Lady Falcons fall in semifinal
The adage is that unless you’re the state champion, your season ends with a loss. Such was the case for Salisbury softball, but its season was still a success as the Falcons reached in the District 11 Class 3A semifinals, where their season ended with a 6-5 loss to Northern Lehigh.
In the quarterfinals, Salisbury marched to a 9-0 win over Marian Catholic, which advanced the team into the semis.
Salisbury got on the board first, with two first-inning runs against Fillies pitcher Lyndsey Reinoehl.
A leadoff walk was followed by a base-hit to right that put runners on second and third when the ball was misplayed in the outfield. One out later, Anna Bishop grounded to short, pushing a run across and Emily Silberman then singled to make it 2-0.
The Fillies (14-8) collected a lot of hard hit balls, but weren’t able to find spots for them to drop into. In the second inning, Abbey Joy walked with one out and was replaced with pinch-runner Jade Ritsick, who stole second. One out later, Emily Shaud hit a ball well, but right to left fielder Kelly Gardus, who made the catch to end the threat.
Neither team was able to put a whole lot of consistent offense together until the bottom of the fifth.
Already leading 3-0, Salisbury’s bats came alive and were helped by three walks and an error to produce five runs.
Bryanna Driscoll led off the fifth by drawing a walk. Brooke Rogers and Peyton Stauffer both had doubles, with Stauffer’s driving in two runs. Anna Bishop had an RBI single in the inning and later scored on a wild pitch.
Lilia Crouthamel reached on an error and stole home for the fourth run of the inning.
“I was just trying to put the ball in play and get a hit,” said Stauffer. “We had a little bit of a lead, but you can always score more runs, so that’s what I was thinking. It felt good to get more runs and secure the game a little bit. It’s always nice when you can stretch that lead out a little.”
A key for Salisbury was getting two runs in the bottom of the first for an early lead. Rogers led off with a walk and then Stauffer blooped a single to right and went to second on an error by the right fielder.
Bishop grounded out to plate the first run and Emily Silberman singled to left to make it 2-0.
Rogers finished the day with two doubles and three runs scored. Silberman handled things on the mound, allowing just three hits in the game and said the early runs were a big help.
“It was really important, without those two runs, I don’t know if the score would have been what it was, because that got us started,” said Silberman. “Getting those two runs early gave me more confidence on the mound, so that helped a lot.
“I just go out with the same mentality every game and so does the rest of the team. We just go out and play hard no matter who we’re playing. Everybody did a great job today and that’s what made us successful.”
Against Northern Lehigh, Salisbury was on a roller-coaster ride, falling behind 3-1 early, only to come back to take a 4-3 lead in the top of the third. The coaster went downhill in the bottom of the third when Northern Lehigh put two runs on the board to make it 5-4.
In the seventh, Crouthamel led off with a triple, her second of the game, and later scored on a sacrifice fly from Silberman to tie the game.
The bottom of the seventh was a true battle. Kaitlin Hoffman doubled to left to lead off the inning and was thrown out at the plate when Tiffany Yesik singled to center. Stauffer unleashed a perfect throw to catcher Crouthamel to nail Hoffman at the plate.
“She made a tremendous play,” said coach Jeff Appleman of Stauffer’s throw. “I was a little surprised they sent her, because she has a strong arm, and Lilia made a nice play at the plate.”
Later in the inning, with two outs, Katie Yesik singled and Stauffer again had a shot to nail a runner at the plate, but the throw was just wide and Tiffany Yesik scored the winning run for the Bulldogs.
Salisbury finished their season 17-8, with a team sporting just four seniors, two of which are starters.