By almost any conceivable measure, the Bermudian Springs softball team had a wildly successful season, even if it didn’t end the way the Eagles had hoped that it would.
The most successful campaign for the program since 2012 came to a close with an 11-5 defeat at the hands of YAIAA-3 rival West York in the opening round of the District 3 Class 4A tournament Tuesday evening in York Springs.
Bermudian (13-7) won a combined 10 games from 2016-18 and hadn’t reached the district tournament over the previous six seasons.
“We had a chance to be co-champs in our division up until we lost to Littlestown with two games left in the season,” Berm head coach Ed Kennell said. “The goals next season will be to be better than we were this year and we’ll have the talent to do it.”
The Eagles graduate just one senior, center fielder,Amanda Womer.
“We’ve worked well as a team to improve and our pitching improved a lot,” junior Olivia Prosser said. “Our confidence really went up a lot because our pitchers threw strikes.”
All three of the Eagles’ pitchers are freshmen — Tori Murren, Maya Kemper and Hannah Chenault — and they all logged time in the circle on Tuesday. None of the three issued a walk.
What undid the home team was five errors that led to eight unearned runs plated by the Bulldogs.
“We’ve usually been very good defensively on our home field,” Kennell said. “Tonight we weren’t, obviously.”
Berm grabbed a 2-0 advantage through two frames by virtue of an RBI single from Prosser to plate Chenault in the first and Womer’s run-scoring knock to chase home Carly Campana in the second.
West York (13-8) answered with a four-spot, none of them earned, in the third. That inning, the visitors had a runner on and two down when Berm suffered miscues on back-to-back hitters.
The fourth saw another error help along a Bulldog rally, this time with one out, triggering a three-run frame. They tacked on another run in the fifth.
“Getting behind like we did forced us to play for the big inning,” Kennell said. “I like to bunt when we get runners on, move them up and try to get a run an inning. But that’s not an option when we’re that far behind at that point in the game.”
West York’s Breanna Harvey put the game away in the top of the seventh when she unloaded for a three-run round tripper with two down. Harvey’s blast capped an inning that started with the Bulldogs’ first two hitters being retired. An error and a double set up Harvey’s bomb.
Down eight runs in the bottom of the seventh, Berm kept up the good fight, and Amy Sheeley put a bow on the scoring with a two-run double with two outs that plated Abby Hursh and Emily Shearer.
“We were a little nervous today, but we were also excited to play,” Prosser said. “We’ve got a lot to look forward to next season.”
The Eagles had a pair of five-game winning streaks this season and had some notable victories along the way.
“We beat Kennard-Dale for the first time in my 15 years here and beat Delone and New Oxford for the first time in a long time,” Kennell said. “It really was a good season.”
Prosser led the Eagles with a pair of hits, including a double and a pair of RBI, while Natalie Hirn and Kourtney Hartzell had two knocks apiece for the winners.
Follow Tom Sixeas on Twitter at @TomSixeas
West York 004 310 3 — 11 10 3
Bermudian Springs 111 000 2 — 5 9 5
Dorian Ilyes and Breanna Harvey; Tori Murren, Maya Kemper (5), Hannah Chenault (7) and Amy Sheeley. WP: Ilyes. LP: Murren. SO-BB: Ilyes 5-2; Murren 2-0, Kemper 2-0, Chenault 0-0. 2B: WY-Hannah Harlacker, Kourtney Hartzell; BS-Olivia Prosser, Sheeley. HR: WY-Harvey.