Lady Booters Show Improved Play Despite Losses October 16, 2017
The girls' soccer team capped their season against the playoff-bound Pioneers last Wednesday night in Quarryville. And while they came away with a 3-0 loss, they showed improved play from their 6-1 result on September 23.
The Pioneers, who finished second in Section Two, scored twice in the first half and added the third score after the break.
"L-S had a great season and should do well in the post-season," said head coach Ken Yoder. "To rebound after a disappointing loss to them the first time and play well for our senior's last game felt good. Tori Delp, Sydney Hassler and Jami Murtha have all played six years in this program and we honored them for their commitment. They were captains for the night."
Though the Pioneers finished on top, Solanco was not without opportunities. Kayden Bedwell had a just wide shot on a restart in the first half, Alana Yoder added a header off a corner in the second half and also took a feed from Reece Curry-Saner with 8:20 left for what was probably their best effort. But what stood out more was the play of Gabi Dolan in goal. The sophomore recorded 17 saves and most of them were not of the roll right into your hands variety.
"Gabi continues to dominate games and came up with some huge plays for us," lauded Yoder. "She is one of the best goalies in our section."
The Mares were coming off a 5-1 loss to Elizabethtown Monday night. Sami Jackson's goal in the 67th minute, set up by Yoder, prevented the shutout.
"Sami added some nice offensive production as a freshman," noted Yoder. "She is second on the team for goals scored with six."
The boys' soccer team faced two of the top three teams in Section Two last week and ended its 2017 campaign with a pair of losses.
In a wet game Wednesday afternoon, the Mules battled the third placed Pioneers (9-5) and came home with a 5-1 loss. The hosts scored three goals in a span of nine minutes early in the game to set the tone. Solanco never gave up and got on the board in the 36th minute. Caden Kilgore sent a free kick over the defense to the far post where Zach Roten saved the shot with a touch back to Thomas Broomell who beat Lampeter's Paul Keller for the score.
"The boys work hard," said head coach Ron Miller. "It was nice to see a senior captain get the goal."
Lampeter's team speed, however, was a bit too much and the hosts, despite a couple impressive saves by Dylan Sheaffer, found the back of the cage twice more. Sheaffer, and Jake Smolik, who guarded the goal in the opening half, combined for seven saves.
One night later Solanco hosted the section-leading Bears of Elizabethtown (11-2-1) where another cluster of goals propelled the visitors to a 7-0 win. E-town, just 12 minutes in, scored the opening goal of the game. Six minutes later it was 3-0 as David Shank, who finished with a hat trick, scored twice in a minute to give the visitors momentum.
The Bears, who stifled the Mules 11-1 in their first meeting, needed eight saves to preserve the shutout as Solanco managed four corners and eight shots on goal.
Solanco finishes the season with a 1-17 record and were led in scoring by Evan Salisbury who netted seven of the teams 12 tallies. Tyson Kilgore added three goals.
On the road Friday night the Mules fell into a 2-2 tie for third place with Lampeter-Strasburg when they suffered a 42-21 loss to a Cedar Crest squad that improved to 3-1.
Cedar Crest took the early lead with touchdown runs of 52 and 48 yards. The Mules, however, returned the favor and took a brief lead, 14-13. Alex McDonald (87 yards on 15 carries) scored on a one-yard plunge and Sam Buckwalter finished the two-point conversion to put the Mules on the board in the first quarter. They grabbed the lead with McDonald's two-yard score in the second frame but Crest came back with a 3-yard run and held a 20-14 lead at the break.
Solanco grabbed its second lead of the game, this one 21-20, with a six-yard scamper by Nick Yannutz (118 yards on 26 carries) and a PAT by Evan Salisbury in the third quarter. But the Falcons soared after that, putting together three straight TD's, including a 66-yarder, to pull away.
The Falcons out-rushed the Mules 359-280 yards.
Joel McGuire, who rushed for 46 yards, completed three-of-seven passes for 75 yards with McDonald, Zed Baker and Zach Poole each on the receiving end.
Defensively, Cole Lewis recorded nine tackles on the night, eight solo, with Avery Troop and Logan Yaletchko combining for 10. Dylon Sturgill was credited with the only sack of the night.
Facing L-S and Eastern York last week, the volleyball team suffered a pair of losses.
Solanco went point-for-point with LS in the first set but fell 25-23. They rebounded for a 25-18 win only to fall short 25-14, 25-13.
Kara McClune led the way with seven kills, due in part to Ally McDowell's 15 assists. Lydia Fetterman served four aces and added 10 digs while Georgia Ewing and Liz Mowrer combined for five blocks.
"That first set was back-and-forth and came down to a couple of missed serves and ball handling errors," said head coach Meghan Cross. "We made them play the ball and we were solid on defense.
"After that second set win, we just ran out of gas and made a few too many unforced errors."
On the road Thursday, the Mares didn't have an answer for Eastern York's Brooke LaCesa (14 kills) and fell 25-15, 25-12, 25-17. Molly Chew finished with two ace and five digs while McClune (5 blocks) and Fetterman each put down four kills. McDowell finished with nine assists.
"We struggled to make them play the ball," stated Cross, "and we made our own mistakes."
Hoping to finish the season on a strong note, the field hockey team had a tall task as they faced third place L-S and undefeated Donegal in their last two games of the season.
The Mares went head-to-head with the Pioneers in the first half and came away with a 1-1 tie as both teams were awarded penalty strokes. Solanco took the lead at 17:09 when Abby Stull connected on the Mares first penalty stroke of the season. The hosts, however, returned the favor when they converted a stroke with 6:31 left in the half.
"Our first half was awesome," said head coach Whitney Hawkins. "We practice strokes but you so rarely get them. It was exciting to see Abby execute."
The Pioneers rallied for six second half tallies to pull away.
Head coach Whitney Hawkins went into Wednesday's game against Donegal knowing an upset was out of the question. "You go into a game like this just trying to do the best you can and you look for smaller victories within the game," said Hawkins. "And you sub a lot so everyone can get experience playing against a high caliber team.
"We finished with three shots and one corner which I was happy with. Looking back, the last three times we've played Donegal we finished with no shots and no corners so this was a mini victory."
So the Indians rolled to an 11-0 victory, tacking on three second half tallies to their 8-0 first half advantage. And they did so with many of their starters back on the field. Two of their top four scorers found the back of the cage in the second half, including team leader Mackenzie Allessie (68 goals to date). Their fourth leading scorer, Grace Miller, has scored 17. Solanco finished with 18 total goals this season and were led by Autumn Aukamp with seven. Stull, who was tops with eight assists, and Jada Brown chipped in with three goals each.
"We scored 12 goals last year so there is improvement," noted Hawkins. "And our junior keeper, Alta Brandenberger, ended with a 69.5% save rate. She just missed being in the top three in our section."
In tri-meet action last Tuesday, the harrier teams traveled to Lititz to battle Warwick and CV and came away with just one win on the day, a hard-fought 25-31 nod for the girls' over CV. They suffered a 22-40 loss to Warwick who placed six runners in the top nine.
Hannah Sweda (2nd, 21:18) and Aubree Roop (4th, 21:46) again led the girls. "They worked together through two miles to finish in front of CV's top girl," stated head coach Craig Ausel. "Hannah actually finished strong, catching Warwick's No. 2 girl in the final 400 to get that second spot."
Alyssa Slickers raced for 11th place in 23:22 and finished ahead of CV's third runner. "Alyssa continued her dynamic growth and picked up valuable scoring," Ausel said.
Clinching the win was Chesley Ledsma (19th, 24:53), Sarah Snyder (20th, 24:54) and Sarah Sweda (22nd, 25:03) who all finished ahead of CV's fifth runner, Lindsey Mousch in 24th place.
