Six All-Stars Fuel Solanco's Success June 8, 2017
Solanco's softball team capped a 19-6 record this season with help from a handful of Lancaster-Lebanon League all-stars. First Team Section Two stars included the Mares' only senior starter, Abby Heidelbaugh, juniors Kayla May, Liz Mowrer and Randi Rambo and sophomores Kara McClune and Hanna Phillips.
"Abby absolutely had the highest league batting average (.533) ever at Solanco," said head coach Brett Miller. "When you have a leadoff hitter doing that, good things should happen."
And they did. After starting the season 3-3, Solanco won ten straight games and earned their third straight section title. They advanced to the championship round of the L-L League playoffs, bowing out to Penn Manor, 5-3. They went 2-2 in District Playoffs and settled for sixth place. The top five batters in their lineup received all-star recognition and played a key role in those good things happening.
McClune, who played left field, batted second and finished with a .429 league average. She followed Heidelbaugh's season high 28 hits with 26 and was second on the team with 28 RBI.
"Kara put together a good year for her first year as a starter," said Miller. "She had some timely hits, two game-winners, and made some big defensive plays as well."
Batting third and playing shortstop was Rambo who led the team with six triples. She followed McClune with 26 RBI and batted .378 for the season.
"She's developing as a shortstop," said Miller, "and keeps improving. She did not strike out once during league play and that's and accomplishment."
First baseman Mowrer batted cleanup and tied Heidelbaugh for the team lead with three home runs. Mowrer batted .357 on the year and finished with 17 hits and seven doubles. She led the team with 31 RBI.
"Liz has been very consistent at the plate," Miller stated. "She also catches but I was pleased with her performance at first base. She made the infield look good at times."
Fifth in the lineup this year was May, who settled in at third base. "Kayla was a pleasant surprise and got better as the season progressed. She made some pretty tough plays," said Miller.
May connected for 19 hits, 13 RBI and batted .338 on the season.
Solanco's final Section Two all-star was second-year starting pitcher Hanna Phillips. The sophomore tossed two perfect game no hitters against Ephrata and McCaskey. She finished with season with 216 strikeouts and a 1.83 ERA for the season.
"Hanna struck out on the average, nine hitters a game," said Miller, "which was up from last year. And she gave up about five hits a game. Hanna is deceptively fast," he continued. "She is a little hard for batters to see."
Receiving All-League Section One and Two, by position played, was Heidelbaugh and May.
"All of our all-stars are deserving of the accolades," Miller stated. "It was a pleasure to have Abby in center field. She showed a high level of focus, particularly at the plate. We will miss her."
Heidelbaugh scored 37 of the team's 175 runs and tied for the team lead with three home runs. She struck out just four times throughout the season. She also led the team with eight doubles and eight walks
"I thought we had the potential to do as well as we did," said Miller. "It took us about seven games to find our way but we did. We beat some quality teams this year and I was pleased with and proud of how we matured and improved throughout the season."
The Mares batted .369 as a team in league play, and finished with 236 hits.
"When you bat what we did as a team and score 137 league runs, you should win a section title," stated Miller. "We gained a lot of experience this season and we were always finding ways to give ourselves the opportunity to win games. I never sensed that we were looking too far ahead," he added. "We always seemed to focus in when we needed to and always responded."
Other contributors this season included Ally McDowell who scored 15 runs and tied Heidelbaugh and Mowrer with three homers. She batted .357 overall and played right field.
Lindsey Lane handled Phillips behind the plate and finished with 12 hits and ten runs scored.
Alyssa Henretty worked six walks, connected for 10 hits and scored 12 runs and Kate Sheaffer, playing second base, scored 22 runs, finished with 20 hits and matched Heidelbaugh for a team-high eight walks. Senior Albrea Doss was largely a courtesy runner when extra speed was needed on the bases.
With all but two returning to the field next season, the Mares will strive to break the 20 wins in a season mark and will look to qualify for the PIAA playoffs, a goal they almost achieved this year.
Mares Finish 6th in Districts With 19-6 Record June 5, 2017
Many teams set goals at the start of the season. Win the section. Win leagues. Qualify for districts and what not. Solanco head coach Brett Miller's philosophy is a bit simpler. "Win the next game. That's always the goal."
The Mares this year have, more often than not, won that next game all the way to the District Three Class 5A fifth place game. With a chance to qualify for the PIAA tournament, the Mares saw their season come to a close with a 4-2 loss to Lower Dauphin at Millersville University last Thursday, June 1. The Falcons advance to the PIAA tournament while the Mares close this chapter with a 19-6 record.
LD took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a walk and a two out blooper over short. Solanco looked to counter in the bottom half, loading the bases on a single by Kayla May, a bunt single by Ally McClune and a one out walk to Alyssa Henretty. Falcon hurler Ava Bottiglia, however, worked a strikeout and a popup to get out of the jam.
Neither team threatened again until the sixth inning. The fourth seed Falcons (19-4) took control with three runs on two base hits, a bunt single and a two run double.
Solanco squashed that momentum with a two run home half. McClune singled and was replaced by courtesy runner Albrea Doss who moved to second on Randi Rambo's fielder's choice ground out and scored on Liz Mowrer's line drive single. May followed that up with a triple, scoring pinch runner Tori Lawson, but back-to-back strikeouts left the score at 4-2.
"We just dug ourselves too deep a hole," said Miller. "I thought we hit well at times and other times we hit right at them. We needed a couple more to drop in and they didn't. Their hits did.
"I was proud that we responded the way we did," he added. "We found a way that inning. We just need a little more mature killer instinct."
Hanna Phillips, who struck out six, walked one and gave up seven hits, forced three pop outs and gave up one single in the seventh.
Needing two runs to tie, Solanco's seventh inning rally took a hit when the first two batters struck out. Abby Heidelbaugh reached on an error but a third strikeout ended the Mares season earlier than they had hoped for.
McClune and May accounted for four of Solanco's six hits.
"Leaving the bases loaded hurt," noted Miller. "We just needed a bigger timely hit.
"Defensively, we've been improving," he added. "In all four of our district games the defense has been solid. And against pitchers and teams that are all playing at the next level. We won 19 games over a long season and we can look to build on this last game for next year."
Solanco advanced to that fifth-place game with Tuesday's 6-5 walk off thriller over 11th seed Daniel Boone (11-9). Back at Millersville, Kate Sheaffer worked a one out walk, moved up on Heidelbaugh's base hit and scored the game-winner on McClune's single.
"That walk was huge," said Miller. "And Abby, a senior, came through as well while Kara picked up another game-winning hit. She's a sophomore and has shown steady improvement at the plate.
"I was definitely not going to have Abby bunt," Miller continued. "I was confident that Kara, or Randi, who bats third, would get the hard hit."
Solanco got out early in this one, scoring two in the first and picking up three more in the second as they appeared to take control. Heidelbaugh opened with a two strike single, went to second on McClune's bunt and to third on an error. She came home on Rambo's fielder's choice. Mowrer reached on an error and Rambo scored on May's fielder's choice.
One inning later they rallied with two outs. Sheaffer reached on a full count walk, Heidelbaugh collected her second base hit and both scored on McClune's triple. Rambo's double quickly made it 5-0.
"It was cautiously good to go up 5-0 so quickly," said Miller.
Boone got one back in the fourth and then finally figured out Phillips in the fifth. A leadoff single was followed by a walk and a two run triple. A sac fly on a laid out catch by McClune in left field cut the lead to 5-4.
Two innings later Phillips seemed poised enough to grab another win, working pop outs to left and center field. But just as quickly, a triple to the fence and a base hit knotted the score. The last out was a pop up back to the sophomore pitcher, setting the stage for McClune's heroics.
"It was great to see us respond right away," Miller said.
Phillips struck out five, gave up five hits and walked one.
"A couple pitches we might want back," Miller noted. "Every district game is a learning experience for Hanna. Location is critical and she'll keep working on it."
The Mares were knocked into the consolation rounds when they dropped a 3-1 quarterfinals result against visiting Cedar Cliff, who actually went on to win the District 5A title with a 13-9 rout of Spring Grove, on Friday, May 26.
The Colts struck early, taking advantage of two walks with a one out triple by pitcher Avery Winchell. Phillips fanned the last two batter of the inning. She finished with six strikeouts and four walks on the day while yielding six hits.
Lindsey Lane's double down the left field line in the third inning, literally, was Solanco's first hit of the day. She was left stranded on third, as was McClune who singled in the fourth.
The Colts worked a base hit and a RBI double in the top of the sixth and Solanco mounted its biggest threat in the home half. Three straight hits by Heidlebaugh, McClune and Rambo cut the lead to 3-1. A groundout, a strikeout and a popout cut the rally short.
Both teams gave up seventh inning walks. The win qualified the Colts for their first-ever trip to states.
Freshman Alana Yoder and first year thrower Anna Cooney made a return trip to Shippensburg University and Seth Grove Stadium for the PIAA Championships May 26-27 as Solanco's only qualifiers.
Yoder opened action on Friday as the ninth seed, out of 28, with a 2:16.31 and clocked a career best 2:13.72 with a third place finish in her heat that qualified her for Saturday's finals.
"That placed her as the fifth seed in the finals," noted assistant coach Craig Ausel. "We knew most of the qualifiers would run faster in the finals and we were hoping for a 2:11 or 2:12 and to place top 8. Alana did not disappoint," he continued. "She held herself at the back of the lead pack for the first 400 and at the 500 mark started to make her move. She advanced from 10th place to a third place finish with a 2:09.99. Her time qualified her for the National Federation High School Honor Roll and is the fastest time in the US for a high school freshman on the Milesplit ranking site," he noted.
"Alana ran two smart races," said head coach Ivan Haines. "She's the type of athlete that thrives on competition."
Cooney, a junior, who finished fourth in the District Three Class AAA shotput with a heave of 38-5 did not qualify for the finals.
"Having only picked up the shot two and a half months ago, Anna did well this season, qualifying for states in her first year of track," said Haines. "With the experience of the big meets she gained, Anna should make a return trip to states as a senior."
SLCXC Distance ChallengeFundraiser Slated May 26, 2017
The Solanco Cross Country and Track Alumni Association will be hosting a "One Hour Distance Challenge" at the Solanco High School Track on Saturday, June 10 at 7PM. The event is open to all alumni, family, friends, and supporters of Solanco Cross Country. There will be individual and team relay events with the goal of accumulating the greatest distance in the one hour timed event.
The event will support the Solanco Food Bank and the Solanco Cross Country Team summer camp. More information and registration details can be accessed at www.solancoxc.org or by emailing Coach Ausel at email@example.com
Mares Blank Muhlenberg in District Opener May 26, 2017
Shaking off their Lancaster-Lebanon League championship loss to Penn Manor, Solanco's softball team regrouped for the second phase of their post-season, the District Three Class 5A championships. That action got underway last Tuesday afternoon when the Golden Mares hosted the No. 15 Muhlenberg Muhls (12-9).
Solanco, seeded No. 2 behind Lampeter-Strasburg, used a pair of two run homers to fuel a nine run fifth inning and record a 10-0 shutout.
Senior Abby Heidelbaugh crushed a second pitch triple to open the action. She scored when Randi Rambo's liner got past the third baseman.
"Abby got things going," said head coach Brett Miller. "She's batting at the .500 mark."
The Mares, with a 10 hit attack, left one runner on base in the second, third and fourth innings before breaking the game open in the fifth. Batting around plus two, Kate Shaffer led off with a bunt single and Heidelbaugh followed with a base hit to deep short. Kara McClune's sac bunt pushed the runners to second and third and Rambo's sac fly made it 2-0.
With two outs, cleanup hitter Liz Mowrer drilled a two strike liner way past centerfield field, doubling Solanco's advantage to 4-0.
"I was kind of surprised they pitched to her," said Miller. "There was no doubt that shot was a home run. Things seemed to snowball after that."
Kayla May started the second rally with a bloop single over short and came around to home on Ally McDowell's two run blast. Lindsey Lane's grounder was thrown over first base. Pinch runner Albrea Doss scored on Alyssa Henretty's soft liner over third and Sheaffer reached on another bunt.
With Henretty on third and Shaffer on second, Heidelbaugh doubled to right field, pushing the lead to 9-zip. McClune's fly ball to left field was dropped, allowing Heidelbaugh to score the tenth and final run.
"We had a lot of key hits that inning but Abby's hit got us that much closer to ending the game early," stated Miller. "It was an explosive inning. I don't know if we've ever scored nine runs in one inning in a district game."
Defensively, Hanna Phillips tossed a one-hitter, yielding a base hit in the fifth inning. She recorded nine strikeouts on the day and walked two.
"Hanna pitched well enough," said Miller. "She's been sharper at times. She ran some high counts but she battles out there. She always battles."
And the rest of the Mares follow suit.
They faced No. 10 Cedar Cliff (13-8), a 6-4 upset winner over No. 7 Twin Valley, in the quarterfinals. Due to holiday deadlines, those results will appear in the June 7 edition of the Advertiser.
Girls BasketballCamp Announced May 22, 2017
Solanco's Girls' Basketball Camp will be held Monday, June 26 through Wednesday, June 28 from 9 am to 12 noon for those currently in grades 2nd through 7th. Cost includes a t-shirt and basketball if registered before June 1.
