Sixth inning rally propels Pioneer softball team to victory over rival Indians
In a battle of long-time section three rivals, the Pioneers pulled away with a 3-1 victory over the Donegal Indians on Wednesday night in a special night game at Garrett Park in Willow Street.
|The game was played under the lights at Garrett Park|
After a scoreless first inning, a line drive from the Indian’s Natalie Orr was misplayed by the defense, and a Kaitlyn Witmer double yielded a run for Donegal. Aside from that inning, Pioneer pitcher Jordan Weaver relied on her team’s defense to help her keep the Indians to one run. Weaver threw well throughout the night recording quite a few Ks in the books.
The Pioneers had troubles getting a run on the board. Delaney Baker opened up the bottom of the second with a hard line drive single to right center. Moving to second on a sacrifice bunt from Jordan Weaver, Baker could not find the hit she needed from her teammates to drive her in. Trying again in the fourth, the Pioneers failed to capitalize on Bri Garber’s two out bunt single.
Keeping their heads up with a 1-0 deficit, the team finally got the inning they needed to take control of the game in the sixth. Jordyn Kondras led off the attack with a single to centerfield. Hanna Garber laid down a sacrifice to push Kondras to second base, and perfectly placed pop fly off the bat of Baker caused confusion amongst the Donegal infield and earned Baker an infield hit. Both runners advanced as Jordan Weaver got hit by an inside pitch. With the bases loaded Caroline Braungard singled to left, driving in two runs. In the following at bat Natalie Carson took her pitch to right to add an insurance run to the Pioneer’s lead.
|A sizable student section formed on the hill in right-center field,|
repeating a jovial chorus of "When I _______, we all ________!"
(Example: "When I cheer for Delaney Groff, we all cheer for Delaney Groff!")
Entering the seventh inning with a two-run advantage, Weaver used her defense and two strikeouts of her own to solidify the win.
"It was great to play in front of supportive fans; the energy was so intense," says senior Bri Garber, perhaps referring to the swath of students in attendance along with the regular attendees. "Those are the games we practice for, and those are the games we play for."
The team looks to build on their victory as the hit the road to start crossover play against Annville-Cleona on Friday.View a full photo gallery via Google Photos
--Robin Feaster, LSNews.org Softball Reporter; Photos and Video by Benjamin Pontz, LSNews.org Editor-In-Chief