Softball stays unbeaten with semifinal win
It certainly wasn’t their easiest win of the season, but it may have been their most persistent. An eighth-inning single from Mackenzie Wolf plated the game-winning run as Parkland downed Easton 2-1 in the District 11 semifinals. The win puts Parkland into the district championship against Liberty Thursday at Patriots Park. The win also guarantees the Trojans a spot in the PIAA Tournament, which gets underway Monday.
Aubree Fritzinger was brilliant on the mound and didn’t allow a hit until the top of the sixth inning when Kyra Stanilious led off the inning with a double down the third base line. A groundball to first moved Stanilious over to third and a sacrifice fly scored her to tie the game 1-1. The double was the only hit that Easton got against Fritzinger in the game as she retired 24 of the 25 batters that she faced.
“She’s just something special,” said coach Barry Search about Fritzinger. “She’s a quiet kid who just goes out and does her thing. She’s a great student, a real smart kid. I can’t say enough about her and how much she’s meant to us.”
Parkland threatened in the first, but a custom-made double play got Easton out of a jam. Two innings later, Parkland was back at it when Jenna Lehr led off with an infield single and was bunted to second by Madison Holub. One out later, a base-hit to center moved Lehr to third and Parkland perfectly executed a double steal, with Lehr scoring from third on the play.
Easton turned three double-plays on the night, and the second one erased a leadoff runner from second on a line drive to first base, ending a potential fourth-inning threat.
Parkland put runners on third in both the fifth and sixth innings and had Chelsea Morgan thrown out at the plate in the sixth.
In the eighth, Morgan doubled down the third base line to start the inning and Shauna Frank was intentionally walked. Steph Herpel then hit a line drive to short that was dropped by Courtney Grundhauser, who tagged Morgan and threw to second to get Frank, leaving just Herpel on base with two outs.
After Morgan Fenstermaker drew a walk, Sierra Marstellar came in to pinch-run for Herpel, and Wolf grounded a ball sharply to left field. Marstellar raced home and scored ahead of the tag.
“I knew we had girls on and they had just gotten the double-play, but I had the team behind me and we weren’t willing to give up,” said Wolf. “We kept going and I wanted to get it for the team. Sierra, who was running, she did a great job and we brought her up this year and she’s been great running bases.”
Having seen chances go by the wayside earlier in the game, Wolf wasn’t taking anything for granted as she darted down the first base line. All she knew was that she hit the ball pretty well and was hoping for the best.
“It felt decent,” said Wolf. “I wasn’t sure if it was enough, or if it was a great hit, but it was just enough.”