The boys' squad, despite a fourth place effort from Ben Sticker in 17:32, fell to Warwick 18-49 and dropped a disappointing 26-29 result against CV.
"Ben secured his final placement as a Section One, 2nd Team All-Star," noted Ausel. "We had the opportunity to beat CV but fell short," he continued. "Ian Brown did his part, finishing 11th (18:38) with one of his fastest times of the season and beating CV's No. 2 runner. We just couldn't break up their 2-3 and 4 runners who finished 12th through 14th. And we had three follow their fifth runner."
Patrick Workman ran third for the Mules, finishing 16th in 19:07 and Christian Stead, 18th in 19:20, rounded out the top five. Dan Keller (19th) Colin Althoff (22nd), Tate Fisher (23rd) and Marty Grawe (24th) rounded out the top 25.
On a side note, Warwick's Noah Martin, son of former Solanco cross country standout Kris Wagner Martin, was the overall winner in 16:52. His sister, Anna, finished third.
The tennis team wrapped up the season at the Lancaster-Lebanon League Flight Tournament held at various schools on October 5. Though they failed to advance, they put their best foot forward.
In terms of scores, Hannah Steinhauer and Kelsey Sheets put up the best numbers, battling McCaskey's Tiffany Tang and Jada Wheeler but falling short, 8-6 in the No. 3 doubles slot. They suffered an 8-4 loss to the McCaskey team in the regular season.
In singles play, Faith Redcay was solid in Flight 3 and put up a good effort against Penn Manor's Julie Ward who finished on top, 6-2, 7-5.
"Kelsey and Hannah were in the mix in most all of their matches," said head coach Todd Brown. "Their net play carried them."
Playing No. 2, Gabby Griffonetti and Elsie Zaborskiy went up against E-town's Claire Hackenberg and Emily Oyler and dropped an 8-0 result.
"That was a heartbreaker," said Brown. "Gabby played the best tennis I have ever seen her play. Her feet were moving fast and she was all over the court returning great shots."
In singles play, Zaborskiy bowed out against Garden Spot's Ashley Risser 6-0, 6-1 and Griffonetti lost 6-1, 6-3 to Elco's Allie Header.
"We had a positive season overall," said Brown. "We returned just three players and only one, Kerith Paine, had varsity experience. We had no seniors so we gained lots of experience. At times we were greatly outmatched but each time our team would rise to the occasion and fight," he continued.
"We won four matches this season. Due to their work ethic and coachable attitudes, every player's tennis game made tremendous gains. Most of our players are getting plugged into offseason playing opportunities as well," Brown added. "And we can't go without saying that assistant coach Shira Kauffman is phenomenal and a large part of why this season was successful."
Field Hockey Team Earns Shutout Over Cocalico October 9, 2017
Behind ten saves by Alta Bradenberger and goals by Jada Brown and Keirra Laird, the field hockey team avenged a 3-2, September 13 loss with a 2-0 shutout over the visiting Eagles of Cocalico last Monday afternoon. It was Solanco's first Section Two win.
"We got off to a great start and played well in the first half with small passing, communicating and moving the ball up the field," said head coach Whitney Hawkins. "The second half we played a little laid back."
Jada Brown, assisted by Keirra Laird, put the Mares on the board at the 5:25 mark.
"Keirra is only a sophomore and doesn't get a whole lot of varsity time," said Hawkins. "Before I subbed her, I told her I needed her speed and stick work and to be hungry for a goal. She did just that, assisting Jada's goal and scoring our second goal midway through the second half."
That momentum, however, did not carry into Wednesday's game. The Mares gave up three first half goals against the hosting Mounts of Ephrata. They did, however, play them to a 0-0 second half tie.
Bradenberger collected 13 saves in the loss.
Friday the Mares again fell behind 3-0 in the first half but this time broke through in the second half. Unfortunately it wasn't enough as Garden Spot prevailed 3-1 in Quarryville.
Solanco held an 8-6 advantage in shots on goal and, with seven corners, did have opportunities but struggled to finish.
Emily Hastings' goal, on a setup by Abby Stull, prevented the shutout midway through the second half.
It's not whether you get knocked down; it's whether you get back up. - Vince Lombardi
Solanco's football team definitely took a hit this past Friday night, suffering an unexpected 45-0 loss to the visiting Pioneers of Lampeter-Strasburg and surrendering the Milk Jug Trophy.
"That was not Solanco football," said disappointed head coach Tony Cox. "We just did not execute and the turnovers (three fumbles lost) were costly.
"That's not the kind of program we're trying to build," he continued. "We need to focus more and we need to take this to heart. We cannot allow this to carry into this week. We have to move forward."
The Pioneers Joey Underwood scooped up a fumble with 8:12 left in the first quarter and raced 27-yards to pay dirt. Two minutes later Peyton Denlinger booted a 31-yard field goal and L-S owned a 10-0 first quarter advantage. From there, Cam Neimeyer took over, scoring four straight touchdowns, including an impressive 60-yarder, to put the game out of reach.
Led by Alex McDonald's 85 rushing yards, the top rushing team in the league was held to 213 yards on 57 carries. The Pioneers, who were denied the Milk Jug Trophy each of the last two years, rushed for 199 yards and passed for another 196 in a balanced effort. Nick Yannutz chipped in with 76 yards. He and McDonald accounted for 10 receiving yards.
Defensively, Dylon Sturgill recorded nine tackles. Avery Toop followed with five and both Cole Lewis and Cody Forren finished with four each. Khalif Haga was credited with one sack.
"We have been competing and that's all that I can ask," said head coach Ron Miller. "Even though our record doesn't indicate it, these young men continue to give everything they have."
Monday the boys battled Section Two leader Ephrata but couldn't overcome a 4-0 first half deficit, and despite playing an even second half, lost 6-2. The Mules were only the second team to date to score two goals against the Mounts.
"They scored four goals in a span of nine minutes in the first half," said Miller. "For 31 minutes it was an evenly played game."
Ephrata scored the first goal of the second half on a penalty kick but the Mules responded. Four year starter Evan Salisbury, taking a feed from Caden Kilgore, blasted a shot from 25 yards out. Five minutes later it was Salisbury again, this time on a setup from Luke Snyder.
"They kept their starters in the whole game," noted Miller. "We played them 2-2 in the second half."
Wednesday's game against Garden Spot had a similar theme. The Spartans recorded three goals over a period of eight minutes in the first half and went on to win 5-0.
"We missed our first chance this year on a penalty kick," Miller recalled. "Evan's shot was stopped on a great save by their goalie, keeping the score at 3-0. We just couldn't find the net in the second half."
Their busy week concluded with a heartbreaking 1-0 loss against visiting Cocalico.
"This was an incredible contest," said Miller. "Both teams played hard and both were impressive on the defensive end. My back line, led by Thomas Broomell, included solid play from David Harvey, Tim Fetterman and Caden Kilgore who kept Cocalico at bay."
Keeper Jake Smolik saved a PK in the first half to keep the score at 0-0 at the break.
"In the second half we made one mistake 11 minutes in on a free kick which got through to the six yard area and they capitalized for the only goal of the game," Miller stated. "The guys played all out for 80 minutes but just couldn't find the net to tie."
The girls' soccer team came up empty in the wins department last week but they did manage to score twice in a 3-2 heartbreaker against Garden Spot Wednesday.
Solanco opened the week against Section Two leader Ephrata (12-0 LL, 15-1 overall) and were dealt a 5-0 loss. The Mounts topped the Mares 6-1 in their first half meeting.
