As the slow pop-up rose into the heavy air of Beard Field at the Nittany Lion Softball Park scores of green and white clad fans collectively held their breath as they tracked the flight of what turned out to be the final out of a stellar softball season and the end of a game that epitomized the never-say-die attitude of this phenomenal group of players.
With the smack of ball into leather the crowd erupted as right fielder McKenna Berg closed her glove and secured not only the out, but the guarantee that for the second time in Donegal softball history PIAA gold would belong to the lady Indians.
It also marked the second time in the past seven months Donegal brought home a PIAA championship as the field hockey team realized the same accomplishment in November. Teammates Rachel Robinson, Grace Miller, and Rachael Overlander were all members of that historic run as well.
Amidst the cheers and a slight cloud of infield dust a pile of elated young ladies shared smiles, laughter, and tears as they reveled in a feeling that only those who have fought together as a team and faced down adversity to come out on the side of victory can fully understand.
Donegal may have come away with the final prize in Friday's 9-7 win over Cedar Cliff in the PIAA 5A championship but it was anything but easy as they twice had to overcome a deficit, including a six-run fifth inning by the Colts that erased a 3-1 lead the ladies had built in the previous at bat.
With their goal firmly in sight, the Tribe battled back and answered the call with six runs of its own in the bottom of the inning and in turn bolstered the confidence of freshman relief pitcher Sierra Neiss, who was the victim of a three-run blast off the bat of Colts' Maddie Sitler that easily cleared the fence in center field increasing the lead to 7-3.
"Sierra did a great job, she came in and made good pitches, only an unfortunate play with the sun getting in our fielder's eyes giving CC an additional at bat hurt her," commented head coach Wayne Emenheiser referring to a small pop-up that dropped in untouched behind third base. "But she regrouped from that and threw two scoreless innings to finish the deal."
The young pitcher took the ball from ace Mikayla Yoder who surrendered four runs, two of which were earned, on seven hits over four and a third innings, including a solo shot over the left field fence by Karson Hastings to open the fifth.
After a shaky start in the first inning, in which a throwing error allowed McDonald to reach third and eventually score on a sacrifice fly by Olivia Jordan, Yoder worked her way out of trouble and ended the inning with the Colts ahead 1-0.
Donegal came back in the fourth when Yoder (1-3, double) stepped to the plate with one out and sent the first pitch she saw from Colts' pitcher Avery Winchall over Hasting's head in left field to end up on second.
Kaitlyn Witmer (2-3, double, 3 RBI) worked a walk and Hornick (1-2, 1 RBI) sent a single into center field which plated Jessica Kosheba, courtesy runner for Yoder, to tie the game at 1-1.
Enter Robinson, the consummate, unflappable leader who could very easily make the case as the best individual athlete to walk the halls of Donegal and is most assuredly a shoe-in for a future spot in the school's Athletic Hall of Fame.
When asked about his star second baseman, Emenheiser acknowledged not only Robinson but his entire group of graduating seniors saying, "Rachel as well as all of the seniors have showed great leadership and the never-give-up-attitude their entire careers, I believe that is why they really had so much success during their careers, along with being tremendously talented softball players."
He also knows the intangibles that come along with having such an experienced group of veterans, "The seniors are a great group of young ladies; between all of them they have played over 450 varsity games and have won every team championship possible, Section, League, District and now State Championship. It has been an honor watching them play and coaching them over the last four years, seeing them mature into the amazing young ladies they all are. We will miss all of them and what they brought to this historic team."
As is most often the case in athletics the playmakers come through in the clutch, and this time was no exception as Robinson (2-3, triple, 3 RBI) ripped a shot into left field that got by Hastings for a bases-clearing triple and a 3-1 Donegal lead.
Cedar Cliff, which eliminated Donegal from the District Three tournament with a 9-5 semifinal victory, proved that it belonged in the title game as well by putting up the monster fifth inning that could very easily have demoralized the Indians.
Unfortunately, for the Colts, quitting is not in the Indians' DNA and they never hung their heads or got caught up in negative thoughts.
"The one thing about our group is that they never get stressed and never give up. I truly believe they do not look at the opponent but look at what they need to do to win," stated Emenheiser. "I did not need to say anything after the top of the fifth, they were focused from the time they got to the dugout to turn things around."
Showing cracks in the armor, Winchell surrendered back-to-back walks to Emily Graham (0-2, run scored) and Savanna Kolenda (0-3, run scored) in the bottom half of the fifth.
Now, feeling a shift in momentum, Donegal's offense rose to the challenge as Morgan Biesecker (1-4, 1 RBI) singled home Graham and Yoder worked Winchell for her third walk of the inning to load the bases.
Sensing an opportunity, Witmer (2-3, double, 3 RBI) calmly stepped to the plate and showed the stadium why she finished the season with the third highest batting average at .455.
With the count at 1-2 the senior first baseman ripped a line drive past a diving Naomi Englehart in right-center for a bases-clearing double to knot the game at 7-7.
Robinson's second hit of the game went for a single that plated Witmer for the 8-7 lead, and Berg (1-3) followed with a single into shallow right that advanced Robinson to second base before Neiss (1-33, 1RBI) sent her home on a base hit to make it 9-7 heading into the sixth.
Neiss, her confidence restored, settled in on the rubber and retired five of the final seven batters she faced to finish with three unearned runs on four hits and one strikeout.
Cedar Cliff threatened in both of the remaining innings as McDonald singled and stole second in the sixth, but was thrown out
attempting to steal third, and Jordan doubled to start the seventh, advancing to third on a sacrifice fly by Winchell.
A put-out by Kolenda at short and the final pop-up to Berg in right sealed the deal for the ladies and completed a win for the ages.
To reach the finals Donegal faced Section Three foe Lampeter-Strasburg in the semifinals and handled the Pioneers, 7-0. It was the fourth time the Indians defeated L-S in five tries this season.
Junior left fielder Grace Miller played superb defense tracking down five fly balls including two diving catches to help keep the L-S offense in check.
Yoder pitched five innings of four hit ball while Neiss only surrendered two hits over the final two.
Hornick (3-4, double, 2RBI) and Robinson (2-4, double, 2RBI) led at the plate for the Indians.
Eight years prior to Friday's romping celebration in the infield another medal ceremony took place on the infield of Glatfelter Field in Columbia.
That one marked the end of a 10u tournament featuring a Mount Joy team and a Maytown team that battled to an international tiebreak finish in the championship game.
No less than four of the players on the field that day in 2009 comprised the starting lineup of Friday's game and I am sure there were more than this aging writer's memory can recall.
As the parents of both teams gathered on the field to take photos to add to half-filled scrapbooks, Chris Miller, former Donegal baseball coach and father of Grace, looked around and announced to those of us on the field that we could very well be looking at a future state championship team.
Congratulations to those young ladies whose childhood dreams from that day finally came true on a hot day in State College, as well as every other player in the dugout on Friday whose name will be forever associated with a part of Donegal history.
Indians Advance to PIAA Class 5A Semifinals June 12, 2017
Two down, two to go. That was the line for Donegal as last week ended with the lady Indians advancing to the PIAA semifinals for the second year running in their fifth straight tournament appearance.
Donegal moved its record to 25-4 after eliminating West Chester Henderson (16-9) 3-2 in the opening round of 5A play last Monday and then holding on to defeat Abington Heights (15-3) on Thursday, 6-5, in a 10 inning International Tiebreaker in the quarterfinal round.
Scoring three runs in the first inning against WCH, Donegal took an early lead which they never relinquished as Makyla Yoder kept the damage to a minimum by only surrendering two runs on four hits in the complete game victory.
Yoder retired the first eight batters she faced before giving up her first hit of the game in the third inning. That resulted in West Chester Henderson's first run as Madelynn Skinner turned on the second pitch she saw and sent it rocketing over the wall in center field.
One more run in the fourth off the bat of Cameron Trotter marked the end of scoring for the Warriors as Yoder settled in and took care of business by putting away 11 of the remaining 12 Henderson batters.
Rachel Robinson (2-2, double, 2RBI) gave Donegal its early advantage in the first when she ripped a hard, bases-loaded shot into left field which bounced over the wall for a ground rule double and scored courtesy runners Jessica Kosheba and Cheyenne Klinedinst.
Morgan Biesecker (1-3) got the ball rolling when she took first on a one-out walk and then advanced to second when Yoder (1-4) singled into left. Katlyn Witmer then loaded the bases when she drew a walk of her own, scoring from third on a wild pitch to McKenna Berg.
