Warfel outduels Seese in the circle as D-East beats D-West

LIONVILLE — Despite battling gusting winds throughout the game, Downingtown East’s Paige Warfel and Downingtown West’s Marissa Seese combined for a classic pitcher’s duel, with both hurlers getting support from the gloves behind them.

But thanks to manufacturing a couple of early runs, the Cougars claimed a 2-1 victory in the first edition of the East-West softball battle for 2015.

“We did the little things right,’ said East coach Brian Stackhouse. “We were able to get Olivia (Guidone) on base early, and she used her speed to get around and score for us. We also got bunts down, and played good defense behind Paige, who pitched a great game.’

In the bottom of the first, Guidone led off with a single down the right-field line, and moved up to second on a wild pitch. Warfel brought Guidone home with an RBI single to make it a 1-0 game.

The Cougars struck again in the third, once again with Guidone providing the spark from her lead-off slot. After reaching on a single to short right that dropped in the middle of three West fielders, Guidone took off for second on the first pitch to Aryah Aungst. The throw to second sailed into center, and Guidone moved up another sixty feet, then scored on an RBI groundout from Aungst.

“My job is to do whatever I need to do to get on, even if it’s on errors,’ said Guidone. “Once I get on, I know I’m expected to run hard on passed balls and get every base I can and hopefully score.’

The Whippets put together a serious threat in the sixth. Amanda Seckinger (2-for-4, run) got things going with a one-out single to left. Emily Williams was up next, and beat out an infield single to make it second and third.

Haley Fagan followed, and delivered a shot to deep left. Seckinger rounded third, and West coach Joey Germani waved her home for the Whippets’ first run of the game, and the Cougars’ lead was cut in half to 2-1.

With the runners moving up on the throw home for Seckinger, Seese was up with runners on second and third. She beat out an infield single as Warfel was forced to check the runner at third before firing to first.

But Warfel got out of it, reaching deep to get a strikeout for the second out, then inducing an easy pop-up to end the inning.

“I knew with bases loaded I just had to get an out somehow,’ said Warfel. “I’m just glad I was able to get it. This was my first win this season, and the first time I feel like I pitched the way I can. This is a good team, and it’s important that we get any of these close wins. Even better it’s against West.’

Warfel earned the victory in seven strong innings in the circle, allowing just one run on six hits. She struck out three and walked none.

Seese was outstanding as well, going six innings for the hard-luck loss. Seese allowed two runs on just four East hits, three were in the first inning. She struck out six, and did not walk a batter.

“Marissa pitched a great game,’ said Germani. “We made a couple of mistakes early, and we just couldn’t come back from those mistakes. This is a team that can hit, one to nine in the order. We’ve got a lot of softball left. This is also a veteran team, and we just have to play the way we know we can play.’

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