"They're a great team and lead the section for a reason," said head coach Ken Yoder. "They have a few girls that are very physical and tough. We just have a hard time trying to stop them all."
Wednesday the girls fell behind early, giving up two goals, but worked their way back to tie the game in the second half.
"Their first two goals were from incredibly difficult angles," said Yoder. "There really wasn't much we could do."
Solanco cut the lead in half when Ryleigh Ferrari collected a defensive clear and sent the ball back into the box where Alana Yoder gathered control and tucked the ball past the keeper.
Three minutes later, Yoder carried the ball down the sideline, played a cross to Grace Kreider who knocked the ball past the keeper for the tie.
"I moved Alana up from center back to give our offense some spark and it paid off," Yoder noted.
The Spartans, however, with two minutes left in regulation, scored the game-winner on a breakaway.
"Gabi Dolan played great and has played a huge part in all of our games, win or lose," said Yoder. "She is stepping up as a team leader and we need that out of our goalkeeper position."
After working a 1-1 tie against Cocalico in Quarryville just over two weeks ago, the Mares were looking to pull out a 'W' in Denver last Friday. After a scoreless first half, the Eagles, with a 14-1 edge in shots on goal, managed the game-winner with four minutes left on the clock.
On the road last Tuesday night, the volleyball team got off to a rough start, falling behind 25-8 and 25-9 against the hosting Barons and never recovered. Despite improved play in the third set, they fell 25-15.
Kara McClune continued to lead the team in kills, putting down four while Ally McDowell was solid all around, dishing out nine assists, serving up two aces and scrambling for 12 digs.
Thursday they battled a 10-2 Garden Spot squad and came away with more competitive numbers but didn't have an answer for Spot's Shawna Zeiset and her 12 kills. The Spartans won 25-14, 25-16, 25-17.
McDowell led with six assists and 11 digs, Molly Chew served up two aces and McClune recorded a pair of kills. Liz Mowrer and Georgia Ewing settled for one block each.
The harrier teams traveled to Elizabethtown last Tuesday and came home with some solid individual performances but without a team win.
The E-town girls swept both Penn Manor and Solanco as they earned each of the top four places. The Comets also topped the Mares 21-39.
Hannah Sweda and Aubree Roop pushed each other throughout the race and finished 7th (21:10) and 8th (21:11) overall.
"Hannah and Aubree were fantastic," said head coach Craig Ausel. "Hannah actually ran a career best. I kept telling her that she would get stronger and stronger as the season moved forward and she had the support of her captain and teammate, Aubree Roop, who pushed her throughout the whole race," he explained. "We are excited to see how these two can build on this breakthrough race."
Alyssa Slickers ran third for the Mares and finished 13th with a 22:29 while freshman Sarah Snyder followed in 17th place at 23:58. Rounding out the top five was Chesley Ledsma in 18th place with a 24:14.
"Alyssa ran a huge career personal record by knocking 50 seconds off her previous best at Lock Haven," noted Ausel, "and Sarah, back from an illness, knocked more than 30 seconds from her previous fastest time, also at Lock Haven."
Sarah Sweda rounded out the top five, clocking a 24:33 for 21st place.
Other place winners included Kirsten O'Connell (26:35), Evelyn Billings (27:04) and Danielle Drumm (29:12).
The boys' team suffered a similar fate, bowing out 20-35 to both the hosts and the Comets.
Ben Strickler was Solanco's top finisher, placing 7th in 17:37, but he followed four runners from E-town, who narrowly topped the Comets 28-30.
Ian Brown and Patrick Workman kept each other going and placed 10th (18:18) and 11th (18:20) overall while Christian Stead (13th, 18:32) and Dan Keller (14th, 18:33) also ran together and rounded out the Mule scoring.
Also placing was Marty Grawe (18:58), Colin Althoff (19:04), Tate Fisher (19:09), Aidan McBride (19:15), Jose Serrano-Silva and Damian Martinez (19:58 each), and Brandon Daniel (19:42).
"Ben, Ian and Patrick all ran fast times to pace the boys," said Ausel, "and Christian was back from an injury and also ran well. Dan rebounded with a very solid race as our fifth man," he continued. "His continued improvement will be a key to our future success."
Mule Gridders Pull Out OT Win Over E-town October 2, 2017
Last Friday night in Elizabethtown, Solanco's football team was faced with its second overtime situation to date. This time they executed down the stretch and pulled out a 28-27 thriller over the favored Bears.
Alex McDonald's successful two-point conversion in the second OT period put the Mules on top for good.
"When I went out for us to kick the field goal, I asked the seniors if they wanted to tie or go for the win," said head coach Tony Cox. "They wanted to go for the win. They didn't want to lose again in overtime."
McDonald, in the first extended period, scored from 10-yards out to put the Mules in front, 20-13, but the Bears responded with a 12-yard strike on fourth down and then took the lead in the second OT with another passing TD.
Solanco answered when Nick Yannutz, who raced 138-yards on 22 carries, scooted in from two-yards out to set the stage for McDonald (108-yards on 11 carries).
"We knew it was crunch time," said Cox of the extra period. "The kids weren't freaking out because they'd been here before."
After a scoreless first quarter, the visitors went in front on a 10-yard TD run by Nafis Moore early in the second frame. Moore (85-yards) also capped a 95-yard, 14-play drive with another 10-yard scamper that knotted the score at 13-13 with 2:25 left in regulation.
"Turnovers continue to be the most frustrating thing," Cox stated. "Twice we fumbled inside the red zone. We should have won it in regulation but we have a junior dominated squad and we're still learning how to finish. If we can do that, and remain focused, we'll be OK."
Dylon Sturgill, Khalif Haga, Logan Yaletchko and Nate Neuhauser all finished with seven tackles.
"The defense did a nice job," said Cox. "They caused some fumbles and stopped the run game. We just have to find a game where the offense and the defense are feeding off each other."
Struggling at the offensive end has plagued the boys' soccer team this season. They have scored nine goals to date with three coming in Saturday's 3-0 shutout over Lebanon. Last Tuesday they put up a second half goal against Manheim Central but it wasn't enough to offset the four goals the visitors unleashed in the opening half.
Evan Salisbury, on a setup from Tucker Pierson, put the Mules on the board in the 61st minute but the Barons got a three-score effort from Zach Reed.
Thursday the locals traveled to Cedar Crest. The Falcons scored seven of their 17 total goals this season in a 7-0 shutout over Solanco in the second game of the season. While the result this time around was another shutout, the Mules showed marked improvement, battling the hosts to a scoreless first half before bowing out 3-0. Jake Smolik, who split time in goal with Dylan Sheaffer on Tuesday, faced ten shots on the day and recorded seven saves.
Saturday the Mules came away with a much needed win, blanking Lebanon 3-0. Sean Salisbury sent a through ball to Tyler Williams who put Solanco on the board 17 minutes in.
Three minutes into the second half, Luis Solis fed Evan Salisbury who connected from 30 yards out for a 2-0 cushion. Finally, with eight minutes remaining, Sheaffer punted the ball 70 yards. After the bounce, Salisbury beat the keeper for the 3-0 finals.
"Jake and Dylan preserved the shutout with quality saves and on defense, Thomas Broomall and David Harvey frustrated Lebanon all day," said head coach Ron Miller. "It was a much needed win."
In balmy conditions last Monday, Solanco's golfers competed in the Lancaster-Lebanon League Tournament at Honeybrook Golf Course in hopes of extending their season. A total of 19 AAA boys shooting 81 or lower and 13 girls carding 104 or better advanced to the District Three Tournament which will be held October 6-7 at Briarwood Golf Course.
Jonathan Rush, playing in his fourth L-L League Tournament, carded a 77, tied for 10th place and will move on.
