Slattery stays scorching hot in District 3-AAAA quarterfinal win over Chambersburg

HERSHEY — All season long, Chambersburg has been a strong hitting team.

But on Thursday afternoon, the Lady Trojans met their match. Daniel Boone ace Bekah Slattery fired a two-hitter, allowed only one Trojan to get into scoring position and led the Blazers to a 5-0 victory in the District 3 Class AAAA softball quarterfinals.

“She was a good pitcher, and we knew that coming in,’ Chambersburg co-coach Ted Bittinger said. “She paints the plate inside and out, then gives you that riseball. We knew she was going to be tough.’

Slattery lived up to expectations. For the second game in a row, she took a perfect game into the fifth inning and finished with 13 strikeouts.

“I would definitely say there’s some pressure on me, but I don’t let it affect me,’ Slattery said. “I try to block it out and pitch my game. Everything was working well for me tonight, and I’m just excited to play another game with my team.’

With the victory, the Blazers (21-2) advance to face Cumberland Valley (21-3) in the semifinals on Tuesday. Chambersburg finishes with a 14-8 record.

“I gotta say we had a really great season,’ Trojan sophomore Leah Hunt said. “It’s sad to see us go out this way with a loss in the second round. We wanted to keep moving, but I love these girls and can’t wait for next year.’

Chambersburg struggled to even make contact with the ball for most of the evening. Five of the first seven batters struck out, and the Trojans did not manage a hit until there were two outs in the fifth inning.

The Trojans did start to get some better approaches, though, including a pair of popups that ended with nice catches from Daniel Boone’s Slattery and first baseman Gabby Willman.

Chambersburg had its best opportunity to score in the top of the seventh. Chelsea Sommerville led off and reached first on an error. After a strikeout, Tara Harmon hit a key single to move Sommerville into scoring position. But Slattery closed the door with a pair of strikeouts to end the game.

“We actually told the girls to move up in the box a little bit after seeing them the first couple innings there,’ Bittinger said. “Her breaking pitches dropped a bit, and we were trying to catch them before they actually got to break. But she still stayed strong there at the end.’

Daniel Boone coach Tracie Huddleson said, “I was not worried. This team has seen it all through this season. They’ve been up and down in pressure situations, and they’ve buckled down and come through when it’s time to get the job done.’

Slattery was backed up by a productive offense. The Blazers finished with 10 hits, including three from Gabby Willman and two by Sydney Hayes. Daniel Boone scored a pair of runs in the first inning after three straight singles to centerfield and added some insurance in the fifth with a two-RBI double by Cara Shackelford.

“They’ve worked hard all year to be able to adjust and adapt to whatever is thrown at them,’ Huddleson said. “They did a great job at the plate today. Gabby Willman is a sophomore that has come through huge for us all season. She’s very consistent and a total team player.’

Despite the loss, Bittinger preached the successes of Chambersburg’s season. The Trojans were 6-7 midway through the season and racked up an eight-game win streak before falling to the Blazers. Chambersburg has not had that long of a streak since it started the 2010 season with 10 straight victories.

“That’s exactly what I told the girls,’ Bittinger said. “Three weeks ago, there was a lot of people that didn’t even think we were coming to districts. We were sitting at 6-7, and we told the girls they probably needed to win out. They did that and won a first-round game, and they have nothing to hang their heads about.’

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