MECHANICSBURG—Annie Weyand, one of Bishop Shanahan’s top hitters in the regular season, had not been seeing the same kind success at the plate during the post-season. But she sure picked a good time to find her way out of a slump.
The Eagles’ centerfielder scored a pair of the Shanahan runs, and smoked a double to the gap in right center to kick start a third inning rally. Shanahan advances to the PIAA Class 5A quarterfinals with a 5-2 victory over Spring Grove thanks in no small part to Weyand, timely hitting from the rest of the order and a 15-strikeout performance from pitcher Devon Miller.
Up next for the Eagles will be Lampeter-Strasburg at a site and time to be determined.
“It feels great to play a part in the win,” said Weyand. “I was just looking to get on in any way I could, it’s great to get a really nice hit.”
Shanahan on the board first, with more than a little help from wildness on the part of Rockets’ starter Julia Wivell. Alexis Peterson took one for the team, getting hit by pitch with one out. Marely Weston Walked to make it first and second, and after Wivell picked up her first strikeout to make it two away, Katie Newton beat out an infield single to load the bases. Peterson came into score when Miranda Bedics also walked.
“It’s always easier to pitch with a lead,” said Miller. “I wouldn’t say I relax, but it does shake the nerves and I can concentrate on my pitches better.”
Miller struck out at least two Ks in every inning, and finished with 15. She allowed two runs on six scattered hits, and walked just two.
Weyand led off the Shanahan third with her double, and moved up to thid on the second of two consecutive flyouts to center. Peterson was next, and picked up the first of a pair of RBIs on the day with a single to right.
“I knew how important every single run could be, so I was pretty upset I didn’t tag on the first flyout,” said Weyand. “But it worked out when Alexis came through for us.”
Weyand didn’t make the same mistake twice. On second after reaching on a walk in the fifth, Weyand moved over in a hurry on a fly to deep center from Hanna Keiper. With two outs, Peterson hit a short little blooper that fell in harmlessly as the Rockets pitcher, catcher and third baseman converged unsuccessfully.
“It just feels great to get this win behind us,” said Peterson, who ended the day 2 for 3 with a run scored and 2 RBI. “With the way Devon can pitch, if we can keep giving her runs and playing defense behind her, we can go far.”
Shanahan added another pair in the sixth on a walk to Emily Sano, a single from Miranda Bedics, and an RBI single from Casey McCallister.
Down 5-1 in their final at bat, Spring Grove made one final push. Plating a run on a single from Criana DiCandelorio and a double from Bryn Sporer with two outs. But Miller picked up her 154th and final strikeout to end the game.
Having watched as the other four Ches-Mont teams that qualified for the state tourney fell on Monday, Shanahan is happy to carry the banner.
“It’s a shame that we are the only Ches-Mont team left,” said Shanahan Coach Ron Savastio. “We have such a good league. But that first game can be the hardest one. I’m just really happy for the girls. We play like we did today, and getting the two wins it takes to get to Penn State (for the championship game) doesn’t seem out of the question at all.”
Bishop Shanahan 5 Spring Grove 2
Shanahan ab r h bi Spring Grove ab r h bi
Newton—C 4 0 1 0 DiCandelerio—SS 3 1 2 0
Bedics—RF 2 1 1 1 Sporer—CF 4 0 1 1
Miller–P 4 0 0 0 Wivell–P 4 0 0 0
Weyand—CF 3 2 1 0 Cornman—C 2 1 2 0
McAllister—1B 3 0 1 1 Gatrell—3B 1 0 0 1
Keiper–DP 4 0 0 0 Rapson—2B 3 0 0 0
Peterson—LF 3 1 2 2 Fleming—3B 3 0 1 0
Weston—3B 2 0 1 0 Sulliavan—DP 3 0 0 0
Sano–SS 3 1 0 0 Shaeffer—DP 3 0 0 0
Croccetti—FX/2B 0 0 0 0 Weaver—FX/RF 0 0 0 0
Totals 28 5 7 4 Totals 26 2 6 2
Shanahan 0 1 1 0 1 2 0—5
Spring Grove 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 –2
Extra Base Hits: 2B—Cornaman, Weyand, Sporer
IP H R BB SO
Miller (W) 7 6 2 2 15
Wivell (L) 7 7 5 7 1