Camp is to provide a positive environment where players can develop their skills. Campers will receive fundamentals and skill work daily.
For more information or to register, contact Coach McDowell at 717-314-3968 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yoder, Cooney Qualify for PIAA Meet May 22, 2017
A handful of Solanco athletes competed in the District Three Class 3A championships at Shippensburg's Seth Grove Stadium this past Friday and Saturday and with positive results.
Freshman Alana Yoder was Solanco's top place winner, earning a silver medal in the 800 meter run with a 2:16.31, just off her seed time of 2:15.68. She followed freshman Taryn Parks, of Greencastle-Antrim, who clocked a winning time of 2:15.71.
First year thrower Anna Cooney placed fourth in the shot put with a 38-5. The junior was seeded third with a 39-9.75.
"Both Alana and Anna qualified for states," said head coach Ivan Haines. "Anna will throw Friday morning (May 26) and has a great chance of doing well. Alana runs Friday afternoon and again on Saturday if she advances."
Senior Jen Eberly competed in both hurdle races. The three time district qualifier ran a 14.58 in the 110's and a 48.12 in the 300's.
"Jen wasn't far off her seed time in the 110's and finished fifth in her heat in the 300's," Haines noted. "She has had a great career in girls' track both as a hurdler and a jumper. We will miss her leadership and commitment to the program. We could always depend on her."
Representing the boys', Dylan Sheaffer tossed the shot put 47-2. He was the 13th seed with a 49-0.75.
"Dylan missed the finals by three-quarters of an inch," said Haines. "He will be back next year ready to throw in both districts and states."
Robbie McHugh also made the trip to Shippensburg to compete in the high jump. He was seeded 13th after clearing 6-2 during the season.
"This was only Robbie's second year jumping and he's not used to starting at the higher heights and was not able to clear the opening height," noted Haines. "He had two great years jumping."
Playing three games in three days wasn't anything new for Solanco's softball team. They did it twice during the regular season but three straight Lancaster-Lebanon League playoff games was a tall task especially with the balmy weather conditions last week. Still, the Mares buckled down and advanced to the championship game for the first time since 2005. And though they suffered a 5-3 loss in that final game, they did it with just one senior on the squad. Don't expect another 12 years to pass before you see the Mares in the league playoff finals.
Solanco opened their L-L League run at Garrett Park in Willow Street on Monday, May 15 against Section Three runner-up Lampeter-Strasburg and pulled away with a 7-5 victory.
Tied at 5-5 after five complete innings, Solanco rallied with two runs in the bottom of the sixth and held off the Pioneers in the seventh to advance.
Kate Sheaffer started the rally with a bunt single and scored on Randi Rambo's two out triple to right center field. Liz Mowrer followed with another triple that plated Rambo for the two run cushion.
L-S managed a two out single in their last at bat but Hanna Phillips wrapped up the win with her ninth strikeout of the night. She surrendered nine hits and gave up just one walk.
"I thought Hanna threw very well," lauded head coach Brett Miller. "She handled the top of their lineup and pitched big when she needed to."
Phillips recorded five strikeouts, hit one and walked one in facing Lampeter's first three batters.
The Mares got the early lead in this one, scoring twice in the second inning. Mowrer doubled, moved up on a passed ball and scored on Kayla May's base hit. After a sacrifice bunt by Ally McDowell and a ground out, Alyssa Henretty's single up the middle plated Lane.
Not to be out done, the Pioneers came back with three in the top of the fourth on three straight hits, a one out sac fly and a liner past third base. A pop out to Rambo at short ended further damage.
Solanco seemed unfazed and quickly went to work to regain the lead. Mower singled up the middle, May followed with an infield base hit and McDowell bunted to load the bags. The Pioneers worked a force out at home on Lane's grounder and Henretty was hit by a pitch, knotting the score at 3-3. Sheaffer's fielder's choice found McDowell safe at home and an overthrow to third base trying to get Lane pushed in Solanco's fifth run of the game.
The Pioneers again went in front with two in the top of the fifth inning on a walk, a triple and two base hits but the visitors were denied again when Kara McClune snagged Caroline Braungard's fly ball to left field on a 13 pitch at bat.
"McClune robbed us in the third inning too when we had two on and two outs with Hanna Garber at the plate," recalled Pioneer head coach Gene Charles.
The Mares loaded the bases with one out in the bottom half but came up empty.
But Mowrer and Rambo were not to be denied in the sixth as their key hits pushed the Mares through to the semifinals Tuesday night.
"I felt we had good, consistent at bats, especially the middle to the end of our lineup," Miller stated.
Tuesday, in the semifinals, the Mares faced Section One runner-up Hempfield, a team they defeated 7-2 in crossover action on April 24. This time around was a bit closer as Solanco denied the Knights in a 4-3 thriller.
The Mares got in front early in this one. May's two out single plated McClune who worked a one out walk and moved up on Mowrer's base hit.
They made it 3-0 in the second inning on Shaffer's two out bunt single and Abby Heidelbaugh's bullet to centerfield that cleared the bases. And they scored again in the third on a Rambo triple and a sac fly by Mowrer.
Hempfield got one back in the fifth on a bases loaded sac fly and then made things interesting with a seventh inning rally that started with a single to left and a one out single by short. Then, with two outs, Hempfield's pitcher Kara Cook singled up the middle for a run and Gabi Turner dropped one in front of Heidelbaugh in center for another RBI.
Heidelbaugh, Solanco's only senior starter, fired the ball to the top of the backstop as Cook headed for third base. Heads up play by Lane saw her grab the ball and fire to May at third base for a called final out of the game.
"It was a team effort to get the win," said Miller. "It was great that Lindsey knew to make the play and that Kayla caught the ball.
"And we made some opportunities with Abby's hard hit to center that bounced past the outfielder and went to the fence and then Rambo's triple and sac fly by Liz," he continued. "Hanna made the pitches she needed to and we made the plays behind her and it pushed us into the finals for the first time in a while."
Wednesday's championship game pitted the Mares against Section One champ Penn Manor. The Comets defeated Solanco 5-3 back on April 13. Since then Miller's squad has racked up 13 straight wins, including six shutouts. Unfortunately, Penn Manor's senior-laden squad pulled off another 5-3 victory and earned the school's first ever L-L League softball crown.
This game too, however, was not without some drama. Solanco gave up two runs in the first inning yielding a leadoff walk and an error. Manor scored two more in the third with the Mares committing two more errors to go along with a base hit and added a single run in the fifth while committing yet another miscue.
"I would say we played young," said Miller. "You can't give a quality pitcher like Brittney Hook opportunities like we did. Four errors were a bit uncharacteristic."
The Mares, who finished with seven hits on the night, finally got to Hook in the fifth inning. McDowell worked a full count walk as did Henretty with one out. With two outs, Heidelbaugh loaded the bases with an infield single and McClune followed with a two-run base hit to left center. Rambo then connected for a full count bloop single that cut the lead to 5-3.
"It was the third night pitching for both pitchers," noted Miller, "and it was hot. Hanna pitched well enough for us to win but we gave up three or four unearned runs. We need to be more consistent and confident.
"Defensively, Kate made some big plays at second base this week and Abby continues to make the plays in center field," he added.
Hook finished with eight strikeouts and two walks. Phillips walked one, fanned four and gave up six hits.
"The goal is always to win the game," said Miller. "The loss was a cumulative effort. It was a good hurt. And the bottom line is that we have given ourselves the opportunity to continue to play."
The Mares, seeded second in the District Three Class 5A bracket, will host No. 15 Muhlenberg this week.
Last year Solanco opened District playoffs with a 1-0 win over Central Dauphin but then lost a 1-0 heartbreaker to Penn Manor. The Comets are in the 6A bracket this season. Donegal and L-S, however, will be lurking in the 5A tournament.
The baseball team capped its season with an overall record of 4-14 but 11 of those losses were by four runs or less. For their efforts, the Mules had four players recognized as Lancaster-Lebanon League all-stars.
Sophomore Tim Fetterman was a first team Section Two all-start outfielder. He finished with a .367 average with 18 hits, including six RBI's, seven runs scored an eight stolen bases.
Dawson Kreider, also a sophomore, was also a first team selection. He started games at both second base and short stop and pitched five games in relief. He finished with a .321 batting average in league play with six RBI's and a 0.00 ERA in 10.1 innings on the mound.
Second team all-stars are sophomore John Murray and Mike Worthington. Murray hit .273 with four doubles and six RBI. Worthington, a senior, added 11 stolen bases and scored seven runs.
"He may be the best defensive short stop in the league," said head coach Tom Fish.
Girls BasketballCamp Announced May 19, 2017
Solanco's Girls' Basketball Camp will be held Monday, June 26 through Wednesday, June 28 from 9 am to 12 noon for those currently in grades 2nd through 7th. Cost includes a t-shirt and basketball if registered before June 1.
Camp is to provide a positive environment where players can develop their skills. Campers will receive fundamentals and skill work daily.
For more information or to register, contact Coach McDowell at 717-314-3968 or email email@example.com.
Mares Win Third Straight Section Two Title May 15, 2017
The post-season officially starts this week for Solanco's softball team after Saturday's weather delayed the start of the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs. But last week's games also had a playoff intensity. The Mares needed to win one of their last two regular season games to clinch the Section Two crown and then, in their season finale, hosted Section Four champ Pequea Valley. The result was a clean sweep.
Solanco took care of Section Two title with Monday's 6-4 thriller over hosting Conestoga Valley. It was their third consecutive section crown and 19th overall.
A Liz Mowrer RBI single in the first inning and a Randi Rambo run scoring base hit in the second put Solanco in front early. The Bucks, however, squashed that momentum with a three-spot in the bottom half.
Unfazed, the Mares knotted the score in the top of the fourth when Lindsey Lane's single plated Ally McDowell, who reached on a double. They regained the lead one inning later on a manufactured run. Rambo doubled and moved up on Mowrer's ground out and Kayla May's sacrifice fly put the Mares back in front, 4-3.
They extended that advantage in the sixth. Lane led off with a base hit and courtesy runner Albrea Doss scored on Abby Heidelbaugh's two out double. Kara McClune added a RBI single for a 6-3 advantage.
"It was a battle for a couple of innings," said head coach Brett Miller. "It was definitely a playoff type atmosphere with an energized crowd. We keep finding ways to win.
"We had some productive at bats, especially in the fifth inning," he added. "And productive doesn't always mean a hit. A groundout advanced the runner and a sac fly scored the run."
CV got one back in the home half of the sixth but it wasn't enough.
Hannah Phillips won the battle in the circle, fanning seven, and walking three while scattering eight hits.
Tuesday, on the road again, the Mares made short work of Ephrata. Phillips tossed a no-hitter while striking out eight, McDowell crushed a home run and Solanco extended a 4-0 lead in the second inning with seven runs in the third and cruised to a 13-0 shutout.
Rambo led the 15 hit attack with three triples and five RBI.
"I don't know how often someone hits three triples in one game," said Miller. "And Ally's homer was a bomb to left field. When she stays focused, she has that potential.
"Hannah faced 15 batters and threw 50 pitches and we ended the game early."
Wednesday the Mares faced one of the best pitchers in the league in PV's Sabrina Ryan and escaped with a 2-0 victory courtesy of McClune's game-winning, two run homer in the bottom of the sixth.
"This was a big win and will help our district ranking," noted Miller. "Different players keep stepping up at different times. Kayla made a couple of smooth plays at third and Ally had a big catch in right field.
"And Hannah pitched big in a big game," he added. "Two section champs were going at it. She struck out 12, gave up four hits and didn't walk a batter."
With two outs, and after yielding nine strikeouts and having zero hits, Heidelbaugh reached on Pequea's only error of the game. She stole second and scored on McClune's screamer to left field.
In the last week of the regular season the Mules dropped a pair of 3-2 heartbreakers and saw their record fall to 3-13 in Section Two and 4-14 overall.
Monday was senior day as the Mules hosted Conestoga Valley. "We were really hoping to send our senior class (Mike Worthington, Cameron Colvin, Jakob Nerys, Josh Kreider, Ben Harvey and Colin Ewaka) out on a positive note," said head coach Tom Fish. "We've had so many closes losses, especially in the second half of the season, the hope was we would pull one out."
The Mules, with an 8-6 advantage in hits for the day, opened the scoring with a run in the second inning, gave up two in the top of the fourth and came back to tie the score in the bottom half. Unfortunately, the visitors had the last say, plating the game winner in the top of the fifth.
Josh Kreider gave up five hits and only seven baserunners in his five innings of work on the mound. He also reached base all four times he was up, connecting for two singles and a pair of walks. He scored both of Solanco's runs.
Senior Cam Colvin went 1-3 with a double and one RBI and senior Ben Harvey collected his first varsity hit, a single in the sixth. He also drew a walk, reaching base twice in three plate appearances.
"Josh pitched a great game and Cam made some nice defensive plays at second base," noted Fish.
Pitching in relief, Dawson Kreider tossed two perfect innings while sophomores Tim Fetterman, John Murray and Joel McGuire added base hits.
"With two runners on in the fifth inning, pinch hitter Trent Myers hit a bullet right at the CV shortstop to end our biggest threat," Fish noted. "It was a hard hit ball that may have plated two runs had it not be caught. We had baserunners on in every inning and a couple of times managed to hit balls right at the CV defenders."
