DANVILLE – The Warior Run and Danville softball teams met for the second time in less than a week in the District 13 Major Division softball tournament.
History repeated itself on Monday evening as Warrior Run defeated Danville again, this time in the elimination bracket, via the mercy rule, 15-0.
Warrior Run again used a big third inning to seal the deal against Danville, just as head coach Lance Gelnett’s squad did the first time the two teams met last Friday. Warrior Run won that game, 15-5.
“We got a really good effort out of all the girls today, and we got some good hitting to back up a really nice pitching performance by Bella Shupp,” Gelnett said. “I thought the girls were patient at the plate and when they saw their pitch, they didn’t miss.”
Warrior Run dropped into the elimination bracket after they lost to Berwick on Sunday afternoon, 10-0.
Monday’s convincing victory not only provided Warrior Run with a much-needed confidence boost heading into a championship rematch against Berwick, the semifinal win over Danville allowed Gelnett’s team to mentally hit the reset button.
“I know the girls felt good after the game and how they got this win today,” Genlett said. “It was a nice shot in the arm after Sunday and they showed themselves what they are capable of.”
After Shupp sat down Danville in the top of the first inning, Warrior Run opened up a 3-0 thanks to a walk, a couple of hits, and an RBI fielder’s choice.
Warrior Run first baseman Millie Gelnett worked a one-out walk and Kayla Swartchick followed with a single to put runners at the corners with one out.
Swartchick then swiped second base before third baseman Lakesha Hauck delivered a two-run triple to deliver the first offensive blow for Warrior Run.
Mya LeBaron brough Hauck home with a run-scoring fielder’s choice to make the score 3-0 in favor of Warrior Run after one inning.
Those three runs would be all the offense Shupp would need over the course of her three spotless innings.
Shupp was consistently in the strike zone and her velocity was too much for Danville to handle.
Shupp allowed only one hit and one walk in the three-inning victory.
“Bella really pitched well today and her control was spot on,” Gelnett said. “She was keeping the ball down in the zone and she was able to mix her pitches effectively to keep Danville off-balance.”
Neither team scored in the second inning and Shupp again made quick work of Danville’s batting order in the top of the third inning.
In the bottom half of the decisive third frame, it was evident from the first swing of the inning that Warrior Run had fine-tuned its offensive approach in the team’s first at-bats.
Swartchick led off the inning with a rocket to deep left-centerfield which cleared the Danville outfielders by several feet.
The play ended with Swartchick standing on third base with a leadoff triple.
Hauck walked and LeBarron reached first following a passed ball on a strikeout which loaded the bases and set the stage for Warrior Run to unleash nearly all of its offensive firepower in one burst.
Warrior Run second baseman Maura Woland brought in a run with a groundout to make it 4-0 and that is the last out the girls in blue and white would make for quite some time.
Warrior Run scored 12 times in the third inning and 15 batters came to the plate for the home team in the stanza.
Everyone got into the act for Warrior Run in the third.
Eva Runkle came off the bench to deliver a two-run, pinch-hit single.
Warrior Run seemingly kept the bases loaded the entire inning and Swartchick delivered another big blow to deep left field when she delivered a three-run, bases-clearing double to make the score 11-0.
Woland finished the contest with a walk-off, two-run single which put Warrior Run up by the 15-run advantage they needed to end the game.
Warrior Run will now face Berwick at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Echo Field in the championship. Warrior Run must win twice to capture the District 13 crown, a challenge Gelnett believes his team now understands after that 10-0 loss earlier in the tournament.
“We know what they have now, we know what we’re facing,” Gelnett said. “We’ll be ready.”