One thing that head coach Wayne Emenheiser appreciates is how the offensive play of Robinson has come around following a major surgery that forced her to miss her entire junior season.
"I believe Robinson is back to where she was two years ago, before the knee injury," said Emenheiser. "It took some time for her to get back offensively, but defensively she has been a stud all year long."
Both aspects of Robinson's game were on display in the quarterfinal matchup with Abington Heights as the senior made a few clutch plays in extra innings including a diving snag of a line drive in the eighth and delivered the eventual winning run when she tripled home pinch runner Kosheba in the tenth.
Donegal also had help from freshman pitcher Sierra Neiss who has done well for Emeheiser this season when called on in relief of Yoder and has also recorded some starts as well.
With Yoder pitching well into the sixth inning and holding the explosive Comets offense scoreless on three hits, it seemed as if Neiss would be a non-factor as the lady Indians led 5-0 at that point.
However, fortunes can change quickly and Yoder soon found herself in a bind after surrendering three runs in the sixth and with runners on first and second in the seventh inning with no outs.
With the lead cut to 5-3, Neiss received the call and got out of the inning, but not before giving up two unearned runs to tie the game. She settled in after that, however, and retired the next nine batters, setting the stage for Robinson (4-5, triple, RBI).
"Sierra Neiss has been a pleasant surprise," stated Emenheiser. "Makyla has carried the pitching duties for so long and has had so much success, it's nice to be able to take a little bit of the pressure off her with Sierra, they make a great one two punch."
He knows that they are fortunate to have essentially two starters who can deliver whenever the circumstances dictate. "The game of softball is a pitcher dominated game and to have two great pitchers is a bonus," added Emenheiser.
Scoreless after the first inning, Berg (2-6) represented the first Donegal run when she scored on a two-out single by Emily Graham (2-6, 1RBI).
Biesecker (2-6, 2RBI) drove in two more with a single to center that plated Graham and Savanna Kolenda (4-5) who reached with base single of her own.
Witmer (3-6, 2RBI) made it 5-0 in the fourth inning when she brought home both Kolenda and Graham on an infield grounder.
In the tenth, with the score tied at 5-5, the International Tiebreak took effect which places the player who made the final out in the previous inning on second base, in this case it was Witmer.
Emenheiser pinch-ran Kosheba in her place, however, who advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Peighton Hornick (2-5) and then came home on Robinson's RBI.
The win paired Donegal with a very familiar foe in long- time rival Lampeter-Strasburg (22-6) which defeated Bishop Shanahan 5-4 to advance to the semis.
Donegal held a 3-1advantage over the Pioneers heading into the matchup which has actually already been played as of this printing.
Asked if the familiarity between the two teams and the Indians' subsequent dominance might cause his players to lose some focus, Emenheiser said, "I do not think the girls will overlook LS, they realize at this point in the season that everyone is bringing their best."
Indians Finish 3rd in Districts, Head to States June 5, 2017
Donegal's softball team in recent years has made playing in the post-season a habit, using the regular season as merely a warm up. This year is no different as the lady Indians began District Three Class 5A play at home against Daniel Boone in a game that was originally scheduled to go down on Thursday the 25th, but was moved to Friday due to weather conditions.
Avoiding a near upset by the 11th seeded Scouts, Donegal used a two-run seventh inning to seal an 8-7 victory on a walk off single by Savanna Kolenda that scored Sierra Neiss from second base.
Down 8-7 and facing elimination Rachel Robinson (1-2) coaxed a walk and then rounded the bases on a bunt by McKenna Berg (2-3, 1RBI) that was misplayed, tying the game at 8-8.
After Neiss (2-2, 2RBI) also walked, advancing Berg to second, Emily Graham (1-4, 1RBI) hit into a fielder's choice at short that forced out Berg at third setting the stage for Kolenda (4-4, double, 3RBI) who ripped a single into right field to complete the comeback.
Daniel Boone got to Donegal starter Makyla Yoder for two runs in the second to tie the game after RBI singles by Kaitlyn Witmer (2-4, 1RBI) and Berg in the first inning gave Donegal the early lead.
Yoder eventually left the game in the fourth after surrendering five runs on a two-out Daniel Boone rally that ended when reliever Neiss recorded the put-out on an infield pop-up.
Neiss settled in and finished the game by retiring nine of the ten batters she faced while walking one.
Donegal answered in the fifth with five runs of its own, setting up the dramatic finish which propelled them into the semifinals where they matched up with Cedar Cliff, the number 10 seed.
Under a steady downpour at Lebanon Valley College last Tuesday, the ladies found themselves playing catch up against the Colts who led 3-2 heading into the seventh inning before exploding for six runs to take command of the game.
Kolenda (2-4, HR, 4RBI), who was the star of the game for Donegal at the plate, sent shockwaves through the stadium when she stroked a three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the seventh but the rally was short lived as the ladies dropped into the consolation game with a 9-5 loss.
Yoder took the ball to start and gave up three runs on four hits including two home runs over five innings while striking out two before Neiss came on in the sixth and struggled with control as she surrendered six runs, five of which were earned, on four hits.
"Cedar Cliff played well in the semis against us," stated head coach Wayne Emenheiser. "I thought we played well also until the last inning when the field conditions became an issue for our pitcher, those are the breaks though."
Morgan Biesecker (1-3, 1RBI) put Donegal on the board in the third inning when her RBI single in to centerfield plated Graham (1-3) and tied the game at 1-1.
Later, down 3-1 in the fifth, it was Kolenda who delivered with a single that sent Graham home again to cut the deficit to 3-2 before the huge final inning for the Colts put them out of reach.
With five teams advancing to the PIAA tournament, Donegal's third place game was one in which the outcome was irrelevant. However, an old friend waited for them in the form of Lampeter-Strasburg, 9-3 losers to Spring Grove in the other semifinal matchup.
Owning a 2-1 advantage over the Pioneers this season, including a tie break for the Section Three crown, the odds of Donegal making it 3-1 against the formidable foes were not weighing in their favor.
With Yoder resting, Neiss took to the rubber and threw a complete five-hit one run game as the ladies bucked the odds and defeated the Pioneers 4-1 for their third victory over the section rivals this year.
Peighton Hornick went 3-4 with one run scored and Berg tripled and drove in two runs while going 2-3 to help power Donegal to its third place finish.
L-S scored its lone run early taking the lead in the first inning, but the Indians scored twice in the second and once more in both the third and seventh innings to earn the much needed win and carry some momentum into the State tournament.
"Neiss threw a great game against LS (5 hits) and we hit well (11 hits)," acknowledged Emenheiser.
"We are looking forward to playing in the state tournament; it is always our goal to make it there. We are fortunate to be playing in our 5th straight state tournament and 7th in 8 years. The thing about playing in June is that every team has the ability to beat you if you don't play well or if you get a bad break, it's that close."
Donegal was represented in three events during the PIAA meet held at Shippensburg University over Memorial Day weekend and while none of the athletes competed past the preliminaries, Alice Fernald scored a personal best in the 400 and only missed qualifying by .45 of a second.
"We were happy with how the girls did overall. Of course, you always hope to place/make it to finals, but sometimes it's just not in the cards," stated head coach Gretchen Colwell.
Her time of 57.69 in the second heat of the prelims placed her ninth overall in the state and was a only a gust of wind behind Exeter's Faith Kehinde who clocked in at 57.24 in the fourth heat and locked up the eighth and final qualifying spot for Saturday's finals.
Taylor Nissly competed in the fourth and final heat of the 200 prelims later in Friday's competition and missed the cut by an even narrower margin as her time of 25.95 was a shoelace width behind Ni'Asia Williams from Girls' High who finished in 25.80 and also locked up the final qualifier for Saturday's finals.
Both girls also ran with Ashley Maxwell and Aliza Young in the 4x400 relay prelims on Friday with the team finishing in 4:03.96 which was exactly three seconds off of their seed time of 4:01.96 from Districts.
Performing on the big stage is not an easy task and only experience can properly prepare an athlete for the unique pressure that comes along with competing with the best in the sport.
Colwell knows this and likes what she saw in her top runners. "The other nice thing, every girl we took to states is an underclassman, so we can look forward to seeing them next season! "
Indians Top Bears in District 5A Opener May 26, 2017
No more AAA softball? No problem, at least as far as Donegal is concerned. Since a PIAA realignment that moved them up to 5A, it is been business as usual for the Indians as they set their sights on yet another District Three title in what is hopefully a long march into post-season play.