Solanco topped the Buckskins 14-10 in their first half meeting on April 12.
The Mules were hoping to avenge an 11-0 shutout against the visiting Mounts on Tuesday but instead saw an early lead slip away and dropped another 3-2 final.
Fetterman singled and scored on D. Kreider's base hit for a 1-0 lead in the third inning. One inning later, Trent Myers cracked a base hit and scored on Nate Shambaugh's sac fly. But it wasn't enough. The perennial Section Two powerhouse Mounts tied the game with two runs in the top of the fifth and pushed across the game-winner one inning later. They held a slim 7-6 advantage in hits.
Ewaka doubled and drew two walks, reaching base three times. Mike Worthington added a base hit and stole two bases.
"Much like the CV game, we had baserunners in every inning except the fifth," noted Fish. "Another pinch hitter, this time sophomore Hunter Shaw, hit a bullet line drive to second base that turned into a double play and shut down a rally in the sixth."
On the hill, Hayden Fox got the start, giving up three runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings of work.
"Hayden pitched well against aa formidable offense," stated Fox. "He finished with three strikeouts and was aided by a very strong game from John Murray behind the plate. John threw out three baserunners trying to steal, and did a great job blocking balls and receiving.
"Our record does not reflect how competitive we were this season," he continued. "Eleven of our 14 losses were by four runs or less. Our last six losses were decided by an average of less than two runs per game. Defensively, we were more than solid all season, in fact, this was probably the best defensive team we've had in my seven seasons at Solanco and possibly the best defensive team in the L-L," he added. "Our young team appeared to be snake-bitten at times, as some of our losses came down to the final inning or even the final pitch during the second half of the season."
After capping the regular season against Manheim Central, Solanco's track teams opened the post-season competition at the Lancaster-Lebanon League Track and Field Championships held at Hempfield where three different athletes secured two top six medals.
Alana Yoder, Robbie McHugh and Anna Cooney were the top place winners. McHugh finished in a four-way tie for second place in the high jump, clearing 6-2 while Yoder grabbed her silver medal in the 800 (2:18.75). She also ran a fifth place time in the mile with a 5:17.92. Cooney earned a second in shot put with a 39-1.75.
Dylan Scheaffer secured a personal best 49-0.75 in the shot put where he finished third and added a 128-4 to place sixth in the discus.
Jen Eberly settled for a pair of sixth place efforts, placing in both the 100 hurdles (16.44) and the 300's (47.70).
The track teams traveled to Manheim last Monday for the last Section Two meet of the regular season and came home with a pair of losses.
Despite a hard-fought effort that resulted in eight personal best performances, the Mares suffered an 81.5 - 64.5 loss to the second place Barons (6-1).
Yoder, a freshman, led a seven-win charge with two first place finishes, earning top times in the mile (5:26.3) and 800 (2:24.6) meter runs. Adding to those distance runs was a win by the 4x800 relay team of Kerith Paine, Morgan Perry, Aubree Roop and Cortney Johnson with a 10:16.2. Johnson also chipped in with the top time in the 400 (1:02.8) and was second in the 200 (29.3) with Paine adding thirds in the 400 and 200.
In the field, Kelly Cook not only cleared 4-7 to win the high jump but earned second place personal bests in both the long (14-4) and triple (30-8.5) jumps.
Sophomore Troyanna Miller won the discus (97-6) and was second in the shot put (32-10.5) behind Cooney's top put of 38-10.25. Also in the throws was a second place effort by Lydia Fetterman in the javelin (97-1) followed by Nathaly Molinarez in third place (92).
The Mares (3-4 in Section Two) also got a second and third place finish from Sophie Plechner (8-6) and Allyson Osborne (8-0) in the pole vault while Eberly settled for thirds in the 100 hurdles (16.0) and the 300's (48.6).
"Jen ran well, earning a PR in the 100 hurdles against one of the best hurdlers in the league," noted head coach Ivan Haines.
Also placing in two events was Hannah Sweda with a second in the mile and a third in the 800. Riley Ferrari was third in the 100.
"Central is a tough team," Haines added. "Both teams did what they could. With their continuous improvement and gaining experience, the girls should prove to be very competitive next year."
The boys' team had a tougher challenge against the undefeated Section Two champ Barons and were dealt a 122-28 loss.
"The boys' team also performed to the best of their ability and came away with eight PR's," Haines noted. "Both of our squads are young but have a great future."
The Mules earned just one win on the day and that went to senior Robbie McHugh who cleared 5-11 in the high jump. He also added personal best second place jumps of 20-2.5 in the long and 42-.05 in the triple to finish as the team's top point getter.
Freshman Colin Althoff, coming off an injury, ran his personal best in the 400 and finished in second place with a 53.6 while senior Brit Yoder PR'd in the 200, placing third (23.7). Ian Brown, with a 5:09.9 in the mile and Christian Stead, clocking a 10:47.2 in the 3200, also earned PR's and third place finishes.
Ben Stickler finished second in the mile (4:57.9) and Alec Munroe was second in the 800 to round out the track place winners.
In the field, Jayson Hopkins threw a personal best 43-11.25 in the shot put for second place, Logan Yaletchko was third (41-11) and Alex Hindman added a third in the javelin (144-11).
Mules Battle on the Diamond But Fall Short May 8, 2017
In the last full week of the regular season, Solanco's baseball team put forth a competitive effort but came up short in all three of their games.
Monday on the road, the Mules took on Donegal (5-9), the team just ahead of them in the standings and, despite outhitting the Indians 5-2, came away with a disappointing 1-0 result.
'Sophomore Corey Stively got his first start on the hill and was fantastic," said head coach Tom Fish. "He gave up two hits in six innings, and Donegal's lone run was unearned, scoring on a misplayed ground ball in the fourth."
John Murray and Dawson Kreider collected two hits each and Josh Kreider reached base three times but the Mules were unable to push across any runs.
Stively struck out three and walked five in the complete game loss.
"Corey really settled down after working out of a jam in the first inning," Fish stated.
Tuesday the Mules hosted Wilson and dropped a 4-2 heartbreaker in eight innings. With the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the seventh, Solanco came up empty and then gave up two unearned runs in the top of the eighth.
Joel McGuire reached on an error to open the seventh. Sam Buckwalter bunted for a base hit and pinch hitter Jack Boomsma loaded the bags with another bunt. A strikeout and two pop outs ended the threat.
"We were one strike away from securing the win," stated Fish.
With two outs in the eighth, an infield error allowed the winning runs to score.
Solanco took the early lead in this one. Buckwalter reached on an error, Mike Worthington walked with one out and D. Kreider singled to load the bases. Tim Fetterman followed with a clutch two run single past third for a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third.
Wilson responded and knotted the score in the top of the seventh with a two out, two strike double.
"Josh Kreider pitched that game and was very strong, keeping the Wilson hitters off balance and off base," Fish said. "It was his strongest outing of the season. At the plate, Tim Fetterman continued his hot hitting."
Playing their third game in as many days, the Mules collected five hits on Wednesday, gave up ten and suffered a 6-2 loss to the visiting Bears who clinched the Section Two title with the win.
Elizabethtown scored one in the first and Solanco responded with a two out single by Murray that knotted the score at 1-1.
"We also scored in the second inning on a rare E-town error," recalled Fish. "We had opportunities all game long. We just couldn't get the clutch hit that would have kept us in the game.
"Colin Ewaka cracked a double and Tim Fetterman added a single," he continued. "Defensively, outfielders Nate Shambaugh and Joel McGuire made some great plays to keep the game close."
On the hill, Hayden Fox battled through four innings, striking out three walking two and giving up five runs. Gabriel Horn (1K, 2W) and Dawson Kreider (0K, 1W) pitched in relief.
After suffering two straight losses, the boys track team improved to 4-2 with a solid 94-55 win over visiting Ephrata last Monday afternoon. With one meet left on the schedule, the Mules are currently tied with Cocalico, L-S and Lebanon for second place in Section Two.
The Mules got two wins from Dylan Sheaffer, Nick Yannutz and Eric Hopkins and swept three events to pull away.
Leading the field team was Sheaffer who worked the top throws in both the shot (45-11.75) and discus (121-9) and Robbie McHugh, who claimed the long jump (19-8) and was second in both the triple (42-1) and high jump (5-10).
Also in the field, Alex Hindman (150-0) and Dylan Sturgill (139-8) went 1-2 in the javelin and Billy Maeda cleared 10-3 to win the pole vault with Ryan Yaletchko taking second at 9 even.
Fueling the action on the track was Hopkins, who led sweeps in both the 100 (12.1) and 200 (25.2) meter sprints. Kyle Dombach and Nafis Moore, who was third in the long jump, finished second and third in the 100, both at 12.3 while Tyler Williams and Brit Yoder did the same in the 200 at 25.2 and 25.4 respectively. Yoder was also second in the 400 (54.6).
Yannutz (19.1), along with Matt Weitzel (20.9) and Patrick Workman (22.7) completed the 110 hurdles sweep. Weitzel also followed Yannutz in the 300 hurdles.
Against the second place Mounts last Monday, the Mares found the most success in the field events, picking up 32 of their 57 total points scored. Ephrata, with winning 10 of the 18 events, tallied 93 points in the win.
Scoring in the field, Troyanna Miller won the discus (97-4) and was second in the shot behind Anna Cooney (39-9.75). Lydia Fetterman won the javelin (98-3) and Jen Eberly continued her three win efforts with a first in the long jump (16-1) and top times in the 100 hurdles (17.0) and the 300's (51.4).
Also placing in two events was Kelly Cook, with a second in the high jump and a third behind Jacque Groff in the triple, and Sophia Baker who was second in the 300 hurdles and third in the 100's.
Other winners on the day included Courtney Johnson in the mile (5:36.7) and Alana Yoder in the 800 (2:28.7).
On Friday, April 28, the teams turned in numerous successful performances in the Cy Fritz Invitational in Millersville. Yoder claimed the only win for Solanco, setting a new school record with a 2:15.6 in the 800. The previous record was held by Solanco standout and MU All-American Priscilla Jennings. She clocked a 2:17.8 at the PIAA District Three Championships in 2005.
Senior Morgan Perry set a school record in the 2000 meter steeplechase, finishing fifth with a time of 8:46.1.
Placing in three events was Eberly with a second in the long (16-3.5), a sixth in the 300 hurdles (48.9) and a seventh in the 100 hurdles (16.67). She also ran the first leg of the sixth place 4x400 relay with Johnson, Keirth Paine and Yoder.
Other place winners included Cooney - 2nd in the shot (38-4), 4x400 relay team of Will Paredes Jimenez, Angel Daniels, Mike Grech and Brit Yoder - 3rd, Sheaffer - 5th in the discus (134-3) and 7th in the shot (45-2.75), Miller - 6th in the discus (100-9), and Sophia Pletchner - 8th in the pole vault (8-6).
With the playoffs starting this Saturday, the softball team took care of business last week, winning three games in three days while pushing to the top of the Section Two standings at 11-3 with two games left on the schedule. CV and Garden Spot sit in second place at 9-5.
The Mares took on Lebanon (2-13) on Monday and, despite blanking the Cedars 15-0 in their first round meeting, settled for a 9-3 home victory.
"We were hoping to end the game early because Hanna (Phillips) was not at the top of her game (head cold) but we got the expected result," stated head coach Brett Miller.
Phillips tossed a three-hitter with a dozen strikeouts and one walk.
The Mares, with 2-4 efforts from Albrea Doss and Kayla May, scored three in the first and two in the third, fourth and sixth innings. The Cedars, with a three-spot in the top of the fourth, cut the lead to 5-3 but could get no closer.
"We had one error that inning and gave them two runs," recalled Miller. "Overall, we scratched out enough hits to get the win."
On the road Tuesday and Wednesday the Mares blanked first Manheim Township and then Elizabethtown.
Solanco pounded out 14 hits, including a two run homer by Liz Mowrer in the second inning, took advantage of nine errors and walked away from Neffsville with a 13-0 result Tuesday.
The Mares set the tone early, scoring four runs in the first inning with solid hitting. Abby Heidelbaugh doubled and scored on Kara McClune's base hit. Randi Rambo picked up a single and Mowrer's base knock plated McClune. Alli McDowell's single plated the last two runs of the inning.
A similar scenario in the second inning quickly pushed the lead to 9-0. Kate Sheaffer reached on an error and scored on Heidelbaugh's second double of the game. McClune, with a base hit, and Rambo with a double, pushed the lead to 7-0 and Mowrer capped the inning with her two run blast over the left field fence.
Solanco plated two more in the third and added single runs in the fourth and fifth to end the game early.
"Abby (Heidelbaugh) went 4-4 on the day," noted Miller. "She's just been hitting the ball and she set the tone.
"We scored those four runs in the first inning with one out," said Miller. "That was pretty much the game. We did what we needed to do and got Hannah some rest."
The sophomore pitcher scattered four hits, fanned six batters and issued one walk.
Wednesday night's 11-0 victory against Elizabethtown was by far the biggest game of the week and avenged a first half, 8-6 loss to the Bears. The win was Solanco's eighth straight since a 5-3 loss to Penn Manor (April 13) and was a second straight shutout for the second time this season. It also eliminated E-town from L-L playoff contention.
