Fanelli hits 100 strikeout mark, leads Archbishop Wood past Germantown Academy

WARMINSTER >> Dakota Fanelli reached the mountaintop on Wednesday and then climbed even higher.

Needing two more strikeouts to make it 100 for the season, Archbishop Wood’s ace did just that in the top of the first inning. She notched 11 more after that and led the way to a commanding 4-1 non-league victory over visiting Germantown Academy.

“She’s killing it. She’s doing great,” coach Jackie Ecker said.

Said a smiling Fanelli: “Today was definitely a day where my arm felt good.”

Dakota Fanelli reached 100 strikeouts for the season in a win over Germantown Academy. (Kev Hunter/MediaNews Group)

The right hander worked magic with her screwball and rise, keeping the Patriots scoreless until Alexa Walton’s RBI double in the fifth brought GA within 3-1. Walton pitched well in defeat for the Patriots.

Fanelli was not to be denied, retiring seven of the next eight batters to close it out for the Vikings (8-4, 5-1 PCL).

Archbishop Wood celebrates an out during its clash with Germantown Academy. (Kev Hunter/MediaNews Group)

“And (GA’s) a good team. They’re young. We knew that they’ve been doing pretty well in their league (InterAC),” Ecker said. “So we were looking forward to the challenge.”

“When we were warming up, Paige and I were seeing what was working and we talked through it,” Fanelli shared. “She definitely settled me down. We had a tough game yesterday (in a loss to Archbishop Ryan) and she definitely settled me down.”

Shortly after Fanelli hit the 100-K mark, Ross went to work with her bat. She belted her fifth home run of the season in the bottom of the first, powering the Vikings to a quick 3-0 lead.

“She’s really been hitting the ball well, working hard,” Ecker said of her catcher and cleanup hitter. “She’s usually that warning-track hitter. But this year, they’re going out.”

Germantown Academy huddles before its battle with Archbishop Wood. (Kev Hunter/MediaNews Group)

Wood added to its lead in the fifth, when Allie Higdon drew a leadoff walk and later scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-1.

Soon after, Fanelli finished what she started.

“It’s definitely a great feeling,” she said of reaching the century mark. “I couldn’t do it without my team, my catcher especially. Paige keeps me in this game completely.”

Archbishop Wood huddles after its win over Germantown Academy. (Kev Hunter/MediaNews Group)

Fanelli heads to Arcadia next year. She’s looking forward to a deep run for Wood this spring.

“I’m super excited. I can’t wait to see where this team goes. We battle through every game,” she said.

Archbishop Wood 4, Germantown Academy 1

GA 000 010 0 – 1 2 1

Wood 300 010 x – 4 4 2

WP: Dakota Fanelli (7IP, 0R, 2H, 13K, 0BB).

LP: Alexa Walton (4R, 3ER, 4H, 4K, 3BB, 1HBP).

HR: AW-Paige Ross. 2B: GA-Alexa Walton.

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