Junior Evan Wagoner (95), senior Tim Schmitt (99) and freshman Greta Plechner (131) also competed.
"Jonathan closed out with pars on four of the last five holes to qualify for districts," said head coach Greg Minnich. "He has improved his Tournament score every year going 95, 83, 78 and 77."
The lady booters opened the second half of Section Two play with a night game at Manheim Central. And while the result was a 2-0 loss, the improvement in Solanco's play was more than evident. The third place Barons saddled the Mares with a 5-1 loss in Quarryville on September 5. Tuesday night the Mares battled to a scoreless first half before yielding a pair of second half goals.
"Even in a loss, this was a good result," stated head coach Ken Yoder. "We played well. Alana Yoder turned in a gutsy performance. She took a hit to the nose early in the second half, but returned to the field. We found out later she suffered a broken nose."
With a balanced attack on Thursday, Solanco earned its third league win of the season, blanking a winless Lebanon squad 6-0.
"We had six different girls score and six different girls with assists," lauded Yoder. "It was a good win."
Kayden Bedwell and Diana Quintino each scored first half goals with Jami Murtha, Jenna Frey, Yoder, and Gabi Dolan providing the second half scoring. Bedwell, Sammi Jackson, Nikki Trout, Reece Curry-Saner, Grace Kreider and Jenna Bleacher assisted in the scoring.
The winning continued on Saturday where first half goals by Murtha and Jackson created a 2-0 shutout over McCaskey and improve Solanco's record to 4-5-1 overall.
After suffering 7-0 shutout losses earlier in the week against two of the top four teams in Section One, Warwick and Hempfield, the girls' tennis squad saved the best for last, capping the regular season with an exciting 4-3 thriller over visiting Penn Manor Thursday afternoon.
"It was a great, hard-fought match by all of the players," praised head coach Todd Brown.
The Mares pushed out to a 2-1 lead in doubles play with Keirth Paine and Faith Redcay topping Groff and Rohrer 8-6 at No. 1 and Hannah Steinhauer and Kelsey Sheets winning 8-4 at No. 3.
Singles play was even closer. Paine fought at No. 1 but fell short to Maddy Groff 5-7, 7-6, (13-11) but Griffonetti answered with a 6-3, 7-5 win at No. 2 and Redcay sealed the deal, rallying from a 2-6 first set deficit to win 6-2, (10-7).
"Faith and Gabby had thrilling victories to clinch the match," said Brown. "And Hannah and Kelsey have come on real strong here at the end."
With just one runner placing in the top ten, the girls' cross country team suffered a pair of losses at home last Tuesday. Hannah Sweda followed five Hempfield runners and four from Ephrata to finish in tenth place overall (22:30). The Knights handed Solanco a 15-52 loss while the Mounts, with four of the top five, won 17-39.
"We continue to struggle with youth and depth issues but show great improvement," said head coach Craig Ausel. "Sarah Sweda ran a season best 24:57 on our course, dropping 45 seconds off her time. Alyssa Slickers also improved, running a minute faster on our tough course."
Aubree Roop was 14th (23:20), Slickers ran third with a 24:17 and finished 22nd with S. Sweda one place back at 24:57. Chesley Ledsma (25th, 25:41) rounded out the top five.
"Chesley knocked 1:16 off her run," noted Ausel. "It's not fun to lose but when your student-athletes demonstrate such large margins of improvement, you do feel better about team progress."
The boys' squad improved to 2-4 with mixed results. Behind Ben Stickler's 5th place finish in 17:50, the Mules held off Ephrata 27-34 but, with only one in the top ten, dropped a 17-50 result to Hempfield.
"The boys came ready to race an Ephrata squad that was beatable," stated Ausel. "Ben ran a strong race for 2.5 miles with four of the league's best runners."
Ian Brown ran a Solanco best 19:12 and placed 12th overall. Freshman Marty Grawe ran third for the Mules, clocking a 19:30 for 14th place. Keying the win over Ephrata was Tate Fisher (16th, 19:36) and the pack of Aidan McBride (18th, 19:43), Patrick Workman (19th, 19:44), Colin Althoff (20th, 19:55), and Jose Serrano-Silva (21st, 20:06) all placing ahead of the Mounts fourth and fifth runners.
"Our pack made a giant difference," said Ausel. "Although we got beat by a strong Hempfield squad, we feel good about our progress toward competing in Section One."
Facing two of the top three teams in Section Two was a tall task for the girls' field hockey team last week. Despite posting a 7-1 loss against the 8-1 Barons of Manheim on Tuesday and falling 4-0 to the third place Bears of E-town Thursday, head coach Whitney Hawkins was not discouraged.
"The score honestly does not reflect how well they played together, as a unit and a team," Hawkins said. "Manheim actually had double the fouls we had.
"Defensivley both Andra Beiler and Lupe Serrano each had a save with Lupe diving toward the cage to prevent the goal," she continued. "It was awesome!"
The Barons pushed out to a 5-0 lead before the Mares scored with under a minute in the first half. Midfielder Katlyn Dobinson sent a diagonal pass to Autumn Aukamp who carried the ball down the left side before dishing a pass Dana Landis. Landis sent a cross to Jordyn Herman who beat the keeper and put Solanco on the board. Manheim scored twice after the break.
Thursday's outing was on the turf in Elizabethtown where the Bears swept the series with a 4-0 win.
"We played them to a 2-0 loss on our grass field the first time," noted Hawkins. "Turf just makes it a faster game."
The Bears led 3-0 midway through the first half and scored the final goal after the break.
Alta Brandenberger, who recorded 10 saves on Tuesday, finished with 18.
Friday the Mares dropped a 2-1 heartbreaker to Octorara. Abby Stull's first half goal wasn't enough as the visitors, in the second half, scored twice in a span of two minutes to pull out the win.
The volleyball team heads into the second half of the league season this week still searching for that first team win. Last week they battled the top team in Section Two, Elizabethtown (5-0), but unforced errors proved costly in a 25-13, 25-16, 25-17 loss.
"We had the least amount of unforced errors in that third set," said head coach Meghan Cross. "Our serve receive struggled a little and when we fell behind we struggled to get back."
Lydia Fetterman (8 digs) and Kara McClune combined for 11 kills, and Ally McDowell dished out 18 assists in sparking the offense.
"Nathaly Molinarez came off the bench and helped with serving and passing on defense," added Cross.
In non-league play Wednesday the Mares, rallying from two sets down, were poised to grab their first win of the season but struggled through the deciding fifth set and suffered their second 3-2 defeat of the season 25-15, 25-13, 19-25, 20-25, 7-15.
Georgia Ewing (5 blocks) and McClune (13 digs) each put down six kills with Fetterman (3 digs, 3 aces) adding five. Molly Chew chipped in with three aces and McDowell put up 16 assists.
"We need to improve our serving and cut down on the unforced errors," said Cross. "Confidence is the key and we will continue to work on building that."
Lady Booters Hold Off Cocalico With 1-1 Tie September 25, 2017
Against two squads with very similar records, the girls' soccer team posted mixed results at home last week.
Monday they took an early 1-0 lead on a beautiful free kick by Reece Curry-Saner that sailed over the defense and took a high bounce over the keeper just ten minutes into the game. The Mares, however, settled for a 1-1 tie as the Eagles knotted the score on a breakaway goal with ten minutes left to play.
Both teams had opportunities but the defensive line of Curry-Saner, Alana Yoder and Ryleigh Ferrari along with keeper Gabi Dolan were standout on the day. Curry-Saner denied the sideline time and time again while both Yoder and Ferrari denied the middle. Dolan also came up with a big save in the second overtime just after Cocalico sailed a corner attempt over the crossbar.