"We lost to them the first time," Miller stated. "They didn't beat us.
"I thought we had the potential to score a bunch of runs against them but I didn't expect it in five innings."
Phillips tossed a two-hit shutout with nine strikeouts in five innings and did not give up a walk.
"Hanna definitely came to play," said Miller. "She was feeling better and was very focused. Her ball was moving and she had good pitch command.
"They just always seemed to be a pitch behind," he added.
McClune reached on a one out error and Rambo (2-3) singled. Mowrer's single to left pushed in McClune. Mowrer advanced to second on a throw that missed the cutoff, allowing Rambo to score. May's sac fly made it 3-0 early.
The hitting continued in the second inning, this time with two outs. Sheaffer (3-3) singled and stole second. Heidelbaugh (3-4) and McClune collected back-to-back RBI singles and Mowrer blasted a shot to right center to push the lead to 7-0.
McClune's sac fly made it 8-0 in the fourth and Solanco pushed in three more in the fifth to go over the ten-run limit.
"It's always good to get that extra run," said Miller. "And defensively, we're making some plays right now. All through the lineup, everyone is getting involved. We're getting a team effort in a team game."
Mule Baseball FieldRededication Slated May 1, 2017
Former players, coaches and family of Harold "Pete" Suter are cordially invited to the rededication of the Solanco varsity baseball field on Friday, May 5, at 3:30 p.m. A permanent sign will be placed on the backstop and a plaque will be on permanent display in the concession stand. Athletic Director, Anthony Hall, and the Baseball Boosters will provide refreshments prior to and after the brief ceremony. If planning to attend you are asked to contact Coach Hall at 717-786-2151, ext. 8200.
Mares Knock Off Undefeated Hempfield May 1, 2017
Aggressive base running and some loose defense by the visiting Knights were key factors in Solanco's 7-2 upset over Hempfield last Monday afternoon.
"They were an undefeated team," said head coach Brett Miller. "So the win is a little extra special."
Tied at 2-2 in the fourth inning, Solanco rallied with four runs on two outs to gain momentum.
"Hempfield had tied the game in the top of that inning," noted Miller. "Our response was what we needed. We're finding different ways to win."
Kayla May opened the inning with a double and scored two outs later on Alyssa Henretty's blooper behind short. Katelyn Sheaffer added a two strike infield single that pushed in the second run of the inning. Abby Heidelbaugh, whose two run homer in the third erased a 1-0 deficit, connected for a grounder that was thrown over first, plating Sheaffer. She stole second base and scored when the pickoff throw whet to center field and then out of bounds when Heidelbaugh headed for third.
The Knights committed another error that inning before working a fly ball to center field for the final out.
"We had three stolen bases, Henretty, Sheaffer and Heidelbaugh and they all scored," Miller said. "They struggled defensively at times."
After a scoreless fifth, Kara McClune's home run over center field all but sealed the deal. Hanna Phillips struck out two of the last three batters and forced a groundout to end the game.
Hempfield took the early lead, scoring one on a pair of hits in the top of the third. Solanco quickly countered. Sheaffer slapped a one out, first pitch single and scored on Heidelbaugh's home run, giving the Mares a 2-1 lead.
The Knights knotted the score with an unearned run in the fourth.
"Hanna Phillips struck out five of the ten batters she faced over the last three innings," said Miller. "And that was against their 2-3-4 and 5 hitters. She was focused and showed maturity against a quality team."
The sophomore finished with 10 strikeouts, scattered seven walks, and walked three, including an intentional walk that loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth. Phillips forced a groundout to short to get out of that inning.
"Everyone is improving their intensity," Miller stated. "And Hannah showed composure in working out of that bases loaded situation."
After their four-run rally, Solanco kept the pressure on by loading the bases in the fifth. Liz Mowrer doubled, May singled and McClune's grounder to third was misplayed. Unfortunately, they failed to plate a run that frame.
"We have three losses," said Miller. "One we got beat. The other two we gave away. We need to take care of each game as it comes. The end of the season is right around the corner."
Solanco traveled to Township Wednesday afternoon only to come home without playing.
"Their field was in no condition to play on," said Miller. "That leaves us with three in a row, Lebanon, Township and then E-town."
The Mares returned to Section Two play on Friday and split the series with the Spartans. Their 6-1 defeat avenged a 9-7 loss suffered back on April 3.
"This was an important win," said Miller. "The first time we played them we had nine errors. We knew we owed them one."
The Mares took the lead in the bottom of the second when an overthrow of Henretty's sacrifice bunt pushed in Lane, who opened with a base hit.
Garden Spot knotted the score in the top of the third but Solanco answered in the bottom of the fourth. McClune, who reached with a one out triple, scored on Rambo's sacrifice fly.
The Mares, taking advantage of some sloppy play by the Spartans, finally broke things open with a four-spot in the bottom of the sixth. A hit batter, two walks and an error, set the table for Heidelbaugh who responded with a three-run double that wrapped up the scoring.
Phillips gave up seven hits, fanned seven batters and walked three to help pick up the win.
Winning just five events on the day, the boys track team ran into the second place Cedars of Lebanon and dropped a 95-55 result on their home track last Monday. The loss drops the Mules to 3-2 with Cocalico and Lampeter-Strasburg.
Dylan Sheaffer led the scoring with a pair of firsts, tossing the discus 139-9 and throwing the shot 45-4.25. Robbie McHugh followed with a pair of seconds in the long (19-5) and triple (41-0) jumps and cleared 5-10 to win the high jump.
Also winning in the field was Alex Hindman with a 149-4 in the javelin. Harrison Bauer was third (130-2).
"Dylan and Alex both threw personal bests in their events," said head coach Ivan Haines. "We knew it would be difficult for the boys to win," he added. "But they performed well and earning nine personal bests shows continuous improvement.
"The boys have the talent to develop into a successful team, but we must continue to work and perform harder if we are to reach our goal," he continued. "The underclassmen are developing into good athletes and are really backing up the seniors."
The Mules earned just one win on the track and that went to Will Paredes, Kyle Dombach, Alex McDonald and Eric Hopkins with a 46.1 in the 4x100 relay. Paredes and Hopkins also went 2-3 in the 100 meter dash, both clocking 11.6. Hopkins was also third in the 200 (24.3).
Nick Yannutz placed in both hurdle events, going 18.7 for second in the 110 highs and 47.4 for third in the 300's.
Other second place finishers included Brit Yoder in the 400 (54.5), Alex Munro in the 800 (2:06.4) and Ben Stickler in the 3200 (10:48.7).
Picking up third place points: Christian Stead in the mile (5:00.1), Ian Brown in the 3200 (11:08.7), Jayson Hopkins in the shot (41-3.25), Gabe LaMonica in the discus (107-11) and Billy Maeda with a 9-6 in the pole vault.
The girls' team improved to 3-2 in Section Two with their second straight victory, a dominating 131-17 result against the visiting and winless Cedars. The Mares won all but one event, gave up three seconds and three thirds.
As she has done all season, senior Jen Eberly led the way as the top point-getter, winning the 100 hurdles (16.5), the 300's (49.7) and the long jump (14-6). She also ran the opening leg of the 4x400 relay with Cortney Johnson, Sarah Sweda and Alana Yoder contributing.
Kelly Cook and Amanda Swenson picked up two wins each with Cook winning the triple (29-5) and high (4-8) jumps and Swenson sprinting to firsts in the 100 (13.7) and 200 (29.2) meter dashes. They also teamed with Casey Weder and Ryleigh Ferrari to win the 4x100 relay.
Yoder won the 400 (59.7) and Johnson took the 800 (2:31.7) and they opened the meet with Sweda and Carith Paine to win the 4x800 relay.
"Yoder, a freshman, continues to improve," said Haines. "Her 400 time was a district qualifier and a PR."
Other key contributors included Aubrey Roop winning the mile (5:57.9) and taking third in the 800, Troyanna Miller with the top throw in the discus (105-10) and a second in the shot behind Anna Cooney's top throw of 37-1.75. Cooney was also third in the discus.
Lydia Fetterman earned a win in the javelin (92-4) and Dana Landis had the top time in the 3200 (14:12.3).
"Anna Cooney and Troyanna Miller both threw PR's in their respective wins," noted Haines. "It was impressive to see all the seconds that were earned by the girls who finished with 11 personal bests. The girl's team is coming together nicely."
And while she may not have won an individual event, Weder placed second in the 100, and long jump and was third in the 200. Placing second in two events was Morgan Perry in the mile and 3200, Paine in the 400 and 200 and Sophia Baker in both hurdle events. Jaqueline Groff added a second in the triple and was third in the 400.
The young Mules hit a rough spot in their schedule last week and were dealt three losses before capping the week with a Section Two win over L-S on Friday.
Monday Solanco battled the third place team in Section One, Hempfield, and dropped a closer than the score indicates, 11-7 loss.
The Mules went in front early, scoring four runs in the top of the first on a RBI single by Tim Freeman, a run scoring double by John Murray and a two-run double from Trent Myers.
Hempfield came back with three in the bottom half and forged ahead with five more in the third. Solanco responded with three in the top of the fourth, cutting the lead to 8-7.
"Fetterman and Murray had key hits in that fourth inning," said head coach Tom Fish. "In the end though, it wasn't enough."
The Mules held a 10-9 edge in hits and played error-free defense. The Knights, however, took advantage of seven walks to help gain the advantage.
On the road Wednesday as well, the Mules again took an lead, scoring once in the top of the first but were denied the rest of the way as the hosting Streaks, using three runs in the fourth through sixth innings, recorded an 11-1 victory. Both teams committed just one error but the Streaks connected for 13 hits while holding Solanco to three.
In a makeup game Thursday, Solanco battled the last place team in Section One, Cedar Crest, and dropped a 4-3 heartbreaker. The Mules, with eight hits on the day, fought off a 4-0 deficit with one run in the third and two more in the fourth but could not grab the lead.
Gabe Horn started on the hill and suffered the loss. Dawson Kreider pitched three shutout innings in relief. They combined for one strikeout, one walk and scattered seven hits.
"Tom, our leading hitter, had two hits," noted Fish. "Cedar Crest just made the plays."
But the bigger story of the week was a 2-0 shutout over L-S under the lights in Lampeter Friday night.
Kreider doubling in Mike Worthington in the third inning proved to be the game-winner. Solanco tacked on an insurance run in the fifth. Kreider doubled again and pinch runner Jake Boomsma scored when Colin Ewaka reached on an error.
"Dawson had a great day at the plate," lauded Fish, "but the story of the day was sophomore Hayden Fox on the mound. He finished with nine strikeouts, including the final two batters in the seventh, allowed only two hits, and five baserunners in seven innings of work. He worked quickly, and displayed the fiery emotion he did in the L-L Championship game last season, when he pitched 8 2/3's scoreless innings.
"It was a fun game, in front of a huge crowd and damaged L-S's hope of coming back and winning the section," Fish added. "We also had some great defensive plays that, had we not made, the outcome would have been much different. Third baseman Sam Buckwalter made a tough, over the shoulder catch against his stomach on a pop up straight behind him," explained Fish. "And the very next batter popped a ball to shortstop where Mike Worthington fearlessly sprinted into left field to make the catch.
"It was a fun way to wrap up a challenging week," he continued. "This starts our second round against Section Two teams. As a coach you want to see that your team is improving and still working hard. Earlier this year L-S no hit us in a 3-0 win. This time around was another story. We hope to continue to compete and make a tough game for all the Section Two teams we play."
Mules Fall Short Against Warwick, McCaskey April 24, 2017
The baseball team competed just twice last week, in crossover games against Section One's Warwick and McCaskey back-to-back. Unfortunately, they came out on the short end of both.
A seven-run second inning propelled the Warriors to an 11-3 victory over Solanco in Quarryville last Tuesday.
"We struggled in that second inning," said head coach Tom Fish. "They scored those seven runs on just one hit. We used three pitchers that inning, and had a little trouble finding the strike zone."
The pitching staff walked five batters that frame and hit one to go along with that one hit.
Solanco cut into that lead with a three spot in the bottom of the third on a Dawson Kreider two run double and a fielder's choice ground out by Tim Fetterman.
"Dawson was probably our lone highlight of the day," praised Fish. "He came on to pitch and gave us our best three plus innings on the mound, holding Warwick scoreless and giving us a chance to get back in the game. While we did threaten with baserunners throughout the game, we could only push across those three runs."
The Warriors took advantage of a double and an error in the fourth inning to plate a single run and then pushed across three in the top of the seventh to wrap up the scoring.
Both teams committed three errors but the visitors out hit the home team 8-4.
In Lancaster on Wednesday, the Mules gave up one run in the second, four in the third and one more in the sixth and dropped a 6-3 result to McCaskey despite a three-run rally in the top of the seventh. Singles by Sam Buckwalter, Hunter Shaw, Mike Worthington, Tim Fetterman and Colin Ewaka mixed in with a base on balls by Trent Myers fueled Solanco's comeback attempt.
"We were held in check until that seventh inning," recalled Fish. "We even brought the go ahead run to the plate. But, with the bases loaded, we grounded into a double play that ended the game."
Haydn Fox started on the hill and finished with four strikeouts and three walks. Joshua Kreider fanned one and walked one in relief. Both teams committed one error each and the hosts held a slim 7-6 edge in hits.
