WAYNESBORO – The Waynesboro varsity softball team has hit a rut.
After winning seven games in a row, the Maidens lost to Shippensburg on Tuesday 4-1.
On Thursday, the outcome was even more dire. Big Spring, which entered the game tied with Shippensburg with an 11-2 Mid-Penn Colonial Division record, had 18 base runners in a game the Bulldogs won, 10-0.
The win avenges a 9-8 loss earlier in the season in Newville.
“Our defense has been pretty solid,” said Waynesboro head coach Steven McElroy. “It wasn’t there today. You commit five or six errors and you’re not going to win.
“What’s hurt us in the last couple games is our bats. We’re not getting clutch hits when we need them and we’re not stringing together hits.”
“Pitching’s been pretty good, other than today. CC (Cierra Bender) is one of the best pitchers in the area for Shippensburg. We struggled against her the first time; we struggled against her the second time. We played and hit well the last time against Big Spring, actually gave them their fast loss.”
Much of the credit for Big Spring’s big win at Maiden Field was starting (and finishing) pitcher Fallon Feaser. The right-hander wasn’t overwhelming in terms of not being hittable, but she didn’t give Waynesboro much to swing at. She was adept at making batters take swings at pitches away from the strike zone using off-speed pitches and getting ahead in counts.
When the Maidens did get a bat on the ball, it was usually not hit with the gusto that they have been accustomed to this season.
Much like Tuesday’s game when Jaydn Horner hit a home run in the bottom of the first to tie the game against the Greyhounds, Waynesboro got most of its offensive output in the first couple innings but with nothing to show for it. In the first inning, Riley Shetler drew a one-out walk and Abby McElroy singled. However, both runners were forced at second base to end the inning.
Then, in the bottom of the second, Cameron Witte led off with a booming opposite-field triple but did not get to home plate. Feaser struck out the next two batters and a fly out to center field ended the inning.
The scoring barrage started in the top of the third inning when the Bulldogs scored three runs – which proved to be all they would need.
Big Spring (16-3, 12-2 MPC) left the bases loaded in the fourth, and Shetler, who was summoned to relieve starting pitcher Michelle Baker after the third inning, retired the side in order in the top of the fourth.
Meanwhile, Feaser (who gave up eight singles and the triple) and the Big Spring defense coasted along with more stingy play with runners on base. McElroy led off the fourth with a base hit but was forced out at second base. Witte put a bat on the ball in her second plate appearance, though it was a harmless pop up to third base (the Maidens hit eight fly outs in the game, including six in the infield).
Big Spring, which had nine hits and was gifted with six walks and five Waynesboro errors, scored twice in the sixth and broke the game wide open with five runs in the seventh inning.
“It’s amazing; you win seven straight and your on top of the world and you lose two in a row and you feel like the rug’s been pulled out from under you. We have a tough game against Chambersburg and another tough game against Mechanicsburg,” McElroy said.
Waynesboro (12-5, 10-4 MPC) hosts Chambersburg on Friday in a non-league game and travels to play Mechanicsburg on Monday.