"Everyone played well and both teams had chances down the stretch," said head coach Ken Yoder. "Gabi has been excellent in net and has brought stability back there. As a sophomore, that is amazing," he added. "Overall it was a great team effort against a tough Cocalico team that has beaten us handily the past few seasons."
At home again Wednesday, the Mares, down just 1-0 in the first half against Elizabethtown, did not have an answer for Kaeleigh Smedley. The senior exploded for three second half goals, two in a period of four minutes, and pushed the final to 4-0.
Dolan and the defense faced 23 shots and 13 corners. The sophomore finished with 13 saves.
Solanco fell to 4-4-1 overall while the Bears earned just their second win.
In Lampeter Saturday the Mares fell behind 5-0 in the first half against the hosting Pioneers, and despite playing to a 1-1 second half tie, suffered a 6-1 defeat to the third place team. Jamie Murtha, assisted by Rachel McLaren, prevented the shutout.
Nick Yannutz almost single handedly carried Solanco to a 64-42 victory over visiting Garden Spot this past Saturday night. The sophomore fullback scrambled 321 yards on 22 carries and scored four touchdowns as the Mules opened Section Two play with their highest point total of the season.
Back-to-back rushing TD's by Joel McGuire, who finished with 104 yards on 16 carries, erased a 7-0 deficit and put the Mules in front 15-7. Garden Spot countered with a passing strike, closing the gap to 15-14 by the quarter's end.
Both teams traded TD's early in the second frame with Yannutz scooting 23-yards and the Spartans going 67-yards on a pass play. But the Mules took over after that. Alex McDonald returned a kick-off 80 yards and then snagged a 27-yard scoring strike from McGuire to put the hosts in front for good, 35-21 at the break.
Yannutz scored three of his TD's in the second half on runs of 66, 32 and 37 yards. McDonald added a 15-yard scamper and Nafis Moore followed that score with a two-point conversion pass from McGuire.
Though the offense was the highlight of the game, Dylon Sturgill led the defense with 10 tackles and one sack. Cody Forren, along with juniors Cole Lewis and Logan Yaletcko (1 sack) contributed eight each as Solanco improved to 2-2 overall.
In a tune-up for the L-L League Tournament, the golfers competed in their last Section Two tournament last Monday at Honeybrook Golf Course where they finished second behind Cocalico (323).
"For the first time this season we finished second and shot our best team score (320)," noted head coach Greg Minnich. "I knew we were capable of shooting these scores. It just took longer than we wanted."
Jonathan Rush, carding a 3 over par 73, not only shot the lowest score of the day but won the Section Two scoring title for the second year in a row.
"Jonathan averaged 76.6 which was 2.7 strokes better than Cocalico's Nolan Hesko," said Minnich. "Tim, with an 86, broke 90 for the second time, and Evan Wagoner, with an 89, and Sheldon Peiffer, at 92, both carded their best-ever scores in competition."
The Mules finished fourth overall with a 26-16 record, just two games behind Manheim Central's second place effort.
Rush, Schmitt and Wagoner, along with Greta Plechner, will compete in the League Tournament back at Honeybrook this week.
With no league meet last week, the harrier teams last competed in the Ben Blouser Invitational at Big Springs High School on Saturday, September 23.
"The teams competed in both varsity and JV races," said head coach Craig Ausel, "and despite racing in the heat of the day, with temps in the mid 80's, I was pleased with our results despite the less than perfect conditions."
Ben Stickler (17:45) ran the fastest for the Mules, placing 45th overall with Tate Fisher (18:52) and Ian Brown (18:53) both running sub 19 minutes. Dan Keller (19:18.5) and Patrick Workman (20:31) also competed.
"This was a good test in the heat," said Ausel. "Hannah Sweda (50th, 21:51) and Aubree Roop (22:45) ran the varsity race and Hanna improved 39 seconds from her previous race at Manheim Township. Aubree continues to be very consistent.
"We had 15 runners with improved 5K times on a similarly tough course at Township," he added.
Taking on two of the top three teams in Section Two proved to be a tall task for the boys' soccer team. Third place Cocalico (5-3-0) used a hat trick from Nick Stauffer to push past the Mules 5-0 in Denver last Monday.
Wednesday's task was even taller as the Mules hit the road to Elizabethtown to take on the No. 2 Bears. Perhaps taking Solanco for granted, the Mules took the lead a quick six minutes in on a goal by Tyson Kilgore, set up by Oliver Diaz. Now awake, the Bears, last year's state finalist, quickly responded as Adan Cabrera-Perez took charge, netting three goals in a span of five minutes. The hosts led 6-1 at the half and piled up five more goals after the breaks, improving to 5-1.
"Three of our starters were out and our stud defensive sweeper, Thomas Broomell, sat the second half with a twisted ankle," noted head coach Ron Miller.
Jake Smolik recorded ten saves against the Eagles and seven more against the Bears, pushing his total to 56 saves in seven games.
Saturday morning the Mules were without Evan Salisbury and Jack Boomsma in a home game with rival L-S.
"Ten minutes in, Tyson's shot bounces off the crossbar to the post but doesn't go in," Miller recalled. "We just can't catch a break. Then, 28 minutes in, they score on a scramble in front of the goal. It was a good match for 80 minutes," he added. "We just couldn't put one in and they scored again in the second half."
After a 7-0 loss to McCaskey and a 6-1 loss to Ephrata, the tennis team went up against Section Two's Annville-Cleona Thursday and came away with their third win of the season, 6-1.
"We moved Hannah Steinhauer to the varsity in the last second to step in for a player who had to withdraw due to illness," said head coach Todd Brown. "She came up in a large way, winning the clinching match for the team. Faith Redcay and Elsie Zaborskiy had thrilling wins in tiebreaker sets."
The doubles teams got things rolling when Keirth Paine and Redcay, who pulled out a 6-1, 2-6, 10-8 win at No. 2 singles, topped Sasha Bretous and Aryana Bellach 8-2 at No. 1.
Gabby Griffonetti and Elsie Zaborskiy turned in an 8-3 final against Alyssa Rivera and Rachael Campbell while at No. 3, Steinhauer teamed with Kelsey Sheet and won soundly, 8-1.
Griffonetti, who moved into the No. 1 slot, put up a good showing but bowed out 6-2, 6-3.
Zaborskiy rebounded from a 2-6 first set loss to beat Molly Beidler with a 7-7, 10-6 tiebreaker result at No. 2 while Steinhauer dominated Emily Speck 6-3, 6-0 at No. 4.
The loss to Ephrata (3-4 in Section One) Tuesday night was closer than the score would indicate. Paine posted her second singles win at No. 1, topping Kachel in a 10-8 tiebreaker after dropping the second set 1-6. Griffonetti was short of pulling off a second set win, 7-5, at No. 2 and Zaborskiy took six games from Ephrata's Wenger in a two set loss. The two also played tough in doubles but bowed out 8-4.
Two teams searching for their first league wins took the field in New Holland last Monday and only one moved up in the standings. The host Spartans broke open a close 1-0 first half advantage with two second half goals to earn a 3-0 shutout.
Wednesday brought a 7-3 (overall) Pioneer squad to Quarryville. Typically a tight contest, the visitors controlled possession for the bulk of the game, got a hat trick from Laura Horner, and secured a 4-0 shutout.
"I was expecting a tighter score," said Pioneer boss Katrina Swarr. "We were just quicker to the ball and maintained possession."
The Mares were held to just two shots and two corners on the day.
In goal, Alta Brandenberger combined for 12 saves.