"We hope to ride some of the momentum of that seventh inning into this week's games," he added.
Starting April 24, the Mules will play eight games in ten days.
"This young team continues to work hard," Fish stated. "I am confident we will see some good results come out of the hard work we are putting in."
The girls' track team won all but four events on the road last Tuesday and picked up their second win of the season, 97-53 over Cocalico. Again, senior Jen Eberly led the way, winning both the 100 hurdles (16.5 PR) and the 300's (49.3) as well as the long jump (15-11). She also ran a leg of the winning 4x400 relay with Keritha Paine, Cortney Johnson and Hannah Sweda clocking a 4:22.4. She was the only multiple winner of the day.
"Jen was one of three seniors to earn firsts today," said head coach Ivan Haines. "This means many of the points were earned by underclassmen. This is great for the future of the team."
Johnson, a senior, picked up a win in the 800 (2:27 PR), Sweda took the mile (5:49.4) with Morgan Perry in second, and Paine was tops in the 400 (1:07) and ran the opening leg of the winning 4x800 relay with Dana Landis, Holly Cunningham and Jadan Willis following.
Also on the track, Alana Yoder (12:40) and Aubree Roop (13:04.7) went 1-2 in the 3200 and Amana Swenson earned the top time in the 200 and anchored the winning 4x400 relay with Casey Weder, Ryleigh Ferrari and Kelly Cook. Swenson and Weder also went 2-3 in the 100.
In the field, the Mares won four of seven events. Senior Kelly Cook cleared a personal best 4-10 to win the high jump and Sophie Plechner picked up her first win in the pole vault, clearing 8-6. Allyson Osborne (7-0) was second.
"The throwers were really a bright spot in the meet," said Haines. "Anna Cooney threw a personal record in the shot put (36-7.5), bettering her previous throw by half an inch. Troyanna Miller also improved her PR with a second in the discus (104-3). She and Anna have qualified for districts."
Miller added a second in the shot and Nathaly Molinarez increased her PR by seven feet in the javelin, taking second with a 98-11.
"I am looking forward to seeing what this team of girls can do," Haines said.
The boys' team, on the other hand, had a tougher time and suffered their first loss of the season, 90-60 to the Eagles, leaving both teams, along with Lebanon tied at 3-1 in Section Two. Manheim Central remains undefeated.
"The boys had a tough time on the track," noted Haines. "They were outscored by more than 20 points.
"Feeling a bit under the weather, senior Brit Yoder continues to run well, earning a first in the 400 (53.1) and 200 (24.1) and newcomer Alex McDonald, a junior, earned his first win of the season in the 100, running a personal best 11.5."
In the field, the throwers were the only group to outscore their opponents. They were led by junior Dylan Shaeffer, who earned firsts in the shot (46-4) and the discus with a 138-3 PR.
"Dylan's discus throw was an increase of 11 feet," Haines noted. "Alex Hindman added a PR in the javelin with a 145-8 for second and Ben Martin, a senior, was second in the discus. His 110-1 was a 29 foot PR."
Billy Maeda also picked up a win in the pole vault, clearing 9-6 and Nick Yannutz added seconds in both the high hurdles (18.9) and 300's (47.8) and Rasul Moore picked up thirds in the long (17-5.75) and triple jumps (36-8.75).
"Both boys and girls throwing groups are throwing well at this time," stated Haines. "Nine other athletes on the boys' side earned PR's and were able to score. Again, many underclassmen stepped up and performed well. We are gaining the experience needed for the tough meets coming up."
Crossover wins over Warwick, McCaskey and Cedar Crest last week pushed the Mares to the top of the Section Two standings with Garden Spot. Both teams are tied at 6-3 with CV at 5-3.
On the road Monday, the Mares used a four-run fourth inning to pull away from Warwick. They out hit the hosts 10-5 and earned a solid 7-1 victory.
"We've had a lot of battles and quality games against Warwick," recalled head coach Brett Miller. "We had a solid effort, both offensively and defensively. The margin was a bit bigger than I thought it would be but I knew we had the potential to score some runs.
"We've been improving," he added. "This was a good win to follow that tough loss to Penn Manor."
Solanco put the pressure on early, scoring one in the top of the first on Randi Rambo's fielder's choice to short that plated Abby Heidelbaugh who led off with a base hit.
Warwick came back with their only run in the bottom half as Hannah Phillips scattered five hits, struck out eight and walked five to earn the win.
The Mares scored what proved to be the game-winner in the second as Kate Sheaffer singled in Alyssa Henretty who reached with a two out double.
They padded the lead with a string of hits that resulted in a four-run fourth. Alli McDowell opened the inning with a double, Henretty followed with a single and Sheaffer and Heidelbaugh added run scoring base hits. Rambo's two out, two run single plated the final two runs of the inning.
The visitors capped the scoring with a single run in the seventh. Kara McClune singled, pinch runner Tori Lawson stole second and scored on Rambo's base knock.
"That was the first time we faced Nicole Mengel," said Miller. "Impressively, probably half of our ten hits were with two strikes.
"Henretty and McDowell, two of our younger players, are making major contributions," he added.
Phillips was the star of Wednesday's 9-0 shutout victory over McCaskey. The sophomore pitcher fanned 15 batters and did not give up a single walk or hit in a perfect game outing.
"This is her first one," lauded Miller. "There haven't been too many perfect games at Solanco. Jess Brandt, Jill Kushlan and Tera Irmen I know all pitched a perfect game.
"Hannah and I had a focused practice on Tuesday and she responded with more consistent velocity and a season-high 15 strikeouts and more importantly, no walks. She had eight strikeouts in the first four innings and over the last three, struck out seven in a row," he recalled. "The game ended with a fly ball."
The Mares took control with six runs in the third inning. They loaded the bases on a walk by Sheaffer, a Heidelbaugh base hit and an error on McClune's hit to left field. Rambo worked a RBI walk and Liz Mowrer followed with a bases clearing triple. Kayla May added another triple and Lindsey Lane pushed in May with a single.
They capped the scoring with three runs on three hits in the seventh. McClune started with a one out double and scored on Rambo's base hit. After a walk, May's base hit knocked in Rambo and Lane's sacrifice fly pushed in the final run of the game.
Solanco capped its three-win week with a second straight crossover shutout. This one featured a season high 17 hits and 14 total runs scored against Cedar Crest (2-7).
McDowell was the big hitter of the day, going 3-5 with a three-run homer and a two-run triple as the Mares scored in five of the seven innings, including a four-run first and a five-run fifth and took advantage of seven Falcon errors. Just three of the Mares 14 runs were earned.
Defensively, Phillips struck out six batters, gave up just three hits, and did not give up a walk.
Backing McDowell at the plate was Heidelbaugh, who went 3-5 and Sheaffer, going 3-4.
"We're halfway through the season and we're in the mix," said Miller.
Baseball Field Rededication Slated April 17, 2017
Former players, coaches and family of Harold "Pete" Suter are cordially invited to the rededication of the Solanco varsity baseball field on Friday, May 5, at 3:30 p.m. A permanent sign will be placed on the backstop and a plaque will be on permanent display in the concession stand. Athletic Director, Anthony Hall, and the Baseball Boosters will provide refreshments prior to and after the brief ceremony. If planning to attend you are asked to contact Coach Hall at 717-786-2151, ext. 8200.
Softballers Go 2-2 in Four Game Week April 17, 2017
Facing four straight games last week with a pitcher dealing with a sore foot issue, the softball team came away with two wins against two losses and fell to 3-3 in Section Two behind CV (4-1), Garden Spot (4-2) and Elizabethtown (3-2).
"Offensively and defensively we need a more consistent team effort from the first pitch to the last," said head coach Brett Miller.
Monday the Mares used a four-run fifth inning to extend a 2-1 lead into a 6-1 victory over visiting Ephrata.
"We got the result we were looking for," said Miller. "We had to adjust to the pitching and Liz Mowrer and Lindsey Lane showed maturity in hitting the ball."
Mowrer went 2-4 with 3 RBI and Lane was 3-3 with one RBI. Both contributed to that fifth run inning as Mowrer singled in both Katelyn Sheaffer and Randi Rambo. Hanna Phillips singled in Mowrer and Kara McClune and Lane singled in Phillips as the Mares collected five of their nine hits that inning.
Phillips struck out 13, scattered four hits and gave up one earned run in the victory.
Despite out hitting Elizabethtown 7-4, Solanco dropped a 7-6 thriller Tuesday afternoon in their second of four home games.
The Mares jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third inning with back-to-back hits by Alli McDowell and Alyssa Henretty. A throwing error on E-town's rightfielder plated McDowell. Abby Heidelbaugh drew a walk and Henretty scored on a wild pitch. Sheaffer followed with a base hit and Kayla May singled in Heidelbaugh.
They made it 4-0 in the fourth when Heidelbaugh singled in McDowell and looked poised to pull off the victory. The Bears, however, plated three runs on no hits, including plating two runs with two outs. Phillips gutted out a cut on her foot but walked two, hit two and gave up one run on a passed ball before working a strikeout to end the inning.
Two innings later, the Bears, with one out, not only loaded the bases, but took advantage of an error, a walk and a grand slam by No. 5 hitter Sadie Seaman to push the lead to 7-4. Phillips worked two more strikeouts to end the frame but the damage was done.
In attempting a comeback, Heidelbaugh (2-2, 1RBI) worked a leadoff walk and, with one out, Rambo crushed a ball over left field for a two run homer, cutting the lead to 8-6. A lineout to third and a popup ended the game.
"You can win games and lose games in different ways," said Miller. "And we tried to do both in the same game. This was a character builder," he continued. "We were given opportunities to win and we have to reduce the opportunities to lose."
Phillips finished with ten strikeouts but gave up five walks and eight hits.
One day later the Mares regrouped, connected for ten hits, played flawless defense and handed Conestoga Valley an 8-1 loss.
"I was encouraged by the way we responded after the E-town loss," said Miller. "Abby, a four-year starter, got us going with a leadoff home run. She and Alli McClune (2RBI) went 3-4 and paced our offensive output."
Up 4-0 after three complete, Lane added a second homer for the Mares to keep the pressure on the Bucks. Henretty followed with a base hit and McClune doubled in a second run, pushing the lead to 6-0.
CV prevented the shutout with a single run in the top of the fifth but Solanco came back with a two spot in the bottom half, taking advantage of three walks, a double by Mowrer and a base hit by Kayla May.
"We moved Kayla to third and Alli McClune up in the batting order," said Miller. "We're still tweaking the lineup, both in the field and at the plate."
Phillips piled up 13 strikeouts, walked three and scattered five hits in the win.
Thursday's outing started crossover action against Section One teams and put the Mares opposite Penn Manor, the team that knocked them out of the District tournament, 1-0 last year. This one featured another battle, unfortunately the Comets prevailed, 5-3.
Heidelbaugh opened with a solo homer for the second game in a row. Manor, however, countered with a two out, three run homer by cleanup hitter Morgan Yingling in the top of the third.
Not to be outdone, Solanco, with no outs, knotted the score in the fourth on a Mowrer home run that plated Rambo who opened with a base hit. Comet pitcher Brittney Hook fanned the next three batters to get out of the inning.
The very next inning, with the bases loaded, Manor worked another two out hit, this one plated two runs and put the Comets in front for good.
Solanco threatened with two runners in the seventh but couldn't get the key hit.
"We finished the week against a quality pitcher," said Miller of Hook's 10 strikeouts. "But we had good at bats up and down the lineup and showed some defensive promise. Sometimes the ball just doesn't go your way and a weak hit gets through and others find their way.
"Hanna (13K) threw well enough to win," he continued. "That one hit in the fifth inning just got through. She finished with seven walks and four of them were what we were looking for."
While the baseball team went 1-2 last week, head coach Tom Fish was not disappointed.
"I told the guys, I could not have been more proud of how we bounced back after a disappointing effort at E-town (10-0 loss)."
Last Monday the team traveled to Ephrata for a typically tough outing and came home with an 11-0 loss.
"It's always the toughest game of the year," said Fish. "We learned a lot under the lights at their place. We learned how to compete in all phases of the game. Ephrata did everything right and beat us. But, even in the loss, we could take away some positives," he continued. "Mike Worthington had his first two hits of the season. Josh Kreider bounced back and got us out of a jam on the mound and Koby Nerys made his varsity pitching debut and pitched a solid inning.
"We talked a lot after the game about how we were going to get better and came back with two great efforts."
In Wednesday's slugfest, the Mules fought off two ties and came back from an 8-7 deficit to top CV 14-10 in a game that featured 31 total hits.
Up 7-5 in the top of the fifth, CV rallied with four runs in the bottom half to retake the lead, 9-7.
"We pulled starting pitcher Gabe Horn," said Fish. "He pitched fine. It was a challenging day to be on the mound with the wind blowing straight out. CV's offense responded with four runs."
Clutch hits by Joel McGuire and Colin Ewaka tied the game in the top of the sixth.
"Now we turn to Corey Stively," said Fish. "He was the first pitcher for either team to shut down their opponent. He struck out four guys in two innings, earning his first of many expected wins."
Solanco picked up the win with five runs on two outs in the top of the seventh. John Murray's double off the wall broke the tie. Ewaka's double plated Tim Fetterman who reached on an error that scored Murray and Joel McGuire and Trent Myers added base hits to push across insurance runs.