The third seeded Indians (21-3) opened play against backyard rival Elizabethtown (11-10), the number 14 seed, last Tuesday at home. By the time the dust on the infield had settled the ladies were 10-1 victors and headed into the quarterfinals against 11th seeded Daniel Boone (11-7).
Donegal out-hit the Bears 12-3 but the game remained scoreless into the bottom of the third until McKenna Berg (2-3, double) dashed home on a sacrifice fly by Emily Graham who interestingly drove in three runs without a single hit during the game on two sac-flies. Two more runs later the Indians held a 3-0 lead and they never looked back.
Behind a strong performance by Makyla Yoder on the rubber, Donegal added two more in the fourth, four in the fifth and one more in the sixth.
Yoder went five innings without giving up a run while only surrendering two hits and striking out six of the 18 batters she faced. Sierra Neiss came on in relief in the sixth with her only hiccup coming in the same inning when the Bears tallied their only run of the game.
Neiss only gave up one hit and struck out three while walking four of the 12 batters she faced over two innings of play.
Savanna Kolenda (2-3, double, 2RBI) and Rachel Robinson (2-3, 2 doubles, 2RBI) helped at the plate as did Morgan Biesecker (2-3, 1RBI) and Rachel Overlander (1-2, 1RBI).
Due to an early holiday deadline and subsequent postponement of Thursday's quarterfinals, the Indians' game against Daniel Boone will be reported in next week's edition.
Donegal Tops GS, Bows to PM in L-L Playoffs May 22, 2017
Donegal's softball team has experienced a great level of success over the years cementing them as one of the premier programs in District Three and a serious contender at the State level as well. Talented players backed by solid coaching built a solid foundation that continues to produce outstanding results year in and year out and this season is no different.
The ladies captured the 2017 Section Three crown, a title that has mysteriously eluded them in recent years, and now have their sights set on District Three gold after a disappointing loss to Penn Manor in the L-L League semi-finals on Tuesday.
The eventual League champion Comets, backed by pitching ace Brittany Hook, used an early burst in their first at bat to score three runs and held off the lady Indians 5-2. In order to reach Penn Manor, however, the Donegal squad tore through Garden Spot 17-2 in a run shortened quarterfinal matchup the day before.
Makyla Yoder pitched three strong innings against the Spartans on Monday striking out three of the 15 batters she faced while giving up two runs, one earned, on five hits before Sierra Neiss came on in the fourth and struck out the side to enforce the mercy rule.
With a monster day at the plate by Peighton Hornick (3-4, 2 Doubles, 4RBI), Donegal's offense proved too much for Garden Spot as the ladies put up 18 hits and scored in each of the four innings that were played.
Garden Spot scored an early run in the first inning but soon relinquished the lead after Savanna Kolenda (2-4) and Yoder (2-3, 1RBI) both reached on singles and subsequently scored when Kaitlyn Witmer (3-3, Double, 2RBI) hit a bases clearing triple into center field, scoring herself on an error.
Hornick, who tripled into center as well, came home when Rachel Robinson (1-3, 4RBI) sacrificed her across to make it 4-1 in favor of Donegal.
The ladies batted around the order in the second resulting in five runs and sent eight batters to the plate in both of the final two innings to score eight more times and finish the day early.
With Hook on the rubber in Tuesday's matchup against Penn Manor, the Indians managed just two hits and no runs scored over four innings of play while the Comets tacked on four runs on of four hits over the same span.
Emily Graham (3-3, HR, 2RBI) sparked Donegal with a long ball into left center in the fifth and raced home to put the ladies on the board cutting the Comet lead to 4-1 but the Indians left two stranded to end the inning.
Graham put another run in the books in the fifth scoring McKenna Berg (1-3) from third with her second RBI of the night. Berg started the two-out rally by singling into left field before Neiss walked sending Graham to the plate with runners on first and second. Her single into left center sent Berg scampering home and advanced Neiss to second before the Comets ended the inning and eventually the game.
Yoder pitched two innings giving up four hits which included a three-run home run in the first before Neiss came on for four innings of relief surrendering two runs on three hits.
Last week also marked the announcement of the L-L Coaches All-Star teams and Donegal was well represented as five lady Indians were named to the Section Three first team with two honorable mentions.
Making the team were Yoder (P), Morgan Biesecker (C), Witmer (1B), Robinson (2B), and Kolenda (SS). Honorable mentions went to Hornick (3B), and Berg (OF).
Robinson also earned accolades for her achievements in the classroom as well as in athletics as she was named the 2017 girls' recipient of the A. Landis Brackbill Award which is given out annually to the top boy and girl scholar-athletes in the L-L League.
The requisite for the prestigious award is to maintain a 3.0 GPA and letter or play in 75 percent of two or more PIAA sanctioned sports in one year and includes a $500 dollar scholarship.
Robinson, whose GPA was a 3.88, is already set to attend the University of Virginia in the fall on a full athletic scholarship for field hockey.
Athletes from all around District Three converged on Shippensburg University on Friday and Saturday to compete for a spot on the podium in the District meet during the run-up to the PIAA Championships.
Members of both the boys' and girls' teams from Donegal took part with six finishes in the top ten in six different events. In addition there were two individuals and one relay team for the girls that qualified for the PIAA meet.
Alice Fernald led the day for both squads as she earned a bronze medal in the 400 with a time of 57.75 during Saturday's portion of the track events. She also ran the first leg of the 1600 relay teaming with Ashley Maxwell, Taylor Nissly, and Aliza Young for a sixth place finish with a time of 4:01.96 which also set a new Donegal school record. Both times were good enough to punch a ticket to states.
Head coach Gretchen Colwell acknowledged her relay team's efforts and had nothing but praise for them. "These four ladies have been determined to reach the state championship level this weekend and have been working unbelievably hard with Coach Schuck. I'm unbelievably proud of what they have accomplished thus far."
That represented the second strong finish for the girls in the relays as Kalee Fahndrich, Fernald, Nissly, and Maxwell placed seventh in the earlier running of the 400 by finishing in 50.02. They were just nipped by the team from Cumberland Valley which claimed sixth with a time of 49.81.
Nissly also placed sixth overall in the 200 by first running a 25.58 and a 25.62 respectively in Friday's prelims and resulting semi-finals in order to qualify for Saturday's final in which she ran a slightly slower 25.65. That was also good enough to send her on to the next stage as the third Donegal representative for the PIAA meet.
In Friday's portion of the field events Rosalind Staie placed 11th in the shot put with a toss of 33-09 while on Saturday Alyssa McNece took 15th in the javelin with a throw of 104-03.
Overall the ladies finished tied for 22nd in the field of 44 schools with Manheim Township scoring a total of 14 points during the two days of competition.
Meanwhile, the boys ended up in a four way tie with Governor Mifflin, Exeter, and Spring Grove for 41st with only two points during the meet.
Both of those team points came courtesy of field events held Friday. Avery Walker was the first Indian to place when he triple jumped 43-03.5 and landed in eighth place, and Brooks Bear represented the second point of the day when he tossed a 50-02 in the shot put which also put him in eighth place.
"Both of these boys made it into finals by the skin of their teeth, but stepped up huge and hit their personal best marks," stated Colwell. "It was really exciting to see their season conclude with such exciting finishes."
Bear also garnered a 16th place finish on Saturday in the javelin with a toss of 148-01, but it was teammate Nick Ketner who placed slightly higher in the same event throwing for an 11th place finish of 159-08.
In earlier competition on the second day Ryan Stainecker earned an 18th place finish in the 400 with a time of 52.39 and was just edged out for 16th by Cumberland Valley's Luke Updegraff who finished in 52.34.
Donegal Baseball Tops E-town in Season Finale May 15, 2017
While the Donegal baseball team didn't have the type of success it was hoping for, finishing at 6-10 on the season and placing fourth in Section two, there is still hope for the future. The Indians were never really blown out in any of their losses and they only graduate two players, so next year could be a turning point.
They ended the season with two games last week and earned a split as they took a 5-1 loss to Ephrata on Monday and then followed it up on a positive note by beating Elizabethtown 7-6 on Tuesday.
Dawson Magar took the loss against the Mounts as he surrendered five runs off of two hits while striking out five over three and a third innings of work before Richard Velez came on and held Ephrata to only two more hits.
Kobe Bistline (2-3, 1RBI) accounted for the lone Donegal run when he singled home Tanner Kohler (1-3, double) in the fourth.
In the final game, against Elizabethtown, it was Cameron Ellis who got the win as the Indians, who were out hit 11-7, made the most of their at bats to pull out the one run victory.
