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Nine-run first paves way for Ephrata girls
As crazy as it sounds, just getting on the field tasted almost as good as the win.
That’s how first-year Ephrata Coach Meredith Dombach saw it Tuesday, following the Lady Mounts 13-3 whitewash of visiting Lebanon.
“Honestly, it’s been hard because we hadn’t played for a week, and before that it was a week…just getting on the field and then getting a win was really good for us,” Dombach said.”
The Ephrata bats certainly showed little signs of seven days of inactivity (their last game was vs. Solanco last Tuesday), jumping out to a 9-1 lead after one inning of play Tuesday. The then rode the arm of starting pitcher Jenna Yarger and reliever Alison Smith, who tossed the final two frames before the Lady Mounts scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth to invoke the 10-run Mercy Rule.
“This (win) is huge,” Dombach said. “I think it’s going to be a big momentum builder for us going forward.”
After spotting the Cedars (0-3) a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, Ephrata (1-2 section, 1-3 overall) sent 13 batters to the plate in the nine-run bottom of the first to take command.
The Lady Mounts loaded the bases before forcing across three runs on a pair of walks and a hit by pitch from a wild Lebanon pitcher Moriah Trokie. But they were only getting started.
Danika Weaver followed with a two-run single to make it 5-1, and after Ephrata loaded the bases again, a wild pitch brought home a sixth Lady Mount run. Alexa Hershberger then ripped an RBI single to make it 7-1 before Jenna Yarger ripped a double down the left-field line to knock in two more runs and give her team the 9-1 lead.
“Most of (that rally) was actually on walks and being patient at the plate, which was good to see because the kids weren’t over anxious,” Dombach said. “We need to do a better job keeping our weight back…for every inning. After that first inning, we kind of struggled. That’s something we definitely want to improve for tomorrow and the rest of our games.”
Alexa Lovell led off the Ephrata second with a single before Hannah Raezer walked to put runners at first and second. Those runners both would come around to score to up the lead to 11-1.
That was about it for the Ephrata offense, although they would tack on those two runs late.
However, Yarger followed up the first with two scoreless frames in the second and third before handing off to Smith, who did allow two Cedar runs off a pair of bases-loaded walks in the top of the fifth.
In the Ephrata half of the fifth, Weaver led off with her second hit of the night and later scored on a sac fly to center from freshman Jenna Black. The final run would later come home on a wild pitch to end the game and clinch the Lady Mounts first win of the season.
Cocalico was scheduled to be in action Tuesday at home vs. E-town but results were not available at press time.