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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.

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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.

TRACK

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."

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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 causel410@comcast.net

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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.

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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 chad_mcdowell@solanco.k12.pa.us.

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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."

SOFTBALL

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.

BASEBALL

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.

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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 chad_mcdowell@solanco.k12.pa.us.

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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.

BASEBALL

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."

TRACK

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).

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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.

TRACK

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).

SOFTBALL

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."

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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.

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