Donegal scored five runs in the third after the Bears put up three in the first and added another in the second to grab a 4-0 lead. Elizabethtown tied things up again when they scored one in the sixth, but two more Donegal runs in the fifth were enough to hold off the home team which scored once more in the sixth for the final score.
The story could not have been written any better for the end of softball's regular season for the Donegal Indians. Meeting L-S in only the third game of the season, the Pioneers handed Donegal its second straight loss and took command of first place in Section Two, giving the ladies a date to target on the calendar.
"We just wanted to have an opportunity to play LS with something on the line," stated head coach Wayne Emenheiser. "We felt we did not play up to our abilities or with enough passion the first time we played."
Instead of tucking their tails, the lady Indians responded by reeling off 17 straight wins, including a 6-1 redeeming victory over their long-time rivals in week five to set up a rubber match, this time for all the marbles with the section title hanging in the balance. More on that action later.
First, the ladies had to win out in order to force the playoff with L-S, and they accomplished that by pounding out 15 hits which resulted in 12 runs against ELCO last Monday and then used a 13-run second inning to march past Northern Lebanon on Tuesday, 15-0.
Sierra Neiss flirted with perfection against the Raiders over seven innings of no-hit ball in which the only blemish was one walk surrendered while Savanna Kolenda (3-4, double, 2RBI) and Kaitlyn Witmer (1-2, 2RBI) helped lead the offensive charge for the Indians.
Donegal scored in every inning but the second en route to securing the first of two victories needed to meet the Pioneers.
In the three inning, run-shortened game with the Vikings on Tuesday, Makyla Yoder struck out four of the ten batters she faced and only gave up one hit while walking none.
Rachel Robinson (2-2, double, homerun, 2RBI) and Emily Graham (2-2, triple, 3RBI) accounted for one third of Donegal's offense while McKenna Berg (1-1, 2RBI), Witmer (1-3, 2RBI) Shaianne Boyer (1-1, 2RBI), Kolenda (1-3, 1RBI), Yoder (1-3, 1RBI), and Peighton Hornick (3-3, 1RBI) all contributed as well.
Now, for the end of the chapter. Wednesday brought the Indians and the Pioneers together again, this time at Warwick, for the showdown that would determine the Section Two champion.
After both teams scored in the first inning, Donegal took the lead in the third when Yoder, who held the Pioneers to only two runs on five hits over four innings on the mound, brought Graham home on a sacrifice fly. L-S came back in the fourth, however, taking advantage of poor play on the part of the Indians to eventually tie the game at 2-2.
Donegal then exploded for six runs in the bottom half of the inning, sparked by Rachel Overlander's two-RBI single. Graham then smoked a triple into right field, scoring two more runs and crossing the plate on an errant throw home to make it 7-2.
The Indians extended that lead when Kolenda also tripled and then was able to advance home on a Morgan Biesecker ground ball. Hornick singled home two more runs in the sixth while Neiss shut down L-S for the save and the Section crown.
When asked about beating their nemesis twice in such a short time Emenheiser replied, "The last two weeks have gone very well. We accomplished everything we had worked for since the early season loss to LS."
He also knows that even though there is momentum on the side of the Indians, this time of year is when the pressure begins to build. "I feel we are playing very well at this time heading into the post season. That being said every team we play the rest of the season will be a playoff team so one mistake can dictate the outcome of a game," Emenheiser stated. "I am confident that if we bring our A game there is an opportunity for us to be playing into June."
Last weekend marked the beginning of the post-season for both of Donegal's track teams as the L-L League meet commenced on Friday and ended on Saturday with weather better suited for early spring making a tough go of it for all involved.
With dual Section titles still waiting for the ink to dry, the boys and girls both entered the meet with high expectations and came away with some success as the girls placed eighth overall with a team score of 31 and the boys scored 29 to place 13th.
The boys enjoyed most of their success in the field as Brooks Bear placed a team high second in the shot put with a toss of 49-9.5 and placed 13th in the javelin with a throw of 133-3, while Avery Walker's distance of 42-10 in the triple jump was good enough to garner third as was Nick Ketner's throw of 178-0 in the javelin.
Calvin Woods cleared 5-6 in the high jump for 13th to go with his 15th place time of 43.62 in the 300 hurdles, and Payton Luft went 18-5.75 in the long jump to garner 19th.
On the track Ryan Stainecker led the team in the individual events with a fourth place finish in the 400 in 51.85 while Keeryen Stevens (19.05) came in eighth in the 110 hurdles, Silas Buckwalter (4:45.81) was 10th in the 1600, Keith Atayde (2:07.09) was 19th in the 800, and Dylan Zuch (10:33.19) finished 25th in the 3200.
In the relays, Cameron Arntz, Jared Collazo, Tyler Rupp, and Walker placed sixth in the 400 with a time of 45.01 and Arntz, Nicholas Jordan, Woods, and Stainecker ran the 1600 in 3:37.84 for an 11th place finish.
Taylor Nissly and Alice Fernald both had a strong showing on the track for the girls as Fernald took second in the 400 with a time of 58.48 and Nissly placed fourth in the 200 with a time of 25.88.
The duo also helped out the relay teams as Kalee Fahndrich, Fernald, Nissly, and Ashley Maxwell placed fourth in the 400 in 50.45, and Fernald, Maxwell, Nissly, and Aliza Young ran a third place time of 4:06.71 in the 1600, while Seneca Straub placed 25th in the 1600 with a time of 6:05.24 to round out the track events.
Rosalind Staie secured a team high fifth place finish in the field by tossing 34-0 in the shot put, and Alyssa McNece (100-10) placed sixth in the javelin ahead of Hannah McNece (89-9) who placed 11th.
Other finishers included Lauren Becker (4-8) taking 10th in the high jump, Janell Brinser (7-6) placing 16th in the pole vault, Carly Diffendefer (30-06.25) placing 16th in the triple jump as well as 20th in the long jump with a 14-6.25, and Aliza Johns (72-0) who finished 24th in the discus.
Donegal Track Teams Cap Undefeated Seasons May 8, 2017
It has been a wild ride for the Donegal track and field team this season with both the boys and girls blowing through the competition. Last week's meet against an undermanned Columbia team was no different as the boys won 137-12 and the girls came away with a 123-26 victory.
Both wins wrapped up undefeated seasons and dual Section Three championships for the Indians as the boys secured the first ever title for Donegal and the girls captured their third straight crown.
In their historic school victory, the boys won all 18 events as they outscored the Tide 81-6 in track events and 56-6 in the field with Cameron Arntz and Calvin Woods doubling up on individual wins.
Arntz outran the field in the 100 finishing in 12.2 while his time of 24.2 was the best in the 200 and Woods took the 300 hurdles with a time of 43.7 as well as the high jump by clearing 5-4. He also finished second in the 100 hurdles in 17.2 to finish with a team high 13 points.
Five other athletes garnered individual victories while also placing in other events, most notably Brooks Bear who won the shot put with a toss of 46-2, placed second in the javelin with a 157-1 and was third in the discus with a throw of 108-2.
Meanwhile, Ryan Stainecker won the 400 (53.8), and took third in the 100 (12.2) as well as the 200 (24.8). Keeryen Stevens was first in the 100 hurdles (16.5) and second in the 300 hurdles (44.0), Silas Buckwalter took the 800 while placing second in the 1600 (5:27.7), and Cody Canterbury won the 3200 (11:50.5) while finishing third in the 1600 in 5:27.8.
All three Donegal relay teams also won with Ryan Zuch, Hunter Williams, Kyle Anderson, and Brandon Hess taking the 3200 (10:27.1), Arntz, Jared Collazo, Tyler Rupp, and Avery Walker winning the 400 in 45.4, and Collazo, Nicholas Jordan, Tyler Snyder, and Arntz taking the 1600 (3:53.9).
Other individual winners included Aran Mullen (5:16.1) in the 1600, Payton Luft (18-7) in the long jump, Walker (41-6) in the triple jump, Jarred Ford (11-6) in the pole vault, Nicholas Kettner (170-8) in the javelin, and Connor Horst (116-7) in the discus.
Placing for the Indians were Aedan Wilkinson (19.1) third in the 100 hurdles and the 300 hurdles (47.6), Andrew Melville (12.2) second in the 100, Jared Bent (56.9) second in the 400 and third in the long jump (17-9), Nathan Brubaker (58.3) third in the 400 and the triple jump (37-3.5), Dylan Zuch (2:14.6) third in the 800, Ian Rineer (12:39.5) second in the 3200, Kyle Anderson (13:35.8) third in the 3200, Andrew Stwalley (5-0) second in the high jump, Davon Brantley (10-6) second in the pole vault, Jarad Brown (10-0) third in the pole vault, Cael Rapp (157-1) second in the shot put and third in the javelin (150-8), and Mason Sauder (113-8) second in the discus and third in the shot put (37-.75).
