ANNVILLE >> With no outs in the top of the first inning, the Faith Christian Academy softball team was looking good.
Myah Brown started the game with a bunt single and stole second and third base.
It all went downhill from there.
The next three batters made outs, Greenwood responded with five runs in the bottom of the inning and the rout was on.
District 1 champion Faith Christian Academy’s season came to an end with a 13-2 loss in five innings against District 3 champion Greenwood in the first round of the PIAA Class A state playoffs Monday afternoon at Lebanon Valley College.
“It definitely dampens the mood a little bit,” Brown said of the promising first inning taking a bad turn, “but I think we still have the right mindset and we know we have to come out and hit. Today our bats weren’t hot. I don’t think (the first inning) discouraged us too much. It just definitely had a mood change in there.”
Greenwood scored five runs in the first inning, two in the second and six in the third to take a 13-1 lead.
Madison Hausman started in the circle for Faith and threw one inning. She allowed five runs on six hits while striking out two batters.
Emily Blake pitched the rest of the game. In three innings she struck out three batters and allowed eight runs on eight hits.
The two Lions pitchers also had to deal with a struggling defense behind them. Faith fielders combined for six errors in four defensive innings.
“Sometimes it is a game of errors,” Faith coach Rod Blake said. “I saw some of the errors that our girls made and they normally don’t make those errors. I don’t think there was any pressure.”
Faith’s offense couldn’t get much going against Greenwood’s Courtney Fleisher. They managed two runs on five hits and made a few mistakes — such as bunting with two strikes and getting picked off third base. Fleisher finished with five strikeouts and no walks over five innings.
“I think it was the speed,” Brown said of what Fleisher did well. “In our league we don’t see that much speed. Our pitchers pitch pretty fast, but we don’t hit off of them that often. It was hard to watch it, but we should have been able to (get hits).”
“The spin that she had,” Blake added of Fleisher. “Every inning she’s building more confidence and more confidence. Some of those innings we went down 1-2-3 and couldn’t figure it out.”
The Lions’ first run came in the top of the second inning to cut its deficit to 5-1. Riley Binder led off with a single, moved to second on a hit batter, third on a groundout and scored on a Hausman grounder.
Binder scored the second run in the fourth inning. She tripled and scored when the throw to third went wide.
Despite the loss, it was a successful season for Faith Christian Academy. The team won District 1 for the second consecutive season and earned a trip to the state playoffs.
“It’s been a great season,” Brown said. “I love the girls and I love coaches. I’m just so grateful for the season we’ve had. We started off rocky, but we really came through and I’m really proud of how far we’ve gone.”
“My main goal was to come out here and see them keep smiling throughout the whole game,” Blake said. “They did that. In our meeting at the end I told them the wins and losses they are going to forget. It’s the sisterhood of softball that they’re going to remember forever. That’s what I wanted — teach competitive softball and have them develop that sisterhood.”