WEST GROVE—Though not without controversy, Bishop Shanahan’s quest for a state title came to an abrupt end Thursday. A back-and-forth contest between the Eagles and Lampeter-Strasburg ended with the Pioneers taking a 5-4 victory to advance to the PIAA Class 5A semi-finals.
“Every win at this point is a big win over a good team,” said L-S coach Gene Charles. “I was a little worried when we weren’t hitting early because she (Shanahan’s Devon Miller) is a tough pitcher, but the bats have carried us all year. We just had to be prepared to hit with two strikes. We finally got the bats rolling, and came up with the win.”
Shanahan struck first, manufacturing a run in the second. Annie Weyand got things going with a lead-off walk, moving over on a sacrifice from Casey McAllister. After Hanna Keiper single to make it first and third, Eagles’ coach Ron Savastio put on the double steal. The Pioneers bit, and threw to second to get Keiper, who had stopped halfway. Weyand slid in before the tag, but L-S threw down to second in time to get Keiper and escaped the inning with no further damage.
The Pioneers got on the board in the fifth, plating a pair on a double from Delaney Baker and singles from Delaney Groff and Natalie Carson. Groff moved up to second when the throw to get Baker was mishandled, and scored on Carson’s hit.
With runners on first and second and two out, Miller seemed poised to get out of the inning with no further damage, working a two-strike count on the number nine hitter, Caroline Brauneard. On the next pitch, Brauneard hit a little dribbler that barely got out of the batter’s box, and the first base umpire called for a dead ball. As Shanahan relaxed on the call, Brauneard ran to first. After a conference with the four umpires, they overruled the dead ball call and awarded first base to load the bases. Miller walked the next hitter on four pitches to force in the third Pioneer run.
“It’s just a shame that actually made a difference in the game,” said Savasto. “I just feel so bad for these girls. They’ve worked so hard, and it’s just a shame it had to end today like this.”
The Eagles put it behind them, and just got back to work, and re-took the lead in the sixth. Katie Newton beat out a bunt to lead off, and Miranda Bedics followed with a single to left. Miller was next, and hit a sharp grounder to third, where L-S picked up the force, but threw wild to first, allowing Bedics to score. After Weyand singled to load the bases, McAllister ripped a ball down the right field line to knock in two and put Shanahan back on top, 4-3.
Lampeter-Strasburg wasn’t ready to see their season end either, and answered back with a pair of runs on a single from Bryne Baker and doubles from Kylie Weaver and Julz Garber.
“Devon just didn’t have all her best stuff today, and we didn’t make the plays behind her, or come up with the hits we needed,” said Savastio. “The girls never quit—right up to the final out they all said ‘we got this.’ But they were just a better team than us today.”
The season may have come to a close, but the Shanahan players will always look back on this season fondly.
“Sure we all wanted to go further,” said Eagles’ senior Marley Weston. “We all just tried to do it for Ron. At least I did. But everyone on this team played for each other. We always put the team ahead of ourselves, and we’ll all remember this as a great season.”
Lampeter-Strasburg 5 Bishop Shanahan 4
Shanahan ab r h bi Lampeter-Strasburg ab r h bi
Newton—C 4 0 1 0 Garber—LF 3 0 2 2
Bedics—RF 4 1 2 0 Peters–CF 3 0 0 0
Miller–P 4 1 1 0 Condras—3B 4 0 0 0
Weyand—CF 2 2 1 0 D Baker—1B 3 1 1 0
McAllister—1B 3 0 1 2 Groff–P 3 1 1 0
Keiper–DP 3 0 2 0 Carson—2B 3 1 1 1
Peterson—LF 3 0 0 0 B Baker–DP 3 1 1 0
Weston—3B 3 0 0 0 Weaver–C 2 1 1 0
Crocetti—2B 2 0 0 0 Brauneard—SS 2 0 1 0
Sano FX/SS 4 5 8 2 Roher—FX/RF 0 0 0 0
Totals 28 4 8 2 Totals 26 5 8 3
Shanahan 0 1 0 0 0 3 0—4
L-S 0 0 0 3 0 0 2 –5
Extra Base Hits: 2B—Garber, D Baker, Weaver
IP H R BB SO
Miller (L) 6 8 5 4 8
Groff (W) 6 8 4 1 4