Erin Slattery, Taylor Nissly, and Carly Diffenderfer helped lead the lady Indians by scoring a combined 33 points as Donegal outpaced Columbia 66-20 on the track and 57-6 in the field.
All three athletes were multiple event winners as Slattery took both the 100 and 300 hurdles with respective times of 17.5 and 50.5, Nissly won the 100 in 13.2 and the 200 in 25.5, and Diffenderfer won the long jump (14-9.5) and the triple jump (30-6.5) and was third in the high jump (4-2).
Jaiden Droege, who placed first in the pole vault (7-6) and second in the long jump (13-10.5), and Jamilyn Nimo, who won the discus (85-11) and was second in the shot put (32-6.5), finished up as event winners for the ladies.
In addition, Donegal won all three relays as well. In the 3200, Megan Myers, Alize Woodard, Abbyrose Dannecker, and Ella DeBruin finished in 11:46.9. In the 400 it was Kalee Fahndrich, Alice Fernald, Nissly, and Ashley Maxwell with a 50.6, while in the 1600 it was Alexandra Daly, Hannah Lloyd, Leigha Lehman-Funk, and Olivia Giron with a time of 5:08.08.
Placing for Donegal were Lloyd (20.9) third in the 100 hurdles and second in the triple jump with a 29.5, Fahndrich (13.7) third in the 100, Seneca Straub (6:21.0) second in the 1600, McKenzie DuBusky (6:53.9) third in the 1600, Lauren Redcay (69.2) second in the 400 ahead of Natalie Fellenbaum (70.1), Daly (57.1) third in the 300 hurdles, Myers (3:05.8) second in the 800 ahead of Woodard (3:12.3), Fernald (26.7) second in the 200, Anna Hawbaker (16:04.3) second in the 3200, Lehman-Funk (28-6) third in the triple jump, Alyssa McNece (4-6) second in the high jump ahead of Diffenderfer (4-2) as well as in the javelin (107-9) ahead of Hannah McNece (103.5), Janell Brinser (7-0) second in the pole vault ahead of Hayley Grosh (6-6), and Aliza Johns (79-7) second in the discus ahead of Mackenzie Bedwell (75-10), as well as third in the shot put (27-8.75)
As is usually the case in Section Three, the final outcome will not be decided until the dust settles on the Pioneers of Lampeter-Strasburg and your lady Indians of Donegal. In fact, as you read these words it has already been resolved between these two L-L League powerhouses in a rivalry that seemingly is not going away anytime soon.
After redeeming their only league loss of the season to L-S a week and a half ago, Donegal entered this week at 13-1 with two games left on the schedule and trailed the Pioneers (14-1), who had one more game to play, by only half a game.
Both teams have already locked up berths in the League tournament which is scheduled to kick off on Saturday and should they both have won out on the season, will meet in a 7:00 playoff game Wednesday at Warwick.
Last week ended with two more wins for the ladies as they easily handled Cocalico 11-0, and survived an early scare by Manheim Central to come away with a 7-3 victory.
Makyla Yoder and Sierra Neiss teamed up to throw a no hit game against the Eagles while facing a combined 16 batters. Yoder struck out three while going two innings and collecting the win. Neiss sat down six over three innings for the save.
McKenna Berg (1-2) provided the fireworks for Donegal utilizing her only hit of the game wisely as she went yard and drove in three runs on the day as the Indians scored five in the first inning and six in the second to force the 10-run rule in the fifth.
Rachel Robinson (1-2) drove in two runs while hitting a double, as did Rachel Overlander (1-2, 1RBI) who also doubled.
Unsurprisingly it was Manheim Central (8-6) who provided Donegal with its biggest challenge as the always tough Barons scored two unanswered runs to erase a 1-0 deficit and take a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning.
A strong four-run fifth inning for the lady Indians put them back in the driver's seat, however, and they never looked back, scoring once more in the sixth to make it 6-3 after Manheim scored again in the bottom of the fifth. They added one more run in the seventh for added insurance.
Yoder threw a complete four-hit game, striking out nine and only giving up one earned run for the win. She helped her cause as well going 3-4 with a home run and one RBI while Peighton Hornick (2-4) also came up big at the plate with a double and three RBI.
While they struggled as a young team throughout the season, the Donegal boys had seven players represent the green and white during last week's L-L League tournament.
Andrew Ashley, who had a first round bye in flight one, opened up the tournament with a close 3-6, 6-3, 2-6 loss to number four seed Mark Cannon from Lancaster Catholic but rebounded well to eventually place fifth.
After his initial loss, Ashley defeated ELCO's Dylan Spitler 7-5, 6-4 to advance into the fifth place final against Pequea's Malachi Glick who defaulted the win to Ashley.
Aaron Stehman began flight two with a 6-1, 6-2 defeat of Toby Singer of Penn Manor, but then lost to second seeded Colby Martin of Cocalico 0-6, 0-6. Martin eventually went on to win first place.
Jarrett Herr played in flight three singles and had a tough draw as the unseeded Indian had to face top seed and eventual champion Kyle Peters from Manheim. While Herr played hard, Peters took the victory with a 6-0, 6-2 score.
Noah Hoffmaster rounded out Donegal's singles play in flight four against the number three seed from Manheim Township, Tom Woratyla who came away with a 6-0, 6-0 win.
In doubles, Donegal had two teams compete as Ashley and Stehman took on Cannon and Danny Bomberger from Lancaster Catholic in flight one and Austin Hollinger and Aaron Rugh faced off against Cocalico's Daniel Engle and Jared Glick in flight two.
Ashley and Stehman began with a first round bye before playing the Crusader duo who came out victorious with a 6-3, 3-6, (10-2) decision while Hollinger and Rugh fell to Engle and Glick by a score of 1-8.
The Indians split their two games last week beating Solanco 1-0 and losing to Lampeter-Strasburg 7-4. With two games remaining, Donegal (5-9) found itself in fourth place in Section Two.
Patrick Beaudoin walked to start the fourth inning against Solanco, advancing on a sacrifice bunt by Kobe Bistline and reaching third on the throw to first when Cameron Ellis grounded out to the Mules' third baseman. He scored on an error when Drew Bechtold grounded to short.
Dawson Magar started for the Indians going four and a third innings and giving up four hits before Richard Velez came on in the fifth to earn the save.
Donegal watched an early 2-0 lead disappear as the Pioneers scored seven unanswered runs before the Indians added two more in the sixth.
Ellis took the loss going two and a third innings and giving up five runs while Velez gave up two runs over an inning and two thirds worth of work. Kyle Hess was 2-4 while Beaudoin and Seiler Edwards each had one RBI.
Donegal Softball Survives Pequea With 1-0 Win May 1, 2017
With only four games to go in the season, the Lady Indians' ability to take care of what they can control put them right where they want to be, tied for first place in Section Three with none other than rival Lampeter-Strasburg.
After surviving a scare versus Section Four leader Pequea Valley in a 1-0 win last week, Donegal easily handled Columbia 18-1. On Friday, they handed L-S its only league loss, a 6-1 affair that also redeemed an early season defeat at the hands of the Pioneers, Donegal's lone league blemish as well.
Makyla Yoder held the Braves to only one hit over seven innings, striking out 11 while walking none in Monday's contest. Peighton Hornick (1-2, double, 1RBI) broke a scoreless tie in the fourth for the Indian's only run. Kaitlyn Witmer (2-3, double) and Savanna Kolenda (2-4) helped lead the ladies.
The runs came quick and early against Columbia as the Indians racked up 10 in the first inning and eight in the second while Sierra Neiss held the Crimson Tide to only one run on two hits for the win.
Neiss struck out four of the 15 batters she faced and drove in a run while going 1-3 on the day. Emily Graham (2-2, 3RBI), Morgan Biesecker (1-3, 2RBI), Witmer (1-2, 2RBI), and Jessica Kosheba (1-1, 2RBI) spear headed the Indian attack.
While six different batters drove in a run for Donegal against the Pioneers, it was the play of a few that stood out on Friday.
Yoder took the ball to start the game tied for school victories with Sami Houseal at 60 and walked off the field as the sole owner of that accomplishment with 61. She only allowed seven hits to the dangerous L-S batters while walking two.