Murray went 4-5 with two doubles, 2 RBI. Fetterman reached base four times and scored four runs. Leading hitter Ewaka had three hits and 2 RBI while McGuire and Myers also finished with three hits as Solanco scored in all seven innings.
Thursday in Millersville the team traveled to Penn Manor for a rematch of last year's L-L League Championship game. This time however, the Comets prevailed, 5-2.
A RBI base hit by Fetterman and a RBI groundout by Ewaka plated Worthington and Sam Buckwalter who both singled to start the game. The Comets, however, took the lead for good with a four spot in the bottom of the second inning.
"Both teams played a solid game with Penn Manor taking advantage of our only mistake in the field," recalled Fish. "Our defense, led by Worthington (SS), Buckwalter (3B), Dawson Kreider (2B) and Ewaka (1B), has been a real highlight and a joy to watch."
Worthington pitched five innings and Hayden Fox relieved in the sixth.
With three more wins in the jumps, senior Robbie McHugh remains undefeated on the dual meet season. His efforts helped the Mules defeat Elizabethtown last Monday afternoon 97.5 - 52.5.
McHugh cleared 6-0 in the high jump, went 18-10 in the long and added a 40-6 triple jump to finish as Solanco's leading scorer.
Also in the field, the throwers came up big, sweeping the javelin and the shot put. Dylan Sheaffer led the way, grabbing first in the shot (46-9) and the discus (127-5). Logan Yaletchko was second in the shot (42-5.5) and Ben Martin was third (41-5). In the discus, Gabe LaMonoca was second (106-10).
They also swept the javelin behind the team of Alex Hindman (137-9), Harrison Bauer (133-11) and Dylon Sturgill (132-9).
"The throwers had a great effort," said head coach Ivan Haines. "They gave up only one point to the opposition."
The pole vaulters also went 2-3. Aaron Jones was second, clearing 10-0, and Billy Maeda was third (9-6).
On the track, the Mules got a double win effort from Brit Yoder who led a sweep in the 100 (24.0). Eric Hopkins was second (24.5) and Tyler Williams third (24.6). Hopkins also anchored the winning 4x100 relay with Will Paredes-Jimenez, Kyle Dombach and Alex McDonald. He was also second in the 100 (11.7) behind Paredes-Jimenez (11.5) and ahead of McDonald (11.9).
Yoder capped his double with a first in the 400 (53.5) with Colin Althoff taking second (54.3) and Alex Monro won the 800 (2:08.9) with Christian Stead grabbing third (2:14.3).
"The boys earned a nice win despite having people injured," said Haines. "It's nice to see the number of talented underclassmen picking up seconds and thirds. The boys' continued to improve. They have not yet reached their potential."
The girls team found themselves in a tight race with the Lady Bears but, despite winning 10 of the 18 events, they fell a little short in the depth department, taking just five of 15 second places and fell short 79-91.
"The girls matched up pretty well in all areas except the jumps," noted Haines, "where we earned just seven points."
Jen Eberly led the scoring with three individual wins and teamed with Cortney Johnson, Kerith Paine and Alana Yoder to win the 4x400 relay. She opened her day with a 17.1 to win the 110 hurdles and clocked a 48.0 to take the 300's. In the field, the senior went 15-11 to lead the long jumpers.
Also in the field, the shot putters swept the competition with Anna Cooney (36-3.5), Troyana Miller (32-5.5) and Katelyn Teaman (28-11.5) securing the top three spots.
Lydia Fetterman added a win in the javelin (95-4) and Kelly Cook settled for thirds in the high (4-8) and triple (29-4) jumps.
"The throwers did an outstanding job, earning firsts in all three events," said Haines. "Anna and Troyana have qualified for districts in the shot put."
Back on the track, Paine earned a win in the 400 (53.7) and Hanna Sweda and Morgan Perry went 1-3 in the 3200. They also teamed with Johnson and Aubree Roop to win the 4x800 relay.
Yoder contributed seconds in the mile (5:09.3) and 200 (27.5) while Sophia Baker was second in the 110 hurdles and third in the 300's.
"It was nice to see Kerith and Hannah earn their first win of the season," Haines noted.
McHuge Wins 3 Events in Win Over Pioneers April 4, 2017
After capping a 6-1 record last season, Solanco's boys' track team opened its 2017 campaign with an 82-68 victory over visiting Lampeter-Strasburg on an unusually warm March 27th Monday. With first place finishes split down the middle at nine each, the Mules gained the advantage by winning two of three relays and then extended their lead when they doubled the Pioneers in second place points, 30-15.
Alec Munro, Dom Messano, Christian Stead and Ben Stickler clocked an 8:54.6 to claim the opening 4x800 relay and four events later, Will Paredes-Jamenez, Kyle Dombach, Mike Grech and Eric Hopkins added a win in the 4 x400 baton exchange.
Hopkins, a district sprint qualifier last year, and Paredes-Jimenez also finished second and third in the 100 while Messano picked up a second in the mile and was third in the long jump.
"The relay wins, with just one senior on each team, were a highlight," said head coach Ivan Haines.
While the Pioneers won 7 of the 11 events on the track, Solanco kept pace in the field where Robbie McHugh dominated the jumps, winning the long (20-2.5), the triple (39-9) and high (6-0). While Ryan Yaletchko and Aaron Jones went 1-2 in the pole vault, both clearing nine feet.
"Robbie started off where he left off last year, jumping over 20 feet and clearing six feet," noted Haines.
Also in the field, Logan Yaletchko tossed the shot put 43-8.75 to hold off teammate Ben Martin (40-11.75). They also got a second from freshman Gabe LaMonaca (105-8) in the discus and Harrison Bauer added a third in the javelin (132-3).
Back on the track, Brit Yoder clocked a 53.3 to win the 400 and fell into second place in the 200 (24.4) by three tenths of a second and Conner Neaves secured a career first victory in the 3200 (11:08.2), holding off teammate Ian Brown with an 11:28.5.
Also securing points in two events was Dan Siegrist with a third in the 100 hurdles and a second in the 300's, finishing ahead of Jacob Rose.
"Behind seniors like Brit Yoder, Ryan Yaletchko, Dan Siegrist, Connor Neaves, Robbie McHugh, Alec Munro and Eric Hopkins are a great group of underclassmen who earned many seconds and thirds," noted Haines. "We will count on them to continue to do this for a successful year."
The girls' team also split first places finishes with the Pioneers but didn't have the depth to pull off a victory. L-S secured nine of 15 second places and all but two third place points to pull away 83.5 - 65.5.
Senior Jen Eberly was the standout performer for the Mares, clocking top times in the 100 hurdles (17.1), the 300's (48.9) and adding a first in the long jump (15-8).
Freshman Alana Yoder was almost as impressive. She took the 400 (1:00.7) and the 200 (27.8) after warming up with the opening leg of the winning 4x800 relay where Hannah Sweda, Cortney Johnson and Alexis Jackson contributed. Johnson went on to win the 3200 (12:44.5) and Jackson was tops in the 800 (2:37.9). Both are seniors.
Also placing in two events was Troyanna Miller. The sophomore won the discus (101-3) and was second in the shot put (33-6.5).
Second place winners included Sweda in the mile, Aubree Roop in the 3200, Nathaly Molinarez in the javelin, Jacque Groff in the triple jump and Allyson Osborne in the pole vault. Third place point getters included Anna Cooney in the shot and Lydia Fetterman in the javelin.
"L-S is a well-rounded team and outscored us 2-1 in the jumps," said Haines. "It was nice to see Alana Yoder, a freshman, pick up two firsts. She is going to be a girl to watch this year.
"Once the girls get some experience and good practice time, they will be a team that will surprise their opponents," he added.
With the weather playing havoc with the spring sports schedules, the softball team was fortunate to get one game in last week. Thursday, despite some spotty drizzling, the Mares collected seven hits, scored runs in three different innings and topped visiting Wilson 5-0.
"For the first game out, and not having much time on our infield, the girls were a bit jittery to start," said head coach Brett Miller. "But it worked out and we made the plays."
Kara McClune's two run single that glanced off the third baseman, gave Solanco the lead in the first inning. Abby Heidelbaugh led off with a base hit to right field and moved up on a fielder's choice. Liz Mowrer reached on an error at third and both scored on McClune's timely hit.
Heidelbaugh's two out double plated Alli McDowell, the No. 8 hitter, who reached on a walk in the second inning.
Solanco capped the scoring three innings later. Katie Sheaffer worked a walk and moved up on Randi Rambo's single up the middle. Both scored when Mowrer, batting cleanup, cracked a double down the left field line.
"That was a good swing with two strikes," recalled Miller.
Wilson's lineup had no answer for Hanna Phillips. The sophomore hurler recorded 14 strikeouts, scattered three hits and gave up one walk in the complete game season opener. Wilson advanced just two runners to second base the entire game.
"They got two of those hits in the last inning," Miller remarked, "but Hanna remained focused. She has made the necessary improvements but is still working on her pitch command. She's only a sophomore
but she battles out there.
"And our junior catcher, Lindsey Lane, threw a runner out at second."
The defending Section Two champ Mares went 13-3 in league play and were 17-6 overall last year, having dropped their final game of the year by a 1-0 count to Penn Manor. They graduated left fielder Cate Armstrong, catcher Bekah Borcky, first baseman Sydney Sturgill and third baseman Kalyn Burger.
"The seniors that graduated carried some big bats," stated Miller, noting Armstrong's over .400 average. "We have three sophomores on the field so we're still a young team, though we do have a core group back. I expect us to be competitive in the league but we need to get playing time as quickly as possible."
With just three returning starters from the team that won the Lancaster-Lebanon League championship a year ago, the baseball squad has some big holes to fill.
"We lost a lot of seniors and experience from that team," said head coach Tom Fish. "We are pretty young this year and could run out as many as six or seven sophomores in the starting lineup."
Senior shortstop Mike Worthington, senior first baseman Colin Ewaka and sophomore outfielder Joel McGuire return from that championship team. Ewaka was an all-star pitcher last year but, after suffering an arm injury in the fall, will be unable to return to the mound. "We are lucky to have his strong bat in the lineup," said Fish. "Hayden Fox, who pitched in some really big games for us last season, is back," he added. "He is our returning pitcher with the most experience."
Dodging the raindrops, the Mules, in a back-and-forth affair, got in one game last week and came away with a 7-5 victory over West York. Solanco broke a 1-1 tie after two innings with a three spot in the third and never relinquished the lead.
Worthington was hit by a pitch to open the game. After advancing to second and stealing third, he scored on a base hit by Ewaka for the early lead. Ewaka finished with two hits on the day and reached base three times.
"Tim Fetterman added two RBI groundouts to help us build an early lead (4-1 in the top of the third)," noted Fish. "Clutch RBI hits by sophomores Sam Buckwalter, Hunter Shaw and John Murray later in the game kept West York at arm's length."
The Mules led 4-3 after three complete and we up 5-4 with two innings left to play. Solanco scored once in the top of the sixth and West York got one back in their half of the seventh.
"We also had one incredible defensive highlight," recalled Fish. "In the second inning, Joel McGuire, with two men on that would have easily scored, made a full out diving catch in centerfield. Highlight reel stuff that only an extremely athletic kid could even attempt. It really stopped West York's momentum, and picked up our team."
On the mound, Gabe Horn, a junior, got the start and pitched into the fourth inning. He finished with four strikeouts and no walks.
With two outs in the fourth, and the tying run in scoring position, senior Josh Kreider came on in relief. "He retired West York's top hitter during a grueling, eight pitch at bat," noted Fish. "Josh did not give in and was able to get us out of the jam. He pitched a scoreless fifth inning before Hayden Fox came in and got the save. Gabe was in control and kept West York's hitters off balance and Hayden looked very sharp.
"I'm proud of the effort and work ethic this group is putting in," he continued. "Starting with our seniors, (including Worthington, Ewaka, Kreider, Koby Nerys, Cameron Colvin and Ben Harvey) this group has been willing to put the time in and do all the things they need to do to get better."
Root, Wilson Represent Solanco in States March 13, 2017
Solanco had two chances to grab a PIAA wrestling medal this past weekend at the Giant Center in Hershey but neither came to fruition. But not for lack of effort.
"The competition is extremely tough this year," said head coach John Little. "AJ Wilson and Ben Root both wrestled well. It's always an accomplishment just to get to states," he continued. "And both are underclassmen so this was a great experience. Hopefully they'll qualify again and get through next year."
Wrestling at 152, Wilson (18-4) opened with a bye Thursday and then lost to Cannon-McMillan freshman Gerrit Nijenhuis via fall in 5:10. Nijenhuis was the eventual third place finisher. Wilson then came back with a 6-1 loss to Mt. Lebanon freshman Luke Stout (33-5).
"For AJ to come back and qualify for states, after being injured early in the season, is a great accomplishment," said Little.
Root (37-9), like Wilson, is a junior who also finished third in the district tournament. He opened action in the 170-pound bracket with a tight 4-3 loss to North Allegheny senior Sean Hoover (18-5), giving up an escape and a takedown in under a minute. He came back with a 1:58 fall over Kyle Homet, a junior from Waynesburg Central and the District 7 Section Four champ. On Saturday he battled Bethlehem Liberty senior Gunner Anglovich and earned a 6-3 decision. Root scored a first period takedown and pushed the lead to 5-1 with an escape and takedown in the second period.