Friday the Mares faced their toughest opponent to date, undefeated Donegal, and were dealt their most lopsided loss of the season, a 14-0 result. The Indians have a league-best 85 goals for and have yielded just three.
While the volleyball team sits at the bottom of the Section Two standings, their play looks a little better than a winless record.
In back-to-back home games last week, Solanco dropped identical 3-1 results, first a non-leaguer to Octorara on Monday and then to Ephrata.
"We're just to up and down right now," said head coach Meghan Cross. "We look really good at times and other times, not so much. We need more consistency. Learning to stay positive is part of the learning process."
Tied at 19-all against Octorara, the Mares slowly pulled away, taking advantage of five balls hit out-of-bounds to pull out a 25-20 set one victory.
The second set was even closer. Tied at 21-21, the Mares fell behind 24-21 but Kara McClune's serving rallied them to knot the score at 25-25. An ace and a serve receive error gave the Braves a 27-25 win.
The win gave the visitors momentum and frustrated the hosts. Octorara led from start to finish in both the third (25-9) and fourth sets (25-14).
"Our serve receive and hitting errors were a struggle for us and cost us a lot of points," said Cross.
Lydia Fetterman was tough at the net with 10 kills but it wasn't enough to offset 20 by Sarah Lazer and 14 more by Emily Maser. Molly Chew did her best to battle those kills and finished with 15 digs while Liz Mowrer put up six blocks. Ally McDowell chipped in with 23 assists and McClune finished with a pair of aces.
Tuesday night the Mares got off to a slow start, dropping the first set to Ephrata 25-14. They rallied for a 25-21 second set win but couldn't sustain the momentum through the rest of the match, falling 25-15, 25-17.
Chew, McDowell (15 assists) and Fetterman were busy in the back row, recording eight digs each while Georgia Ewing and Mowrer, who served three aces and put down three kills, each added four blocks.
The loss drops the Mares to 0-5 while Ephrata improves to 4-3 overall.
Tennis Team Grabs First League Win, Tops Cedars September 18, 2017
The tennis team moved out of the basement of the section standings and secured its first league win of the season, a 6-1 result against visiting Lebanon last Tuesday.
The doubles teams dominated play. Keirth Paine and Faith Redcay worked an 8-1 victory at No. 1 while Gabby Griffonetti and Elsie Zaborskiy, at No. 2, and Hannah Steinhauer and Kelsey Sheets, playing No. 3, both earned shutouts.
The winning continued through the singles matches. Paine defeated Alexis Papson 6-2, 6-3 at No. 1 and Griffonetti stopped Everia Gonzalez 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2. Zaborskiy added a second shutout to her day, blanking Jenna Aviles.
"Gabby picked up her first league singles win," said head coach Todd Brown. "Her game is developing well. And Keirth continues to play solid at No. 1."
The Mares (2-8 overall) were coming off a 7-0 loss against an 8-0 Manheim Township squad. Friday they fell to CV 7-0.
Hoping for a home course advantage, the golf team instead finished middle of the road last Tuesday at Tanglewood, going 3-3 on the day with wins over Garden Spot (384), Elizabethtown (405) and Ephrata (409) pushing their Section Two record to 21-15.
Jonathan Rush anchored Solanco's 359 team total with a 78, which tied for the lowest score of the day. Tim Schmitt (85), Isaac Nadu (97) and Evan Wagoner (99) rounded out the top four with Reid Ballie (101) and Sheldon Peiffer (102) also competing.
"We had a couple bright spots with Tim shooting his best score ever in competition and Isaac breaking 100 and counting toward the team score for the first time," noted head coach Greg Minnich.
Cocalico (35-1) clinched the Section Two crown with a 336. Central (24-12) followed with a 350 and Lampeter-Strasburg (28-8) was four strokes back.
The harrier teams competed in Neffsville last Tuesday but fell short in the win department. Suffering losses to both Manheim Township and Cedar Crest, both squads fell to 1-3.
Ben Stickler came away as Solanco's highest place winner, finishing fourth overall in 17:34.
Cedar Crest placed five runners in the top 10 and defeated the Mules 19-48. Township had five in the top 11 and also beat Solanco, 19-48.
Ian Brown (15th, 19:12) ran second for the Mules. Patrick Workman was two places and six seconds behind to finish as Solanco's third counter. Tate Fisher clocked a 19:38 and was in 19th place while Aiden McBride (22nd, 19:28) rounded out the top five.
"Ben continues to grow stronger as he races at the front of the pack," noted head coach Craig Ausel. "He had a very solid finish. Township and Cedar Crest were just too deep. We must be in the mid 18's to compete with these two teams."
Claiming the top seven places and eight of the top 10, the hosting Streaks dominated the competition, handing Solanco a 15-55 loss while the Falcons placed each of their top five in the top 21 and also beat the Mares, 21-39.
Hannah Sweda was the top finisher for the Mares, placing 11th overall (22:30) with Aubree Roop taking 13th (22:48).
"Hannah and Aubree both ran solid races," said Ausel. "We were missing three of our 11 runners, making it more difficult to compete with these deep squads."
Alyssa Slickers (23rd, 24:52) and Sarah Sweda (24th, 25:09) earned back-to-back finishes while Chesley Ledsma rounded out the top five (32nd, 26:39).
The field hockey team suffered three losses last week but were oh so close to being 3-0.
They earned the first two corners in each half but failed to convert against visiting Elizabethtown last Monday. E-town took a 1-0 lead on a tough to defend flick that sailed up and over the Solanco defense with 1:30 left in the half and Mackenzie Hommaker tallied her second goal at the 9:15 mark in the second half.
"That first goal was a tough one," said head coach Whitney Hawkins. "Overall I thought it was a hard-fought game. Individually, Dana Landis had great block tackles," she continued. "And Jenna Dombach took a reverse chip to the chin but it didn't stop her. After icing, she went back in and pressured the ball without shying around. It was awesome to see this sophomore fearless in the defensive circle despite being hit.
"Alta Bradenberger (10 saves) had a great game," lauded Hawkins. "She works extremely hard and defended well, especially with those reverse chips which can be tough to read. She is growing from game to game."
In Wednesday's game at Cocalico (3-3 overall) the Mares battled back from a 3-0 deficit, outscored the Eagles 2-1 in the second half but suffered a 3-2 defeat.
Seniors Autumn Aukamp and Abby Stull provided the one-two punch in both goals with Aukamp, the team's leading scorer, finishing Stull's assists.
"We closed the gap with 10 minutes left and had opportunities to tie it up but did not execute," said Hawkins.
In their closest game of the week, the Mares held a 2-1 first half lead over Ephrata, gave up the tying goal with no time on the clock and dropped a 3-2 verdict in overtime.
Aukamp notched her third goal 12 minutes into the game, tying the score at 1-1, and sophomore Keirra Laird tallied her first goal of the season with 3:44 left in the half, giving the Mares a halftime advantage.
"We held the lead all through the second quarter and then gave up a corner with no time left," recalled Hawkins. "They converted and sent the game into overtime. They got a good break to score the game winner.
"Last year we would have been losing these games by five and six goal shutouts," she added. "The girls are really coming together as a team and controlling play. They give it their all."
Sometimes in sports the results on the scoreboard don't reflect the hard work that takes place on the field. Such is the case with the boys' soccer team. They battle day in and day out but have yet to finish on top. And they can't seem to catch a break.
"We lost our starting goalie, Dylan Shaeffer, probably for the year," said head coach Ron Miller. "So Jake Smolik, a sophomore with tons of potential, was thrust into the job and got his first start against Cedar Crest, a game we lost 7-0.