Grace Miller also flashed some greatness in the field as she crashed into the left field fence to catch a deep fly ball that could have easily scored two runs for L-S with two outs in the sixth inning and completed a slick double play in the seventh with a sprinting shoe string catch and throw to first to clear the bases.
Kolenda (3-3, double, 1RBI) provided a spark at the plate for Donegal including a first inning double to right field that scored Biesecker for the first run of the game. Donegal scored twice more in both the second and third innings and once more in the fourth before giving up the lone run for L-S in the seventh.
It was a slow start for Donegal baseball last week as the Indians took three losses over four games including a heart breaking defeat at the hands of Manheim Township in a game that was postponed due to rain the week prior.
The boys began the week with a 5-1 loss to Penn Manor then lost an up-and-down game to Warwick 11-5. Against Manheim Township they resumed play with a 2-0 lead but watched it slip away in a 5-4 loss and then topped Conestoga Valley 7-2 to end the week on a positive note.
Against the Comets, a delayed steal in the top of the first inning put the Indians on board 1-0 when Kyle Hess crossed the plate after Dale Houser took second.
Hess began the inning with a sharp double to center field and then advanced to third on a passed ball. Houser walked and, with one out initiated the scoring play, eventually advancing to third where he was left stranded to end the inning.
Penn Manor came back in the bottom and scored two runs off of starting pitcher Richard Velez who surrendered five on nine hits before Kobe Bistline came on in relief in the sixth. The Comets put up three unanswered runs in that inning to seal the victory.
Donegal overcame a 1-0 deficit in the third inning against visiting Warwick on Wednesday by scoring twice on one wild pitch to take the lead. After the Warriors tied things up in the fourth, a disastrous nine-run sixth inning proved too much for the Indians to overcome, though they rallied late on a three-run home run by Hess (3-3, 3RBI) in the bottom of the seventh.
Dawson Magar took the loss for Donegal going five and a third innings with four runs surrendered on three hits while Bistline gave up five and Ryan Buckius gave up two.
After playing to a 2-0 lead after four innings against Manheim Township on April 21, the Indians took to the field on Thursday to resume play. The Streaks cut the lead to 2-1 in the fifth, but Donegal answered in the bottom half with two more for a comfortable 4-1 lead.
Unfortunately they would score no more while surrendering one in the sixth and three more in the seventh for the loss.
Cameron Ellis started for the Indians against Conestoga Valley on Friday, earning the win on four innings pitched with only two runs scored off of three hits. Richard Velez came on in the fifth and recorded nine straight outs for the save.
With a 4-0 lead after four, the Buckskins finally got to Ellis for two runs in the bottom half of the inning but three more Donegal runs in the fifth put the game out of reach.
Hess (2-4, 1RBI), Seiler Edwards (2-3, 1RBI), and Bistline (2-3, 1RBI) led at the plate for Donegal.
Adding to an already impressive season, both the boys' and girls' teams entered last week's battle of the unbeaten as they took on Annville-Cleona and not only won, but did it in dominating fashion.
Both teams seemingly cruised to their respective victories with the boys winning 118-32 and the girls coming away with a 108-41 win over the visitors from Annville.
Erin Slattery and Seneca Straub each earned two victories on the track, helping the lady Indians to a 70-16 advantage along the way.
Slattery ran a 17.7 in the high hurdles, while Aliza Young (21.0) finished third, and posted a 51.2 in the 300 hurdles ahead of second place finisher Alexandra Daly (55.7).
Straub, meanwhile, clocked a 5:57.2 in the 1600 to lead a Donegal sweep in which Ella DeBruin finished with a 6:12.5 and Mackenzie DuBusky posted a time of 6:12.8 and took the 3200 with a time of 13:10.6 with Megan Myers (15:01.8) placing second.
The ladies also cleaned up in the relays, winning all three events. In the 3200 it was Alize Woodard, DuBusky, Myers, and Debruin with a 13:32.9 while Fahndrich, Alice Fernald, Taylor Nissly, and Ashley Maxwell won the 400 in 50.4, and Slattery, DeBruin, DuBusky, and Janell Brinser posted a winning time of 4:39.2 in the 1600.
Two other Donegal runners captured first place finishes as well with Lauren Redcay winning the 400 in 68.6 while just edging out Natalie Fellenbaum (70.2) in second, and DeBruin who won the 800 in 2:50.3 just ahead of DuBusky (2:54.1).
While no Donegal girl doubled up in the field events the ladies did win five of seven and outscored the visitors 38-25.
With only a few grains of sand as the difference, Carly Diffenderfer (28-11) won the triple jump over teammates Hannah Lloyd (28-8) and Leigha Lehman-Funk (28-2) while Lauren Becker (4-4) and Alyssa McNeece (4-4) tied for first in the high jump.
McNeece also won the javelin with a throw of 102-10 while her sister Hannah placed third with a 95-2.
Rounding out the Donegal winners was Jamilyn Nimo who tossed a 33-9.5 in the shot put with Rosalind Staie (33-3.75) coming in third, and Aliza Johns who threw a 94-4 to take the discus.
Also placing on the track for the lady Indians were Taylor Nissly (12.3) and Kalee Fahndrich (12.8) who took second and third, respectively, in the 100 while Nissly notched another second place finish with a 25.3 in the 200 just ahead of Fernald (26.2) in third.
Meanwhile, in the field Jaiden Droege finished second in the long jump with a 14-9.25 and was third in the pole vault with a 7-0.
Silas Buckwalter scored a big day for the boys as he racked up three wins on the track while leading the Donegal runners to a 76-11 advantage. He and teammates Ryan Zuch and Keith Atayde swept two of those events for Donegal while Atayde also joined him in a third.
In the 1600, Buckwalter (4:38.3), Zuch (5:00.7), and Atayde (5:10.6) finished 1-2-3 while the trio duplicated the finish in the 3200 with respective times of 10:34.6, 10:50, and 11:16, and Buckwalter (2:14.8), Atayde (2:16.5), and Ian Rineer (2:17.7) cleaned up in the 800.
Keeryen Stevens also scored multiple wins by taking the high hurdles in 15.6 ahead of Calvin Woods (16.8) and Aedan Wilkinson (19.2), as well as the 300 hurdles with a time of 42.9 followed by Woods (43.7) and Tyler Snyder (46.4).
Ryan Stainecker represented the seventh of nine individual wins in the races by winning the 400 in 53.7 with Cameron Arntz (55.0) coming in second.
Donegal won all three relays as well with Rineer, Buckwalter, Chris Canterbury, and Atayde taking the 3200 with a time of 9:32, Arntz, Jared Collazo, Tyler Rupp, and Avery Walker winning the 400 in 45.2, and Stevens, Woods, Stainecker, and Walker teaming up to win the 1600 in 3:41.1.
With another outstanding day in the field in which the boys outscored the Dutchmen 42-21, Brooks Bear led the charge with three wins and one placement. He won the shot put with a toss of 43-8.5, while Cael Rapp (38-5) came in third, the discus with a throw of 132-5, with Peter Brubaker (126-8) in third, and was second in the javelin with a 156-1 while Nicholas Ketner (164-4) took first.
Walker won the triple jump with a 39-8.5 followed by Brubaker (36-6.5), and Adam Hawbaker (35-10.25), while Jarred Ford cleared 11-0 to win the pole vault with Davon Brantley (10-6), and Jacob Steck (9-0) finishing 2-3.
Also placing for the boys were Callazo (11.6) and Walker (11.6) in the 100, Stainecker (24.0), and Arntz (24.1) in the 200, Payton Luft (18-3) in the long jump, and Woods (5-8) placing second in the high jump.
Donegal Baseball Wins Three Straight Games April 24, 2017
Struggling to find wins this season it seems as if maybe the Donegal baseball team is starting to turn the corner after they recorded three victories last week and held the lead against Manheim Township before weather intervened in the form of a rain postponement.
With a 3-2 win over Cedar Crest, a 4-1 victory over Hempfield and an 11-4 pasting of West Perry, the Indians improved to 3-5 and a fourth place standing in Section Two.
Dawson Magar pitched five and two thirds innings of two-hit baseball against Cedar Crest surrendering two runs while striking out six for the win while Kobe Bistline came on in relief and earned the save.
Tanner Kohler's fielder's choice single in the first put Donegal ahead early but it was a RBI double by Seiler Edwards and a RBI single by Patrick Beaudoin in the fourth inning that broke a 1-1 tie and put the Indians ahead for good.
Donegal racked up 12 hits against Hempfield while Kyle Hess got the win as he gave up one run on two hits over five innings.