His season ended in the third round of consolations opposite Wilson's Tommy O'Brien. Root (39-9), winning 2-1 in the third period, gave up an escape late in the bout and eventually lost 4-3 in an ultimate tie breaker. O'Brien (34-7), a senior, was the eventual fifth place finisher.
"Ben was winning both of the bouts he lost," noted Little. "This was his first ultimate tie breaker but we do prepare for that. He was one match from placing.
"Last year Ben finished sixth in the district meet and the top five advanced to states."
Wilson, Root Advance To PIAA Championships February 27, 2017
After wrapping up a third place team finish in the District Three 3A Section Two tournament, four Solanco grapplers continued their season this past weekend at the District Three Class AAA Championships held this year at its new venue, the Giant Center, leaving its former home, the iconic Hersheypark Arena. AJ Wilson, Ben Root, Josh Weder and Grayson Charles all made the journey to Hershey in hopes of punching their ticket to the PIAA Championships. Wilson and Root, both juniors, both extended their seasons with third place finishes.
Wrestling at 152, Wilson got off to a strong start, using four takedowns and three nearfall points to drop Gettysburg's Dan Ziegler 12-2 in the opening round. Unfortunately, his journey to a gold ended when Chambersburg's Drake Brenize used a five point move in the third period to advance with a 6-3 victory.
Wilson regrouped in the consolation bracket, winning four straight bouts to grab the bronze medal. He controlled Wilson's Dawson Comoh, using six nearfall points in the second period en route to an 11-1 major decision and followed that up with a 1:26 fall over Spring Grove's Anthony Hinson.
In the consi semis, Wilson, leading 2-1 in the second period, used and escape and a takedown in the final period to post a 5-1 decision over Matthew Danner of East Pennsboro, setting up a rematch with Brenize for the District bronze.
Scoreless after two periods, Wilson chose bottom to start the third and escaped for the victory.
"There may not have been a lot of scoring but there was a lot of action in this one," said head coach John Little. "AJ had a solid tournament and made the adjustments he needed to as he went."
Root, at 170, also dominated early. He jumped out to a 7-1 lead after two periods and advanced with an 11-2 opening round major decision over Kyle Swartz of Northern York. He advanced to the semifinals with another solid bout, this one a 2:26 fall over Governor Mifflin's Dalton Gockley.
In the battle to get to gold, Root suffered a 5-4 heartbreaker to Wilson's Tom O'Brien, the eventual second place finisher. Root led 4-2 after two periods but could not score in the third.
Struggling to bounce back, Root fell behind 1-0 after two periods but worked a pair of escapes, gave up a takedown and took advantage of a stalling point to tie things up at 3-3 against Harrisburg's Neamiah Diggs.
In sudden victory overtime, Root's takedown at the edge of the mat secured the 5-3 decision and pushed him into the third place bout where he dominated Big Spring's Britain Shields 11-5. Root held a slim 4-3 lead after two periods but used two escapes, a takedown and three nearfall points to pull away in the third.
"Both AJ and Ben lost because they were trying to protect their lead and eased up," said Little. "Never let up when you're ahead and never give up when you're behind. I must say that a hundred times a day in the wrestling room," he added.
Solanco's third junior making the trek to Hershey was Charles. A second place finisher at the sectional tournament, Charles jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first period and went on to work a 12-1 major decision over Chance Jackson of Spring Grove. His quarterfinal opponent, Gary Clark of Garden Spot, used four takedowns and an escape and advanced with a 9-2 decision.
With a come-from-behind 4:33 fall over Milton Hershey's Adrian Rosario, Charles advanced in the consolations. He was behind 4-1 after two periods before pinning Rosario.
One bout from the consi semis, Charles dropped a tight 3-1 result against Central Dauphin's Joey Stoak. An escape in the third period was all the offense he could muster.
"That was a tough one," said Little. "Grayson got a takedown and was close to back points but was called for a potentially dangerous move and didn't any points. That could have been a four-point move."
Weder was the final Mule in the hunt for the gold and a chance to get to states. His tournament had a pin or get pinned theme. The senior 195-pounder, down 2-1 in his opening bout against Cole Forrester of Shippensburg, the eventual fourth place finisher, was pinned in 2:43. He came back strong, decking Corey Eaton of Northeastern in 1:35 but saw his season come to a close against Seth Egolf, of Waynesboro, suffering a 57 second fall.
"He scored by the sword and died by the sword twice," said Little. "Everyone looked good on the mat. They brought their best games but you never know what's going to happen. You see good guys go down the tubes all the time," he continued. "Everyone's record is 0-0 and you're just happy to get here. We're happy to have two move on to states and it's nice that they're both juniors."
Last year Wyatt Jennings was Solanco's lone PIAA qualifier. Wilson and Root will compete in the PIAA tournament March 9, 10 and 11 back at the Giant Center.
Randi Rambo, competing without the support of a team from Solanco, competed in the District Three Bowling Championships this past Saturday at Clearview Lanes. Thirty-six girls from Lancaster-County qualified for the event. Rambo finished in 27th place with a 999 qualifying round total. Cedar Crest's Allison Hresko earned the top score in the qualifying rounds, a 1279 and then finished second to Elizabethtown's Olivia Farwell in the championship match.
Despite Solanco not having a swim team, junior Wyatt Urbine will swill swim the 50 freestyle this Friday at Cumberland Valley High School in the District Three Championships.
Since Solanco does not have an officially organized swim team, Urbine was granted permission by the Solanco School board to swim on behalf of Solanco.
For the past three years he has been swimming in meets at other schools in the Lancaster-Lebanon League to earn qualifying times. For the past two years he has qualified for the League meet in the 50 and 100 free. This year with a time of 22.84 seconds, he qualified in the top 32 in District Three for the 50 free.
"We are very excited and proud of Wyatt for qualifying for such a competitive meet," commented his mother and swim coach, Diana Urbine. As a non-swim school, Solanco students who are granted permission to swim are required to have a coach on deck. As a result, Wyatt parents have filled that role.
Urbine trains 12-15 hours a week and also competes at Jennersville YMCA. He started his swim career as a summer swimmer with the SECA Sharks swim program in Quarryville at the age of 5 and continues in that program each summer.
Wilson, Root Win Gold At Sectionals February 20, 2017
Solanco's matmen returned to action this past Saturday at Hempfield High School, competing in the realigned District Three 3A Section Two tournament. Central Dauphin, Lower Dauphin, Milton Hershey and Palmyra moved in and Conestoga Valley, Cedar Crest and Ephrata moved to Governor Mifflin.
As expected, Central Dauphin and Lower Dauphin flexed their muscles and earned the top two spots in the team standings with 200 and 165 points, respectively. And in an unexpected result, Solanco grabbed the third team spot with 140 points, well ahead of fourth place Donegal (115) and Manheim Central (107). Almost every one of the 13 Mule matmen competing contributed at least one win on the day. Seven of them secured two or more wins and four of them punched their ticket to the District Three Class AAA tournament this weekend in Hershey.
Top seed AJ Wilson and Ben Root rose to the occasion and earned gold medal finishes while Grayson Charles and Josh Weder settled for second place.
Wilson, a junior competing at 152 pinned his way to the finals. After opening with a bye, he barely broke a sweat in pinning Lampeter-Strasburg's Jeff Elser in 35 seconds and then putting Penn Manor's Tom Aston to his back in just 23 ticks to get to the finals. Even that didn't go the distance. Wilson, with three takedowns and five nearfall points, pushed out to an 11-1 lead after two periods and settled for an 18-3 technical fall in 5:47. He advances with a 13-1 record.
At 170, Root, who was third last year, also dominated. After a bye, he pinned Donegal's Kyle Bixler in 1:58 and then posted a 16-1 (5:06) tech fall over Manheim Township's Carter Hasson in the semifinals. He battled McCaskey's Carlos Lugo in the finals and recorded a 1:57 fall to grab Solanco's second first place finish on the day.
Seeded third at 138, Grayson Charles (21-4) settled for second place after suffering a 1:49 fall to Lower Dauphin's Clayton Ulrey in the finals. The junior opened the tournament with a 35 second fall over Palmyra's Tyler Shiffler and then used five near fall points to break open a 3-1 second period lead over Hempfield's Luke Granbois in the quarterfinals.
He reached the finals with an even tighter semifinals win, edging Manheim Central's Jack Zeamer 3-2 on the strength of a third period escape.
Also advancing to the finals but coming up short was senior 195-pounder Josh Weder. The top seed dominated early, pinning both Central Dauphin's Krisjan Urich in 2:35 in the quarterfinals and Manheim Central's Elliott Martin in 2:23 in the semis to get to Donegal's Keegan McCord. Wilson scored the first takedown of the bout and led 2-1 in the first period. A second period escape put him in front 3-1. The Donegal sophomore, however, used a third period reversal and a late takedown to pull out a 5-4 victory and left Wilson with the silver medal.
The Mules also had two sixth place finishes. Joey Vandegriff (132) used a third period reversal to pull out a 2-0 decision over Hershey's Hayden Angello only to suffer a 1:22 quarterfinals fall against Lower Dauphin's Christian Vaughn. The freshman regrouped in the consolation bracket and turned a 7-0 lead into a 2:50 fall over Donegal's Jared Brown. In the consi semis, however, he was pinned in 38 seconds by E-town's Justin Shelley and then lost the battle for fifth place to Penn Manor's Alex Laughlin via fall in 4:10.
At 220, Kaleb Tucker also earned a sixth place finish. After pinning both Palmyra's Garrett Miller in 1:49 and Donegal's Cael Rapp in 1:57, Tucker was knocked to the consolation bracket with a 13-7 semifinals loss to Lower Dauphin's Hunter Harnish. Then, in the consi semi, tied at 2-2 in the second period, the junior gave up a reversal with time running out and suffered a hard-fought 5-4 defeat to E-town's Connor Gill. Difficult to recover from, Tucker dropped a second one-point loss, this time in a rematch with Rapp. Holding a 4-3 lead after two periods, Tucker gave up an escape and a takedown as his season came to a close.
Going 2-2 on the day was Billy Maeda. The 145-pound senior pinned Donegal's William Small in the opening round and E-town's Jovan Thomas in the consolations. In between he was pinned by LD's Christian Vaughn and then suffered a fall to Central's Ryan McKee in the consi semis.
Picking up opening rounds wins before suffering back-to-back losses were Sheldon Peiffer (120), Chase Charles (126), Tucker Pierson (160), Nick Yannutz (182) and Averex Grant (285).
Peiffer topped Hershey's Ha-Jong JHun 11-1 before bowing to eventual champ Chris Wright, of Central Dauphin, and then eventual third place finisher Jordan Harsh, of Penn Manor.
Charles advanced with a double OT 3-2 thriller over Manor's Nick Fafel but then lost to the eventual 126-pound second place finisher Austin Burkholder, of Donegal, 4-1 and the fifth place finisher John Pacheco of McCaskey, 10-4.
Pierson, a sophomore, worked a 3:43 fall over E-town's Hunter Spigelmeyer but came up short against Township's Jose Lao-Cooper and LD's Etwarth Bernal-Noriega.
Down 5-0 in the first period, Yannutz, a freshman, closed the gap with a reversal in the second period and used a takedown and two nearfall points with time running out to sneak past E-town's David Rich. His season ended with a loss to the eventual second place finisher Brendan Shaffer of LD, and CD's Mitchell Talbot.
Grant posted a 3:25 opening round fall over Lampeter-Strasburg's Owen Hess before losing to eventual second place winner Evan Childs, of CD, and then to Hempfield's Zach Thomas.
Hoop Teams Finish Seasons With 11-11 Records February 12, 2017
Solanco's hoop teams wrapped up their respective seasons with mixed results last week. The girls' team hosted and swept the series against Garden Spot with a 58-41 final while the boys' team dropped their last game on the road by an almost identical score, 57-39. Both squads finished at 11-11 overall.
"We got off to a slow start but we kept our composure," said head coach Chad McDowell. "We showed some resiliency and got back into the game. This is a tell-tale sign of the growth we have made as a team throughout the season."
The Spartans jumped out to a 9-4 lead but five straight points by the Mares, including a bucket by Nikki Boultinghouse, tied the game at 9-9. Two free throws by Jess Cabrera and a three-ball by Aleska Burger put the Mares in front 16-12.
Solanco started to take charge in the second quarter, using a 9-0 run (seven by Grace Kreider), to push out to a 25-12 lead with 6:25 left in the half. Cabrera and Jenna Dombach also dropped in big threes as the Mares outscored the Spartans 17-10 for a comfortable 33-19 lead at the break.
"Grace was definitely a spark in that second quarter," noted McDowell. "For a two or three minute span she just took over and gave us the positive momentum we needed.
"And Jess and Jenna hitting those threes at crucial times is deflating to the other team's spirits. They also complimented Grace's performance," he added.
Both teams, however, struggled after the break as turnovers and missed shots were in great supply. The Spartans gained a little ground, outscoring the hosts 12-8 and cutting the lead to 41-31.
"That third quarter was definitely sloppy," said McDowell. "We just could not hit shots. We got some good looks, especially inside, but the shots wouldn't fall."