"Last Tuesday night at Ephrata I tried to rally the troops with an emotional speech and the boys played 15 minutes toe to toe against an undefeated squad," he continued. "But a 30 yard strike into the upper left corner left us scratching our heads, wondering what more we could do."
The Mules fell behind 3-0 at the half and wound up on the short end of a 7-0 final.
"We got a good start in the second half, threatening to get on the board but Jack Boomsma's shot stayed on the line and didn't go in. That would have made it 3-1. We never recovered."
The Mules hosted Garden Spot (2-4) on Thursday and fully expected to pull out a win.
"We outplayed them in the first half but the score was 0-0 at the break," said Miller. "Then we gave up two late goals and lost 2-0.
"The offense is sputtering right now and we played without our best player, Evan Salisbury, who is the quarterback of this team. He's a four-year starter and with an inexperienced team, his absence is a dagger," Miller stated. "That being said, Jake, with ten saves, had a great game. And Thomas Broomell, a three year starter and my defensive stud, is a warrior. Our defense played well and I'm hoping we get some wins soon. This team has played hard and they deserve it."
It was a three game week for the volleyball team who struggled to get in the win column. Their closest effort was a hard-fought 3-2 (25-17, 29-31, 25-12, 23-25, 15-13) non-league loss against visiting Oxford Monday night.
"This was an exciting match and a momentum builder," said head coach Meghan Cross. "It came down to the fifth set, which went point-for-point until the end."
The longest set of the night was Solanco's 31-29 nipping of the Braves.
"Libby Weaver's serves were key throughout the entire match," noted Cross. "Lydia Fetterman and Kara McClune (9 kills each) came alive with some nice kills and the girls were digging and diving on defense."
McClune also led with five aces. Liz Mowrer finished with two blocks, Molly Chew was tops with 15 digs and Ally McDowell directed the offense with 25 assists.
One night later the girls hosted Manheim Central and fell in three, 25-13, 25-12, 25-15.
"Bri Langley continues to work hard coming off the bench as a defensive specialist and puts up some nice passes for our setter," stated Cross.
McClune put down four kills and led with 11 digs, Weaver served up two aces, Georgia Ewing added three blocks and McDowell settled for nine assists.
On the road Thursday, the Mares grabbed a 25-9 first set win over visiting Lampeter-Strasburg but were plagued by unforced errors and dropped three straight.
Poised to pull out the second set, Solanco ran off four straight points, including a pair of Mowrer aces, and cut the lead to 16-15 but couldn't match Lampeter's strength at the net and lost 25-15.
L-S used that momentum to control the third set (25-13) and broke an 11-11 fourth set tie to win 25-17.
Chew anchored the defense with a game-high 19 digs. Mowrer and Weaver (3 blocks) each served four aces.
After racking up 103 points in their combined first two games, the football team was all but denied Friday night in Manchester, suffering a 21-7 setback against Northeastern. The Mules, behind 134-yards by Nick Yannutz, outrushed the Bobcats (3-0) 297-194 but fumbled six times, losing two, and gave up a kick return for the second week in a row.
Northeastern's Frank Brown, who finished with 100 yards, opened the scoring with a 13-yard scamper. Solanco matched that effort later in the first quarter with Alex McDonald's (76 yards) 24-yard run. Jake Smolik's PAT knotted the score. But the hosts gained some momentum with an 85-yard kick return late in the first frame.
Late in the third quarter Solanco drove the length of the field and almost knotted the score on McDonald's 22-yard run. An illegal-motion penalty erased what could have been the tying touchdown. The Bobcats countered on its next possession and padded the lead with the final score of the game.
Brandon Doubts led the Mule defense with 11 tackles. Khalif Haga and Nick Lefever combined for 11 more as the Mules fell to 1-2.
The lady booters improved to 4-3 overall, winning two out of three last week.
Monday's 10-0 shutout over High Point Baptist was a confidence builder. Solanco, with two goals and three assists from Kayden Bedwell, led 6-0 in the first half and never looked back.
Alana Yoder finished with one goal and one assist and Sammi Jackson also scored twice. Other scorers included Gabi Dolan, Ryleigh Ferrari, Rachel McLaren and Grace Kreider, who also delivered three assists.
Wednesday the Mares battled section leader Ephrata but were dealt a 6-1 loss. Yoder, taking a pass from Mia McDonald, prevented the shutout in the 55th minutes.
With determination on Thursday, Solanco earned its second league win, a convincing 4-1 result against Garden Spot.
"This is the first time we've beaten a Section Two opponent other than Lebanon in quite some time," said head coach Ken Yoder. "That's a big win for the program."
Kreider, who dished out a pair of assists, scored two of Solanco's three first half goals with Jenna Bleacher's goal helping to provide a 3-0 first half cushion. Tori Delp matched the Spartans second half goal and rounded out the scoring.
Hockey Team Opens With a Pair of Shutouts September 15, 2017
Last season the field hockey team scored 11 total goals. This year they've netted eight in two games. They knocked off Pequea Valley 6-0 in their opener and then blanked Lancaster Mennonite 2-0 last Tuesday afternoon.
"We did a lot of off-season work, including winter and summer leagues as well as various tournaments, showcases and clinics," said head coach Whitney Hawkins. "This has helped tremendously."
With seven returning starters, including six seniors, the Mares got a two goal effort from Jenna Brown. The freshman scored midway through each half and boosted Solanco's momentum.
"Abby Stull and Dana Landis worked well together in the center of the field and Katlyn Dobinson had great drives through to Mennonites' 25," note Hawkins. "Autumn Aukamp, along with Stull, Landis and Dobinson had great give and go passes up the sidelines.
"Defensively, Olivia Fisher and Jenna Dombach were the backbones to block tackling LMH's offensive motion," she added. "They also cleared the ball out of our circle. Jenna has been solid this season and I forsee her being a 'brick wall' to the other team's offense. Jenna Brown is also solid on defense. Both Jenna's are quiet players but their stickwork speaks loudly on the defensive end."
The Mares dominated the first half, leading 7-0 in corners and 4-1 in shots on goal. The Blazers, however, regrouped a bit at halftime and maintained more possession in their offensive end.
The Mares opened Section Two play Thursday afternoon at Manheim Central and came home with a 7-0 loss. The Barons, leading 15-1 in shots on goal and 5-1 in corners, led 4-0 in the first half.
Alta Bradenberger, credited with nine saves, was busy in goal. She needed just four saves to earn the shutout over the Blazers.
"We have 11 seniors hungry to win," stated Hawkins, "and we have 10 freshman which is exciting for the future."
In non-league play Friday, the Mares forced 11 corners and got off 8 shots but came up empty in the goal department and dropped a 2-0 result against Kennard-Dale.
With four returning starters, the Mares hope to improve on last year's 2-12 record. But with just eight players on the bench, that might be a tall task.
"The team has great potential and continues to work through the new lineup and with new players," said second year head coach Meghan Cross. "With hard work and determination we can be a competitive team as we continue to grow as a program."
The Mares opened the season against perennial power Garden Spot and were dealt a 3-0 (25-10, 25-5, 25-10) loss.
"We had some good volleys and pieces of the sets that were point for point, but we had too many unforced errors," noted Cross. "Nerves and overthinking got the best of us.
"We did seem more competitive in the third set," she added. "Our younger players were more aggressive as they are getting more comfortable with the lineup. We were also touching hard driven balls at the net and getting some nice digs."
Returning starter Kara McClune was responsible for five of those nice digs. On the offensive end, senior captain Alli McDowell recorded four assists and senior Liz Mowrer added two aces and one block. Georgia Ewing, a junior, chipped in with two kills.