His RBI triple in the fourth broke a 1-1 tie and Kohler followed later with another fielder's choice RBI for insurance. Drew Bechtold (3-4, 2 RBI) led at the plate and accounted for Donegal's final run in the seventh with a RBI single.
After falling behind 1-0 in the first against West Perry, Donegal scored seven runs over the next four innings before allowing another run in the fifth. They tacked on four more before the game ended.
Cameron Ellis earned the win for Donegal throwing five innings of four-hit ball, giving up two runs and striking out three.
Dale Houser (2-3, 3RBI) led offensively for Donegal followed by Magar (2-3, 1RBI), Beaudoin (1-2, 2RBI), and Matt Wallace (1-1, 2RBI).
Only one game separated Donegal (8-1) and Lampeter-Strasburg (9-0) after last week's games. The Indians' lone League blemish was against L-S earlier in the season in what has become a classic rivalry between two top-tier programs.
Controlling what they can by winning, the ladies added four more victories with a 25-0 win over Lebanon Catholic, a 9-0 victory over Elizabethtown, a 7-1 win against Annville-Cleona, and a 15-0 drubbing of Lancaster Mennonite.
Donegal put up 20 runs in the second inning against Lebanon Catholic after a five-run first as Sierra Neiss earned the win in the run shortened game.
Makyla Yoder threw a perfect game against Elizabethtown while the ladies scored nine runs on nine hits to beat the Bears. Morgan Biesecker went 2-4 with 3RBI including a double while Kaitlyn Witmer was 2-4 with 2RBI and a double and Yoder was 3-4 with 2RBI.
Annville-Cleona provided Donegal with its toughest challenge of the week pulling to within one run in the fifth with the score 2-1 before the Donegal offense opened up for a five-run sixth inning to put the game away.
Yoder, who got the start and pitched five innings giving up one run on four hits, went 3-4 with two doubles and 3 RBI. Neiss came on in relief in the sixth inning and recorded the save.
Biesecker (1-4, 2RBI) hit two doubles and Grace Miller (2-4, 1RBI) helped lead the offensive charge.
Scoring five runs in the first inning, three in the second and seven in the third against Lancaster Mennonite while Yoder held the Blazers to only one hit, the Indians forced another mercy rule ending to finish out the week.
Kaitlyn Witmer torched the visitors at the plate going 3-3 with a double and 3RBI while Miller (1-1, 2RBI), and Rachel Overlander (1-1, 2RBI, double) added to the offensive output.
ELCO visited Donegal's hard courts last Tuesday and left with a 6-1 victory in the Indian's only match of the week. The lone win came from Jarett Herr who downed Dawson Smith 7-5, 6-2 in singles play.
Continuing their impressive start to the season, both of Donegal's track teams ran their records to 4-0 last week with victories over Lancaster Catholic at home on Tuesday. Both dominated as the boys came away with a 109-40 victory and the girls secured a 117-32 win over the Crusaders.
While the girls' record setting streak came to an end they still had a strong showing, winning all but four events while sweeping the throws.
Spearheading Donegal's attack, Alice Fernald scored victories in the 400 (59.3) and the 200 (26.6), and ran the second leg of a winning 50.0 effort in the 400 relay along with Kalee Fahndrich, Taylor Nissly, and Ashley Maxwell. She also placed third in the 100 (13.5).
The team of Olivia Lechene, McKenzie Dubusky, Megan Myers, and Ella DeBruin completed the second victory of the day in the relays by running a 13:18.8 to capture first in the 3200 as well.
Donegal benefitted both on the track and in the field from an array of athletes scoring victories, some of whom also placed in other events as well, adding to the Indians' points total.
Erin Slattery won the high hurdles in 17.2 and placed second in the 300 hurdles (50.9), and Seneca Straub placed first in the 1600 (5:51.5) as well as second in the 800 (2:40.4).
In the field events Jaden Droege won the long jump with a 15-0 and placed second in the pole vault by clearing 7-0, Alyssa McNece won the javelin with a throw of 112-6 while coming in third in the high jump with a 4-2, and Aliza Johns secured first place in the discus with a throw of 85-9 and was third in the shot put (30-0).
In other events, Nissly won the 100 in 12.6 while Fahndrich was second (13.4) and Anna Hawbaker took first in the 3200 (15:00.5) while Erika Schell placed second in 15:29.8. Fahndrich came in second in the 200 as well with a time of 28 seconds flat.
Lauren Becker won the high jump by clearing 4-4 which was only two inches above Carly Diffenderfer's second place effort of 4-2. Diffenderfer also garnered two more second place finishes on the day with a 14-11 in the long jump and triple jump distance of 29-11.75, the latter of which was followed by Hannah Lloyd's third place jump of 28-9.5.
Finishing out the jumps, Janell Brinser was victorious in the pole vault clearing 7-6, while Hayley Grosh's 6-0 was enough to take third.
Completing Donegal's sweep in the throwing events, Rosalind Staie won the shot put with a toss of 34-5 ahead of Jamilyn Nimo who placed second with a 32-3.5 and also was second in the discus (85-3).
Other place winners included Dubosky and Myers who finished second and third in the 1600 with respective times of 6:11.5 and 6:12.5, Hannah McNece who took second in the javelin (96-2), Alexandria Daly who was third in the 300 hurdles (56.4), and DeBruin who was third in the 800 (2:46.8).
Following much of the same pattern the boys also conceded only four events but were strongest in the field where the long jump stood as the only event they did not win.
Utilizing a strong team effort in which 11 different athletes garnered wins, Keeryen Stevens stood as the lone multiple race winner in the individuals with a 16.4 in the high hurdles and 44.2 in the 300 hurdles.
In the relays the boys won two out of three with Cody Canterbury, Dylan Zuch, Ian Rineer and Keith Atayde taking the 3200 (9:27.5), while the team of Cameron Arntz, Jared Collazo, Tyler Rupp, and Avery Walker won the 400 in 3:43.2.
Walker and Arntz also comprised half of a quartet of Indians that were winners who placed in other events as well. Walker won the triple jump with a 38-5.5 while taking second in the 100 (11.9) and third in the 200 (24.7), and Arntz was first in the 200 (24.5), and placed third in the 400 (55.8).
Calvin Woods, however, scored the most points of anybody on the day by clearing a winning height of 5-6 in the high jump after placing second in both the hurdles with a time of 17.0 in the 100 and a 44.9 in the 300 for a total of 11 team points.
Brooks Bear represented the fourth member of the group by winning the shot put with a 43-1.75 and taking second in the javelin with a 155-5.
Other race winners included Collazo in the 100 (11.9), Ryan Stainecker in the 400 (53.7), and Zuch in the 3200 (11:07.1) who was followed in second by Aran Mullen with a time of 11:39.8.
Representing the remaining three event winners were Jarred Ford in the pole vault whose height of 11-6 was two feet higher than teammate Jacob Steck who placed second with a 9-6, Nicholas Ketner in the javelin (158-5), and Peter Brubaker in the discus (112-7). He was followed by Mason Sauder in second place with a 110-2.
Payton Luft placed second in two events as his distance of 18-1.5 in the long jump edged teammate Adam Hawbaker who finished third with a 17-8.75, and his 36-4 in the triple jump followed Walker's first place effort.
Other place winners included Canterbury who took second in the 1600 (4:56.7), Silas Buckwalter who was second in the 800 (2:01.2), and Rupp who finished second in the 200 with a 24.7.
Donegal Softballers Post Four-Win Week April 17, 2017
Donegal's softball team kept the wins coming last week as they went 4-0 in keeping pace with Lampeter-Strasburg (6-0) at the top of Section Three. With only one league loss coming at the hands of the Pioneers, Donegal (5-1) can only control what they do in the chase for the section crown.
They did just that with a close 1-0 win over Northern Lebanon and dominating victories over Dover 19-1, ELCO 15-0, and Lancaster Catholic 11-0.
Mikyla Yoder pitched a one-hit gem against the Vikings last Monday while the Indians managed only two of their own in a game that was decided in the first inning when the ladies put one on the board and rode it through to the end.
Yoder struck out 13 and only walked two while teaming with Savanna Kolenda at the plate as they both went 1-3 to lead the team.
Sierra Neiss got the start against Dover and made the most of it with a two hit showing in which she had one unearned run and struck out four over five innings.
After taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning, Donegal tacked on three more in the third before Dover made it 4-1 in the bottom half of the inning. A nine-run fourth inning followed by six more in the fifth put to rest any fears of a Dover comeback attempt as the ladies forced the 10-run rule.
