WAYNESBORO – The Waynesboro Area Senior High School varsity softball team has given up some runs this season.
But the one thing that has enabled the Maidens to win 12 games is their ability to score runs in bunches – except against Shippensburg.
Lightning struck twice on Tuesday afternoon on a breezy, warm May day at Maiden Field, as the Greyhounds defeated Waynesboro, 4-1 in a Mid-Penn Colonial Division game to record a season sweep. Shippensburg shut out the Maidens, 3-0 on April 14 in Shippensburg.
Greyhounds pitcher Cierra Bender started and finished, and with the exception of some minor hiccups, the junior was stellar against a team that has prided itself on offense.
Bender struck out 10 batters and walked only two while allowing only one big hit in the game – a solo home run by Jaydn Horner in the bottom of the first inning.
In the top of the first, Shippensburg (15-3, 11-2 MPC) spoke with their bats and threatened to take control from the start. Gracie Johnson hit a one-out single. Olivia Lebitz doubled to put runners on second and third. Bender helped her cause when she got aboard with a base hit to load the bases. Kaila Altizer then reached base on an error that scored Johnson, but Lebitz was thrown out at the plate. The inning ended with runners on second and third.
Horner led off the home first with her home run over the fence in right field. Riley Shetler singled, but Bender struck out the next batter, followed by a fielder’s choice and a ground out.
Waynesboro starting pitcher Michelle Baker retired the side in order in the second and allowed a single in the third but getting three infield outs to keep the game tied.
Bender walked the lead-off batter in the bottom of the second but also got the next three outs, including two by strike out.
Bender settled down to strike out three batters over the next two innings. She gave up a double in the fourth, walked a batter in the fifth, and Shippensburg committed an error in the sixth but without getting stung by it.
Bender then punctuated her complete-game pitching gem by striking out two of three hitters in the bottom of the seventh to end the game.
It certainly helped the Greyhounds that they scored three runs over the final two frames, including two in the seventh to break a 1-1 deadlock and take pressure off Bender’s right arm.
Shippensburg snapped Waynesboro’s seven-game win streak.
The Maidens (12-4, 10-3 MPC) host Big Spring (15-3, 11-2 MPC) on Thursday in the league finale.