Burger's triple to open the fourth quarter lifted the home team out of its funk. They put together a 10-1 run, and outscored the Spartans 17-10 to improve their overall record.
With a trio of double-digit scorers, the Mares improved to 6-7 in Section Two. Cabrera hit 7-of-8 free throws and matched Garden Spot's Abi Fricke for game-high honors with 15 points. Boultinghouse followed with 13 points, six in the first half, and Kreider dropped in an even dozen.
"Having a balanced scoring attack is important for the success of our team," said McDowell. "When we play unselfishly, distribute the basketball, and don't get concerned with who scores the points, we are a really good team.
"We played a complete game from start to finish tonight and executed our game plan," continued McDowell. "It was a great game to end our season and shows the growth we have made as a team. It was also a great way to send off our seniors as Nikki Boultinghouse, Jen Eberly and Elaina Daily played their last home game. I cannot say enough about the dedication these three young ladies have given to our Solanco girls' basketball family over my three years as their head coach. They are part of our foundation and all of our future success. They will be missed."
Burger chipped in with seven points and led with eight rebounds. Kreider and Boultinghouse each grabbed seven caroms and Liz Mowrer came off the bench with six boards and four points.
Dombach netted five points and matched Burger with a pair of assists while Eberly's two points rounded out the scoring.
"Liz, Jenna and Katie Sheaffer each gave us a spark off the bench," stated McDowell. "All season long I have been pleased with our bench support. Every player that has been called upon has been vital to our success."
In JV action, the Mares notched a 32-25 win over the Spartans and improved to 16-3 on the year, including an undefeated mark on their home court.
Mackenzie Gladfelter led a balanced attack with 7 points. Alyssa Henretty added 6 and both Hanna Phillips and Liz Mowrer chipped in with 5 each. Kara McClune (4), Sheaffer (3) and Alana Yoder (2) rounded out the scoring.
Going into New Holland Tuesday night, the Mules were confident, knowing they defeated the Spartans 70-50 in their previous meeting. Unfortunately, the home team, looking to move up in the District Three 5A power rankings, wanted to even the score. And they did just that, handing the Mules a season-ending 57-39 loss.
"Garden Spot is a good team and currently ranked 11th in the district," noted head coach Scott Long. "We did not shoot the ball well and had too many turnovers. We were 2-for-15 from three-point range through the first three quarters," he continued. "Garden Spot did a nice job of taking away stuff around the rim and forcing us to take shots outside."
The Spartans, fueled by a 15-5 run in the first quarter, led from start to finish. They held the Mules to single digit scoring in each of the first three quarters, pushing out to a commanding 44-20 cushion.
Solanco did put together a fourth quarter rally, scoring almost as much as they did in the first three quarters combined, and cut into the lead by 6 points with a 19-13 advantage. But it was too little, too late.
"Dawson Kreider, Aaron Constein, Carson Kilgore, Braden Redcay, Jon Rush and Jack Boomsma played heavy minutes in the second half and I thought they competed hard," noted Long. "I am really excited to see how this group progresses through the off-season."
Garden Spot's Brendan Bradley tossed in 20 points, including four of their nine three-balls, to lead all scorers. Constein led the Mules with 10 points while Dylan Hastings, the team's leading scorer (18.77 average), and Kreider netted 6 points each. Kilgore (5), Robert McHugh (4), Dan Siegrist (3), Rush (2), Redcay (2) and Kilgore (1), also contributed to the scoring totals.
The loss leaves the Mules at 5-9 in Section Two. The Spartans will continue their season with a 14-8 record.
The JV team, behind a team-high 9 points by Carson Kilgore, closed its season Tuesday with a 48-34 loss to the young Spartans. Dawson Kreider followed with 8 points. Zach Wiker (6), Boomsma (4), Tom Broomell (3), Jay Boule (2) and Jake Zook (2) rounded out the scoring. The Mules cap the season with a 6-13 record overall.
"Carson was our leading scorer this year," noted coach Zac Bauermaster. "Dawson, Jack and Dom Messano also contributed in the scoring department.
"Dom and Jalen Henry were our freshmen this year and we are excited to see them grow as players. Jake Zook worked hard defensively and brought a lot of energy to our team during games and day in and day out at practice," he added. "Zach Wiker gained confidence throughout the year shooting the basketball and hit a lot of three's down the stretch. Tom and Jay rotated in at the post and worked hard to do the "little things" that we emphasize at practice.
"Although the record isn't exactly what we set out to do, we took some positive steps in establishing our culture with the boys program and are excited about where we are headed," Bauermaster commented. "Our goal at this level is to help players develop and gain repetition to compete at a high level on the varsity team."
In a tune-up for the Sectional Tournament which will be held Saturday, February 18 at Hempfield High School, the golden Mule grapplers improved to 6-3 overall with a 30-28 victory over Manheim Central, Friday, February 10.
Winning seven of the 13 bouts contested, the Mules fought off a 16-12 deficit with four straight wins. Ben Root (170) started the run with a 2:55 fall over Isaac Dorwart and Nick Yannutz (182) followed with a tight 4-2 nod over Nick Brown. Josh Weder's 1:32 fall over Mitchell Himelright pushed the led to 27-16 while Kaleb Tucker's 7-2 overtime win over Elliot Martin at 220 sealed Manheim's fate.
"Brown pinned Nick in the league championships," noted head coach John Little. "So that was a big win. And Tucker's win was a lot closer than that final score."
The Baron's capped the evening with forfeit points at 285 and an 11 second fall at 106 only to fall short.
After a no contest at 113, the Barons opened the scoring with a 6-3 decision over Sheldon Peiffer. Chase Charles (126) knotted the score at 3-3 with a 6-0 decision over Jared Groff.
As the match went back-and-forth, Manheim gained a major decision at 132 before Grayson Charles pulled out a 9-6 decision over Zack Zeamer.
"Grayson's bout was a big one," stated Little. "He used a five-point move to win and Zeamer was favored. He beat Grayson last year for the sectional title."
The Barons forged ahead with a fall at 145 only to see AJ Wilson (152) keep the pace with a 3:08 decking of Mitchell Wagner, pulling Solanco within one, 13-12.
Manheim took its largest lead of the night with a 6-2 decision over Tucker Pierson, setting the stage for Solanco's four bout rally.
"The guys really shocked me," said Little. "With our heavyweight out with the flu and forfeiting at 113, we knew everything had to go our way. The guys did a great job.
"I'm just elated," he added. "We finished the regular season 6-3 and with the holes in our lineup and our inexperience, that was better than what I had hoped for. This was a great win to end the regular season."
Hastings Goes Over 1,000 Career Points Mark February 6, 2017
Dylan Hastings needed just 14 points last week to hit the 1,000 career point mark. He scored nine in a 55-42 loss at Ephrata Tuesday and went over the monumental mark in Friday's 64-41 home win over Donegal, helping to move Solanco's Section Two mark to 5-8. They are 11-10 overall.
Friday's victory was a sweep for Solanco, who defeated Donegal 55-54 on January 10. Hastings, who became the seventh Mule to reach the milestone, led a trio of double digit scorers with a game-high 18 points. Colin Kilgore netted 14 points, including four three-balls, and Aaron Constein bucketed 11 with a pair of threes as Solanco hit a season-high 11 times from behind the arc.
"Dylan got his 1,000 point in the second quarter," recalled head coach Scott Long. "I called a timeout and set up a quick hitter just to get him a 1-on-1 opportunity in the post. He took it from there."
Zac Bauermaster was the last 1,000 point scorer for the Mules, going over the mark in 2005.
Mike Worthington, also with a pair of threes, finished with 8 points. Jake Zook added three points and Robert McHugh, Braden Redcay and Dan Siegrist all contributed two points each.
"Colin had perhaps his best game as a Solanco basketball player," lauded Long. "He hit 4-of-5 threes, was solid on defense and did a great job in not turning the ball over."
The Mules took control early, outscoring the Indians 17-10 in the first quarter and pulling away in the second, doubling the visitors 20-10 for a commanding 37-20 advantage at the break.
"The guys came out ready to play defensively and we shot the ball well, hitting seven of our 11 threes in that first half," said Long.
The third quarter was back-and-forth before Solanco extended the lead with a 15-8 fourth quarter effort.
Three point goals were the difference in this one. The Mules racked up 33 points there and the Indians just 3.
Earlier in the week Solanco hit the road to Ephrata looking to split the series but instead came home with a 13 point loss. Tied at 14-all at the half, the Mounts surged ahead, winning the third quarter 14-6 and the fourth 17-12. They are currently in a three-way log jam at the top of Section Two, tied with Manheim Central and Lampeter-Strasburg with 10-3 records.
"Ephrata started the second half hitting threes on back-to-back possessions," said Long. "They are very solid and physical defensively so once they got the lead, we struggled. We did manage to get it to six with four minutes to go but missed a layup."
McHugh was the only double digit scorer for the Mules, netting 10. Hastings, who went 5-for-6 from the foul line, added 9. Worthington also hit 5-of-6 free throws and had 8 points. Redcay (6), Constein (4), Siegrist (3) and Neil Munro (2) also scored.
"Worthington had a great game," said Long. "He had eight points but more importantly played great defense and didn't turn the ball over."
In JV action, the Mules dropped a heart-breaker, 49-47 against Ephrata, giving up the game-winning bucket with two seconds left.
"We were down 12-3 in the first quarter but cut the lead to 19-13 at the half," said coach Zac Bauermaster. "The second half was back-and-forth."
Dawson Kreider led the way with 12 points, Jack Boomsma added 11, Zach Wiker had 10 and Carson Kilgore chipped in with 8.
Friday night the Mules notched a 58-53 come-back win over Donegal. "We held a 25-18 lead at the half but Donegal had a huge third quarter to take an 8 point lead into the fourth," noted Bauermaster. "Freshman Dom Messano led the comeback, scoring 14 of his 19 in the second half. The guys did a nice job of responding to adversity and staying poised throughout."
Boomsma hit for double figures with 10, Kilgore added 8, Kreider chipped in with 7 and Jake Zook netted 6 in a balanced attack.
The girls' basketball team posted mixed results last week and remained in fourth place in the Section Two standings with a 6-7 record behind Lampeter-Strasburg (12-1), Cocalico (11-2), and Donegal (10-3).
The Mares opened the week against visiting Ephrata. After a three-point win (45-42) in their first meeting, Solanco expected a battle as the Mounts looked to split the series. Instead, they set the tone early, pushing out to a 31-12 halftime advantage and then surviving Ephrata's attempt at a comeback.
"Our confidence level is high and when we play as a team, we can compete with any team in the league," said head coach Chad McDowell. "We raced out to a 10-0 lead. A quick start is always important against a rivalry team.
"In the second half, they hit some shots (nailing five of their six threes) and we became a little passive," he continued. "They went to a trapping half-court defense that took us out of our offensive flow for several possessions. Once we made a few adjustments, we were fine. Being a young team, we are still learning to make adjustments on the fly.
"Ephrata never really threatened," he added. "The closest they got was nine points."
Jess Cabrera (15 points) and Aleksa Burger (13 points) led the offense and sparked the first half, combining for 21 of the team's 31 points. Defensively, Jen Eberly (10) and Burger (8), who combined for four steals, also contributed to the first half lead as the Mares controlled the boards.
"Being able to control the boards also gave us a spark," noted McDowell.
Nikki Boultinghouse chipped in with 9 points and Grace Kreider, hitting 4-of-7 attempts, finished with 8 points and also led with five steals.
In JV action, the young Mares won a 27-24 thriller. Tied at 24-all with five seconds remaining, Alana Yoder, fouled on a drive to the basket, connected on both free throws for a 26-24 lead. On Ephrata's ensuing inbounds play, Hanna Phillips intercepted the long pass and also was fouled. She hit one-of-two attempts with 1.9 seconds left to help secure the win.
Yoder scored a team-high 13 points. Kara McClune followed with 5, Phillps added 3 and Mackenzie Gladfelter, Katie Sheaffer and Alyssa Henretty chipped in with two points each.
Friday the Mares traveled to Donegal, the third place team in Section Two, and suffered their most lopsided loss of the season, 77-46.
The Indians set the tone early, sprinting to a 21-8 first quarter lead. Not to be out done, the Mares racked up 22 second quarter points, but they gave up 18, only cutting the lead by three. The hosts, however, controlled the second half, outscoring the visitors 19-9 in the third and 19-7 in the fourth.
"They got some easy baskets in the first and we missed some easy shots that could have swung that quarter into a different result," said McDowell. "We switched up our defense and created some turnovers in the second quarter and were able to get the ball inside to Nikki who had 11 of her 14 points that frame.
"But Donegal has three quality players that can score. We did a decent job containing Robinson and Baughman (12 points each) but Diffenderfer stepped up and netted 24," he added.
Backing Boultinghouse in the points department was Burger with 7, Jenna Dombach with 6 and Cabrera and Liz Mowrer with 5 points each. Kreider, who led with 5 steals, added 4 points and matched Burger with 5 rebounds. Eberly continued to anchor the defense and was tops with 6 rebounds.
The JV team, after topping Donegal 37-23 in their first meeting, suffered its third loss of the season, falling 45-28. McClune hit for double figures with 10. Sheaffer, Montana Lockhart, Yoder and Mowrer added 4 points each and Phillips had 2. The team is 15-3.