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Garnet Valley fights until the end in states setback

Garnet Valley has been one of the best stories of the 2018 Delco softball season.

Few had expected the Jaguars to advance far as the No. 15 seed in the District 1 Class 6A tournament, but they pulled off a couple of upsets and came within a win of playing for a championship. The Jags clinched states as the fourth-place team from the district.
Monday afternoon at Wilkes University, the journey ended in the first round of the PIAA Class 6A playoffs. Despite solid pitching from sophomore Becca Halford, Garnet Valley dropped a 4-2 decision to District 2 champion Hazleton.

Halford allowed only five hits and two earned runs while striking out three. The Jags committed two errors which enabled Hazleton to score a pair of unearned runs.

“When you reach this point in the season, you’ve got to play solid ball to advance,” Garnet Valley coach George White said. “Unfortunately for us, we didn’t do it today.”

GV had difficulty timing the offspeed offerings of Hazleton starter Erika Brook, who allowed only one hit through the first six innings. She recorded four punchouts.

“Their pitcher, you have to give her a lot of credit because she was pretty good,” White said. “She threw a lot of change-ups and offspeed pitching, we had a tough time hitting against her early on. She was good.”

Garnet Valley (16-10) trailed 4-0 entering the top of the seventh. The Jags, as they did in the District 1 third-place game against North Penn, rallied late in the day.

Kelly McLaughlin led off the frame with a double, then advanced to third on a line drive off the bat of All-Delco catcher Lindsey Hunt. Sensational freshman shortstop Morgan Mesaros stepped to the plate and cracked an RBI double to score McLaughlin. With runners on second and third and nobody out, Annie Bechtold hit a sacrifice fly as the Jags cut their deficit to two runs. Unfortunately, the Jags couldn’t keep the rally and fell a couple of runs short.

“Becca pitched a great game,” White said. “It’s disappointing to see it end, but it was fun. We’ve got a lot of kids coming back next year, too.”
In a PIAA Class 5A first-round game.

Lampeter-Strasburg 9, Penncrest 0 >> The Lions were blanked in their first trip to a state tournament in more than a decade. No details were reported to the Daily Times.

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