WAYNESBORO – The air had a November chill, and so did the Waynesboro Maidens’ bats on Wednesday at the Maidens home field against cross-county rival Greencastle-Antrim.
Waynesboro turned the agony of defeat into the thrill of victory with a comeback that saw the Maidens rally from deficits of 6-1 and 8-4. A bases-loaded passed ball allowed Horner to score the game-winning run to put the exclamation point on Waynesboro’s 9-8 win in its Mid-Penn Colonial Division game.
The win was the Maidens fourth straight.
When G-A’s Meadow Gambacurta belted a grand slam in the top of the second inning and the Blue Devils added another run to take a 6-1 lead, it looked like maybe the bubble would burst for Waynesboro.
“It was early,” said Waynesboro coach Steven McElroy, whose team lost in the first meeting at Greencastle 6-5. “We weren’t concerned. We knew we could hit; it just took a little longer than we thought.
“We talk about our grit all the time and it just showed there. We kept fighting and kept fighting, we figured out a way and we pulled it out at the end.”
Indeed, things changed – just in time.
Michelle Baker, who replaced starting pitcher Jaydn Horner with two outs in the second frame, turned a probable loss into a potential win as she sent a Mackenzie Wingert pitch over the fence to tie the game at 8-8 and force extra innings.
Then, after Baker shut the door on Greencastle in the top of the eighth, Waynesboro loaded the bases with one out. The Blue Devils got the first out on a ground out. Horner hit an infield single and stole second base. The next batter, Riley Shetler, walked. Abby McElroy was intentionally walked.
The defining inning of the game came in the bottom of the seventh. Cameron Witte hit a one-out solo home run to make it 8-6. Slaydon Fisher followed with a single, putting the tying run at the plate. A pop fly out in the infield left Waynesboro (9-3) with its back to the wall. Baker responded with her two-run homer.
The Blue Devils opened the scoring in the top of the first inning as Sydney Orndorff led off the game with a single and later scored on a double by Gambacurta.
Waynesboro tied the game in the home half of the first when Shetler got aboard with a one-out double and scored on a two-base hit off the bat of McElroy.
The Maidens posted a run in the second and McElroy launched a solo homer in the third to make the score 6-3.
G-A got a run back in the fourth, and after Waynesboro plated a run in the bottom of the fourth, the Blue Devils posted its eighth and final run of the game in the fifth.
The Maidens kept chipping away. Alex Monk reached base on a fielder’s choice and scored to make the score 8-5.
“When they hit the grand slam it was a great hit. Our pitcher early was throwing strikes but they were hitting the ball. You have to give them credit. Michelle Baker came in and kind of shut them down,” Coach McElroy said.
Waynesboro travels to play James Buchanan Thursday in a league contest in Mercersburg.