MILLERSVILLE – A season-high eight errors came at the wrong time for Delone Catholic during Tuesday’s twice-delayed District 3 3A softball championship game at Millersville University.
Yet, somehow the Squirettes found themselves in the game at the very end.
Down four in the bottom of the seventh, Delone Catholic scored three times and had the bases loaded, but fell short to third-seeded Kutztown 5-4.
“Our fielding let us down a bit,” Squirettes coach Matt Rickrode said during the second weather delay of the night, which came because of a quick storm after six full innings had been played.
Still, Rickrode remained hopeful that the delay, which came with Kutztown leading 5-1, would help his team regroup.
Alma Partenza walked to lead off the Squirettes’ seventh and scored on a Lauren Little double off the fence in left. Kylie Funkhouser was hit by a pitch. Katie Earnst drove a deep fly to center that was caught, sending Little to third.
Emma Schneider walked loading the bases and up came Maggie Rickrode, who launched a long fly ball that had some people at Seaber Stadium thinking they witnessed a walk-off grand slam. However, it was not to be, as the ball was caught.
A bases-loaded walk to Meredith Wilson brought Delone within 5-3 and forced the Cougars into a pitching change. Reliever Katie Calkins came in and MacKenzie Buckley drew a walk, making it a one-run game. However, Calkins got Maria Schussler on a comebacker ending the game.
The crazy night started with a miscue in the opening inning, plating the first Kutztown run.
The Squirettes (19-4) got the first two out when Kutztown pitcher Olivia Kardohely blasted a triple to the fence in left-center and came around to score on a throwing error.
Cougars’ ninth-hitter Kaela Fritz singled to open the third. One out later, Fritz was at third after Caitlyn Lubak’s bunt was misplayed. Fritz scored on Kardohely’s ground out for a 2-0 lead.
Delone threatened in third with one out when Schussler launched a double over the center fielder’s head. However, a strikeout and ground out ended the inning.
The Squirettes survived in the top of the fourth when a pair of errors put Cougars at second and third. But Maggie Rickrode bore down and got a strikeout and ground out killing the threat.
A walk and an error started the bottom of the fourth. Both runners moved up on Emma Schneider’s bunt and Funkhouser scored on Maggie Rickrode’s sacrifice fly, cutting the Cougars’ lead in half.
A half-inning later, Rickrode escaped danger again, this time with runners at second and third with no one out. The senior got a strikeout and two ground outs ending the inning.
The good feeling went away in the Kutztown (19-5) sixth, when the Cougars plated three runs on three hits with the help of three Squirette errors.
Yet, two walks and an error put the tying run at the plate with two outs in the Delone sixth, but Kutztown second baseman Ryleigh Bohning made a nice play, fielding a spinning groundball and tagging the base runner before any more damage could occur.
The contest was already delayed when lightning for the early game between Brandywine Heights and Susquenita to delay. Delone’s 7 pm start was delayed until 8:30 and the teams retook the field at 10:45 to complete the seventh inning.