Five-run fifth lifts Warriors over Whippets

West's Emily Williams connects for a 2 RBI double
West’s Emily Williams connects for a 2 RBI double
Megan Butts slides safely into second ahead of the tag from West shortstop Jamie Rothenberger
Megan Butts slides safely into second ahead of the tag from West shortstop Jamie Rothenberger

By Bill Rudick
DOWNINGTOWN—Despite gusting winds that made an already chilly day feel colder than if it was mid-January, the Henderson Warriors got hot, and piled up five runs in the fifth to pick up a 7-3 Ches-Mont National Division victory over host Downingtown West.
“You just have to keep pushing,” said the Warriors’ Analese Fouracre. “You can never get comfortable against any team in this league, especially a great hitting team like Downingtown West. “
The Warriors (4-0) struck first, plating a run in their initial at bat. Kasey Johns led off the Warrior first by working a base on balls, and two stolen bases later, stood on third. Megan Butts then made sure she wasn’t left stranded, stroking a two-out single to right center.
Downingtown West (3-2) answered right back with a pair of runs in their half of the inning. Nina Gallagher reached on a one-out walk, stole second, and moved up to third on a sac fly from Jamie Rothenberger. After Amanda Seckinger was hit by pitch to put runners on the corners, Emily Williams brought them both home, ripping a double off the fence in right center.
West’s Lili Najim opened the second with a double, and moved up sixty feet on a one-out sacrifice bunt from Eilene Andrus. Caitlyn Coker came through with an RBI single to left to make it 3-1 Whippets.
But after that, Henderson starter Megan Butts settled in, and allowed just a pair of singles the rest of the way. Butts finished allowing three runs on five hits, striking out four and walking two.
“I threw a lot of pitches yesterday (in Henderson’s win over SunValley),” said Butts. “So I think I might have been a little tight to start the game. But once I loosened up a little, I felt really good out there.”
The bottom of the order sparked the fifth inning rally, with the 7-8-9 hitters all reaching base and scoring. Cameron Trotter led of the inning with a walk, followed by back-to-back singles from Rebecca Gray and Fran Golden to load the bases. Up next was Kasey Collins, who lifted a fly ball to right that was mishandled by the defense for a two-run error, tying the game at 3-3.
West starter Amanda Seckinger was able to retire the next two hitters, bringing up Butts with two outs and first base open. The Whippets elected to pitch around the Warriors’ clean-up hitter to load the bases for Fouracre.
“It was obvious they were going to walk Megan to get to me, so I just started thinking that I had to do something to make them regret that choice,” said Fouracre. “I just stayed focused and waited for a pitch where I knew I could make good contact. The pitch was a little outside and I just went with it.”
The double to the gap in right center cleared the bases, making it a 6-3 Henderson game. The Warriors rounded out the scoring with an unearned run in the seventh.
“It was nice to get the lead, but we knew we couldn’t relax,” said Fouracre. “West still had three more at bats.”
Along with getting the win in the circle, Butts chipped in with the bat, too, finishing 2 for 3 with a double, a run scored and an RBI. Every slot but one in the batting order reached base for Henderson, and the Warriors played error-free defense behind Butts.
“We only have three seniors on this team,” said warriors’ coach Chris Hessler. “We have a ton of sophomores and freshman. I am beyond pleased with the way they are gelling as a team, and improving every time out there.”
Henderson 1 0 0 0 5 0 1 –7
Downingtown West 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 –3
Henderson AB R H RBI
Collins—SS 3 2 0 0
Bullock—3B 4 0 0 0
S Fouracre—1B 3 1 0 0
Butts—P 3 1 2 1
A Fouracre—4 0 1 3
Ciarroacchi—RF 3 0 0 0
Trotter—CF 2 1 0 0
Gray—LF 3 1 2 1
Golden—2B 3 1 1 0
Totals 28 7 6 4
Downingtown West AB R H RBI
Coker—C 4 0 2 1
Gallagher—2B 3 0 0 0
Rothenberger—SS 3 0 0 0
Seckinger—1B/P 2 1 0 0
Williams—P/1B 3 0 1 2
Greider—LF 2 0 0 0
Najim—DP 3 1 1 0
Incollingo—3B 3 0 0 0
Andrus—CF 2 0 1 0
Beard—FLX 0 0 0 0
Totals 25 3 5 3
3B—Williams 2B A Fouracre, Butts, Najim
Pitching IP R H K BB
Butts (W) 7 3 5 4 2
Seckinger (L) 4.2 6 5 2 3
Williams 2.1 1 1 1 1

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