Jonathan Rush carded an 81 last Thursday at Fox Chase and settled for a four-way tie for second place overall, but the Mules finished in fourth place overall and were five strokes behind Manheim Central. As a result, the Barons improved to 19-11 and hold a one win edge over Solanco.
Cocalico continued its unbeaten streak with a match-low 323 and was well ahead of the rest of the field. L-S finished second (349).
Solanco's Tim Schmitt and Sheldon Peiffer matched Garden Spot's Sean Mercer with 94's and Evan Wagoner rounded out the starters with a 96.
First year head coach Todd Brown inherits a rebuilding squad as the Mares' roster is without a single senior. Junior Elsie Zaborskiy is this year's captain.
"Elsie continues to be a strong player for our team," said Brown. "She picked up a tiebreaker win against Garden Spot and at that time had won four of her six matches."
The Mares lost to Garden Spot 5-2 (Zaborskiy teamed with Gabby Griffonetti to secure Solanco's second team point) and have since suffered three straight shutouts, including last Thursday's outing against Elizabethtown.
Kerith Paine, a junior, put forth a strong effort at No. 1 but came out on the short end of a 6-4, 6-4 result. Griffonetti and Faith Redcay, also juniors, fell 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2 and 6-2, 6-1 at No. 3 respectively and Zaborskiy came up short 6-2, 6-0 at No. 4.
In doubles play, Hannah Steinhauer and Kelsey Sheets, with an 8-6 loss, came the closest to preventing a shutout. Griffonetti and Zaborskiy fell 8-4 at No. 2 and Paine and Redcay, as the top tandem, lost 8-2.
The Mares are currently 1-7 having topped Spring Grove in non-league play.
The harrier teams hosted McCaskey and Lebanon in their league opener last Thursday afternoon. Both teams went 1-1 on the day, bowing to strong McCaskey squads but collecting wins over the rebuilding Cedars.
The girls squad, led by sophomore Hanna Sweda's sixth place effort (22:34), ran the first race of the day. Aubree Roop was one place back, clocking a 22:48 while Sarah Snyder (10th, 25:15), Sarah Sweda (11th, 25:45), Alyssa Slickers (12th, 25:47) and Anna Stickler (12th, 26:29) rounded out the top six.
"Nine of our 11 ladies are either freshman or sophomores," noted head coach Craig Ausel. "They will grow each week and show great improvement as the season progresses."
While the girls gave up the top five places to McCaskey, Solanco's Ben Stickler interrupted the Red Tornado's shutout bid with a second place effort. He was 14 seconds behind Anthony Tirado (17:42). The visitors, unfortunately, earned the next four places.
"Ben is our junior co-captain and ran a strong race," said Ausel. "He fell a little short in the final 400 meters but his time (17:56) placed him in the top 20 all-time on our tough course. His time is the fourth fastest, finishing behind Liam Hodgson, John Ausel and Noah Brady."
Ian Brown and Tate Fisher ran second and third for the Mules, placing 7th (19:39) and 8th (19:45) overall.
"Ian and Tate ran strong last miles but couldn't close the gap on McCaskey's fifth runner," Ausel noted.
Patrick Workman (10th, 19:49) and Christian Stead (12th, 20:02) rounded out the top five scorers for the Mules.
"Patrick, a senior, ran strong to finish tenth," said Ausel. "Christian Stead, Colin Althoff, Damian Martinez, Aidan McBride, Dan Keller and Marty Grawe finished 13th through 17th respectively. Their improvement throughout the season will be a giant key to our late season success."
The teams opened the season at the Bear Creek Invitational, hosted by Lock Haven University, on September 2. Stickler finished 11th overall with a career best 16:20 and led the Mules to a fifth place finish.
"Our top 8 boys all ran career best 5K times on this flat and fast course," noted Ausel.
Roop, a junior, led the girls' squad with a personal record 20:21 and a 24th place finish.
After a 5-1 Section Two opening loss to Manheim Central Tuesday, the Mares rebounded with a solid 1-0 road win over Lebanon Thursday.
After a scoreless first half, the Mares, with a dominating 13-1 advantage in corners and 11-3 edge in shots, found the game-winner in the 62nd minute. Grace Kreider delivered the corner kick assist to Alana Yoder who pushed in the only goal of the game.
Gabi Dolan, who hauled in 14 saves against the Barons, needed just two to earn the shutout.
Solanco has defeated Lebanon four times over the last two years, scoring 19 total goals against the Cedars while yielding just five.
Earlier in the week, Solanco's 5-1 loss to the Barons came after a hard-fought 1-0 first half.
"They scored one minute after we had our best scoring chance of the day," recalled head coach Ken Yoder. "It would have felt good to score first and then to go down a goal right after that was a little discouraging."
Kreider, in the 70th minute, prevented the shutout, making good on Sammi Jackson's assist.
The Mares were coming off a heart-breaking 6-5 loss to Exeter on a rain-soaked Saturday. Down 3-1 in the first half, they scored four goals over the final 28 minutes to get back in the game.
Yoder led the charge with two goals and two assists. Reece Curry-Saner also scored twice while a goal by Jackson gave Solanco an early lead.
With only two returning starters, the Mules will look to rebuild this season. That being said, they dropped a pair of Section Two shutouts last week and are still searching for that first win.
Tuesday's rain-soaked affair on the road resulted in a 3-0 loss to Manheim Central that included a two hour delay.
"Considering the hour trip there, and the delay, we held them 0-0 for 28 minutes before giving up three goals in nine minutes," said head coach Ron Miller. "The game was called at halftime."
At home on Thursday, the going was even tougher as the inexperienced Mules gave up seven goals in a shutout against Cedar Crest.
"If we play as a unit and play hard for 80 minutes I believe we could surprise some teams," Miller said.
On Saturday, despite falling behind 4-0 at the half, the Mules regrouped and outscored Donegal 3-2 in the second half, finishing with a 6-3 final result. Evan Salisbury scored twice and Tyler Williams added one. Tim Fetterman, Jack Boomsma and Zach Roten provided assists.
Friday night's non-league action in Witmer pitted Conestoga Valley's ariel attack against Solanco's running attack with not much defense in between. Buck's quarterback Tanner Schwilk tied the school's single game record with six touchdown passes and finished with 359 yards on the day. Solanco's Joel McGuire matched that effort and then some, running for six TD's and passing for another. He finished with 202 rushing yards. But when all was said and done, it was a blocked punt in overtime that lifted CV to a 55-54 squeaker over the Mules.
The two teams literally traded touchdowns all night as each team punted just once. Tied at 6-6 in the first quarter, CV scored three times in the second frame, as did the Mules. McGuire ran for two and hit Michael Grech with a 24 yard toss in between. Unfortunately the two point conversion after the passing TD was denied and the visitors hit the locker rooms down 27-25.
Solanco scored first in the second half. Alex McDonald, who finished with 105-yards, raced 29 yards to paydirt and then secured the two point conversion. CV scored with 1:27 left in the third to hold a 34-33 lead.
The back-and-forth continued in the final frame. McGuire scored on a one yard plunge early and then raced 13 yards with 2:39 left to put the Mules in front 48-41. Schwilk hit Tyre Stead with a 14 yarder and then knotted the score with an 80-yard bomb to Stead that tied the game with 2:12 left and set the stage for overtime.
McGuire's fifth one yard plunge put the Mules in front but a blocked punt gave the hosts all the wiggle room they needed. Schwilk delivered a five yard scoring pass and Joe Cardina delivered the game-winning PAT.
Nick Yannutz, a sophomore, joined McGuire and McDonald with 100-yards rushing, netting 121 on the night.
Defensively, the Mules got nine tackles from Cole Lewis, six from Nick Lefever, including a sack and three hurries, and Brandon Doubts chipped in with four.
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.