Kaitlyn Witmer led Donegal at the plate as she went 3-4 with 3RBI including a double followed by Kolenda (2-3, 3RBI), Peighton Hornick (2-5, 3RBI), Neiss (2-5, 1RBI), Shaianne Boyer (2-2, 2RBI), Yoder (1-3, 3RBI), and Rachel Overlander (1-4, 1RBI).
Wednesday's contest with ELCO was even shorter as Donegal put up nine runs in the first, four in the second, and two in the third while keeping the Raiders off the board in another run shortened game.
Grace Miller (2-2), Emily Graham (1-2), and Neiss (3-3) all drove in two runs apiece, while Kolenda (3-3), Morgan Biesecker (1-3), Witmer (1-3), and Yoder (1-3) all had 1RBI each.
Yoder started and struck out six of the 11 batters she faced while walking none and giving up two hits.
Against Lancaster Catholic, the Indians racked up 13 hits while Yoder only surrendered three with six strikeouts over five innings.
Donegal took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-run double by Witmer and then exploded for six runs in the third sparked by Yoder's RBI triple to right field. Two more in the fourth and one in the fifth sealed the victory for the visiting Indians.
It has been a struggle for the Indians to find a way to win so far this season and after last week's slate of games they found themselves in fifth place in Section Three with a 1-4 record. Donegal lost 9-6 against Elizabethtown, 8-7 against Ephrata, and 9-5 to McCaskey, but were in each game and had opportunities to pull off the victory.
After Elizabethtown took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning, the Indians came back strong, scoring five unanswered runs over the second and third innings, but surrendered two in the sixth and six in the seventh.
Dawson Magar got the start for Donegal and threw six and a third innings giving up four runs on seven hits while striking out five before losing pitcher Ryan Buckius came on in relief.
The Indians tied the game in the second inning when Drew Bechtold (2-4, 4RBI) hit a line drive to left field with one out and scored Seiler Edwards from second and eventually took the lead on Tanner Kohler's two-run single to center field.
In the third it was Bechtold coming through again with a bases loaded single to right field which scored Edwards and pinch runner Elijah Myers to make it 5-1, but the Bears tied the game in the seventh and took the lead for good off of Buckius.
On Wednesday, even though the Indians out hit Ephrata 10-4, they could not hold off the Mounts and gave up the come-from-behind victory.
Updegraff ( 1-4, 1RBI) put Donegal on the board in the first inning when he singled home Dale Houser (2-3) from second for the 1-0 lead. Ephrata tied the game in the second off of starting pitcher Brady Steinman but three more Donegal runs in the third made it 4-1 in the Indians' favor.
Ephrata again tied the game by scoring three times in the bottom of the inning before Kohler's two-run single in the fourth put Donegal ahead yet again. Kohler (2-5, 2RBI) then scored on Patrick Beaudoin's (1-4, 1RBI) single to center field giving Donegal the 7-4 lead, but it was the final run Donegal scored.
Ephrata scored once more in the fifth and added three more in the bottom of the sixth for the win.
Against McCaskey, the Indians were playing catch-up the entire game beginning in the first inning when they gave up two runs to the home team. Donegal answered in the second with a run but surrendered three more in the bottom of the inning.
After putting up two in the third, the Indians watched McCaskey once again widen the gap to 7-3 in the bottom half but closed it with two of their own in the fourth to make it 7-5 before giving up two more in the sixth for the final score.
Continuing their excellent start to the season, both the boys' and girls' track teams ran their record to 3-0 last week with a 105-45 win over ELCO for the boys, and a 90-60 win for the girls.
Silas Buckwalter and Brooks Bear each scored two wins as Buckwalter won the 1600 in 4:50, as well as the 800 with a time of 2:11.4 and Bear took care of business in the throws with a shot put win of 46-5.75, as well as a discus throw of 124-8.
They also swept the relays as Cody Canterbury, Keith Atayde, Ryan Zuch, and Buckwalter won the 3200 in 8:51.6, Cameron Arntz, Jared Collazo, Tyler Rupp, and Avery Walker won the 400 in 46.0, and Keeryen Stevens, Calvin Woods, Rupp, and Walker took the 1600 (3:47.5).
The only running events Donegal did not win were the 300 hurdles and the 3200 as Stevens won the high hurdles in 16.8, Collazo won the 100 in 11.7, Ryan Stainecker won the 400 in 54.2, and Arntz took the 200 in 24.6.
Meanwhile the boys split the jumping events with ELCO as Woods cleared 5-8 in the high jump and Jarred Ford won the pole vault by clearing 11-6.
Other Indians that placed included Woods who took third in both the high hurdles (17.0) and the 300 hurdles (44.9), Walker was second in the 100 (11.7) and the triple jump (40-5.5), Rupp was third in the 100 (11.7) and second in the 200 (24.7), Atayde was second in the 1600 (4:56) as well as the 800 (2:12.2), Aedan Wilkinson was third in the 400 (57.0), Stevens was second in the 300 hurdles (44.4), Canterbury was third in the 800 (2:13.3), Stainecker was third in the 200 (24.8), Zuch was second in the 3200 (11:32.6), Payton Luft was third in the long jump (18-5.75), Adam Hawbaker was third in the triple jump (37-2), Andrew Stwalley was third in the high jump (5-2), Davon Brantley was third in the pole vault (9-6), Nicholas Ketner was second in the javelin (167-5) ahead of Bear who finished third with a 162-9, Nathan Brubaker was third in the shot put (38-2.5), and Cael Rapp finished third in the discus with a 105-7.
It was another record breaking week for the girls as well as Taylor Nissly, Ashley Maxwell, Alice Fernald, and Kaylee Fahndrich bested their own school record in the 400 relay with a time of 50.2, and Nissly broke her own school record in the 200 with a time of 25.7.
Nissly also won the 100 in 12.7 and joined Erin Slattery as the only two multiple event winners for the girls. Slattery was first in the high hurdles with a 17.5, and the 300 hurdles with a 51.0
Seneca Straub, Nissly, Maxwell, and Caroline Goodwill turned in the winning time of 4:23 in the 1600 as the ladies also won two of the three relays.
Other winners for Donegal included Fernald (59.5) in the 400, Carly Diffenderfer (30-3.5) in the triple jump, Lauren Becker (4-6) in the high jump, and Alyssa McNece (111-5) in the javelin.
Placing for the Indians were Kalee Fahndrich who was second in the 100 (13.0) ahead of Fernald (13.1), who also was second in the 200 (27.0), Straub who was second in the 1600 (6:090.3) as well as the 800 (2:43.5), Miranda Nagle who was third in the 1600 (6:18.3) and second in the 3200 (13:48.9), Aliza Young who was third in the 400 (66.4), Lauren Redcay who was third in the 300 hurdles (55.5), Megan Myers who was third in the 3200 (14:10.4), Diffenderfer who was second in the long jump (14-4.5), Hannah Lloyd who was third in the triple jump (28-10.5), McNece who was third in the high jump (4-6) as well as second in the javelin (108-9), Jaiden Droege who was third in the pole vault (6-6), Hannah McNece who was second in the javelin (108-9), Rosalind Staie who was third in the javelin (75-8) and second in the shot put (35-9.5), Jamilyn Nimo who was third in the shot put (33-0), Aliza Johns who was second in the discus (91.5) and Chrysten Hynes who was third in the discus (82-111).
The boys had a strong start to the week with 7-0 wins over Northern Lebanon and Octorara, but ended with two losses, a 7-0 defeat at the hands of Cocalico and a 3-2 loss to Reading.
Donegal dominated the Vikings on Monday as Northern Lebanon only won five total games on the day. Andrew Ashley and Aaron Stehman won 8-0, Mark Pickle and Joseph Johns pulled off an 8-4 victory, and Jarrett Herr and Noah Hoffmaster won 8-0 to wrap up the doubles, while in singles it was Ashley 6-0, 6-0, Stehman 6-1, 6-0, Herr 6-0, 6-0, and Hoffmaster 6-0, 6-0.
Against Octorara it was a little bit more competitive, but still a walk through for the Indians as Ashley and Stehman won 8-1, Herr and Hoffmaster won in tiebreaker 9-8 (2), and Aaron Rugh and Austin Hollinger won 8-2. In singles it was Ashley 6-3, 6-4, Stehman 6-2, 6-2, Hoffmaster 7-5, 6-4, and Herr 6-1, 6-0.
Donegal's tightest match of the week unfortunately ended in a loss, but it was a close one. Reading swept the doubles play, but Ashley and Stehman both won in straight sets with identical 6-0 scores.