two while walking eight. In contrast, winning pitcher Chloe Colburn pitched all seven innings, striking out 10 but also walking 15.

Collecting hits for Ephrata were Sydney Molchany, Jonia Weist and Macy Neff. All of the girls received their runner-up medals from Coach Molchany and league officials after the game.

In last week’s semifinal win over Warwick, both Andes and Cilanto combined for the victory with Andes pitching the first five innings in an eight inning tie-breaker. Catcher Ali Zimmerman was 3-for-3 offensively and teammate Sydney Molchany was 3-for-4 with four RBI plus scored the winning run.

“They’ve improved 1,000 percent on being ready for play,” recapped Coach Molchany, when asked about the season. “I think the girls played very well. Hopefully, they’ll be better softball players moving into next year.”

 

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