WEST GROVE—The Red Raiders came through with clutch hits, and Bri White was solid in the circle as Coatesville (8-1, 7-1) picked up a 5-3 victory over host Avon Grove (5-3, 5-2), giving Coatesville sole possession of the Ches-Mont National division.
“It was a great effort by both teams,” said Coatesville coach Bill Mendenhall. “Both teams played very well, but we just got a few hits in key spots and Bri (White) gave us a great effort in the circle. She’s been trying to recover from a knee injury from basketball, and it looks like she’s all the way back.”
Coatesville grabbed an early lead, pushing across a pair of runs in the top half of the first. Ashley Traband sparked the inning with a 1-out single, and scored when Ashley Mendenhall doubled to the gap in left. The Red Devils escaped further damage when they nailed Mendenhall trying for third on the play.
Then White went to work. The Millersville recruit was downright dominant over the first four innings, allowing just three hits while striking out seven over that span.
“We knew coming in that Avon Grove was a tough team and this was going to be a great game,” said White. “I knew I was going to have to be pitching my hardest. My change-up was letting me get ahead in the count, and my inside curve, something I don’t throw often, was working really well.”
Down 2-0 in the bottom half of the fifth, Avon Grove finally got on the board. Lexi Barnhart led off the inning, and promptly doubled down the right field line. Kelly Murphy brought her home with a single up the middle.
Coatesville answered right back when Mendenhall led off the top half of the sixth with a home run over the left field wall. White followed with a single, and moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt from Peyton Landis. After Ella Vetter reached on an error to make it first and third, Dominique Ricevuto brought them both home when she scorched a double to the fence in left center to make it 5-1.
“It was still a close game when we came up to bat in the sixth,” said Mendenhall, who finished the day 2 for 4 with two RBI. “I knew we needed base runners, so I was really just looking to get one in the gap. Sometimes you get lucky and it goes over the fence, and that was just a bonus.”
Avon Grove wasn’t done yet, though. Carly Raymond led off the bottom of the half, reaching on an error, and moved up to second on a wild pitch. Rachel Butler then brought Raymond home with a double. Cam Laterza knocked Butler in with a one-out single to right.
White put it away in the seventh, turning a game ending double play on a hot liner back up the middle, to preserve the 5-3 victory.
“This was a big win for us,” said White. “It puts us in the division lead and is a huge confidence booster for us going forward.”
After getting off to a 5-0 start in the league, the Devils have lost two straight. But there’s no panic in West Grove. This is a team that will learn from the loss and put it behind them.
“First, give Coatesville credit—they got the key hits and we didn’t,” said Devils’ coach Mike Deluzio. “We let the ump dictate the game in the early going, instead of making the adjustments we needed to make. As the game went on, we just started to start swinging away. Good hitters can hit bad pitches if they just attack where it’s thrown.”
Coatesville 5, Avon Grove 3
Coatesville ab r h bi Avon Grove ab r h bi
Kam—SS 4 0 1 1 Nolan—2B 3 0 1 0
Traband—2B 3 1 1 0 DeFeo–SS 3 0 2 0
Mendenhall–C 4 1 2 2 Raymond—DP 3 1 0 0
White–P 4 1 1 0 Butler–P 3 1 2 1
Landis—1B 2 0 0 0 Kunitsky–C 3 0 0 0
Vetter–LF 3 1 0 0 Laterza–RF 3 0 1 1
Fleming—3B 3 0 1 0 Barnhart–LF 3 1 1 0
Ricevuto–DP 2 0 1 2 Murphy—1B 3 0 1 1
Henry–CF 3 1 0 0 Kristman—3B 1 0 0 0
Totals 28 5 7 5 VanSciver—3B 2 0 0 0
Totals 26 3 8 3
Coatesville 1 0 0 0 1 3 0—5
Avon Grove 0 0 0 0 1 2 0—3
2B –Mendenhall, DeFeo, Barnhart, Butler HR—Mendenhall
IP H R BB SO
White (W) 7 8 3 0 9
Butler (L) 7 7 5 1 4