High School Sports

Chambersburg rides hot start to win over State College softball

The Chambersburg softball team typically doesn’t score early.

According to coach Chris Skultety, the Trojans have put together their best at-bats later in games.

However, they started hot with a three-run first inning Tuesday and put the game out of reach by the third inning with another five runs on a pair of home runs.

The power display was another pleasant surprise for Chambersburg in its 9-2 win over State College.

Lexi Leedy is Chambersburg’s “fast kid.” She doesn’t hit home runs.

But she punctuated the Trojans’ scoring with a two-run shot to left field in the third, smiling as she touched home plate and State College coach Mike Harper prepared to make a pitching change.

“We call her ‘Scrappy,’” Skultety said. “That’s her nickname. She just battles no matter what she does. She’s always after it and she got a hold of one a little bit. I just hope it doesn’t go to her head because she needs to start hitting ground balls and line drives again.”

Leedy’s home run was one of the highlights of Chambersburg’s day at the plate. The Trojans (14-1) recorded nine of their 10 hits and scored all nine runs against Lady Little Lions starting pitcher Jennie Ewton, who went 2 2/3 innings in the loss.

Hannah Shields finished the game in the circle for State College (8-5), allowing just one hit in 4 1/3 scoreless innings. Shields and Avery Cymbor each had doubles to pace the Lady Little Lions offensively, and Kayla Hawbaker singled and scored a run.

Shields took the loss in the Lady Little Lions’ 8-1 setback to Chambersburg in April, so Harper started Ewton to give the Trojans’ potent lineup a different look.

“We know that they’re aggressive and we thought mixing it up a little bit might throw their timing off a little bit,” Harper said. “Some pitches got hung a little bit and they took advantage of some pitches that didn’t get down, and that’s what good hitting teams do.”

Chambersburg finished with four hits in their three-run first inning.

Leedy lined a single into left field for the game’s first hit with one out, and Leah Hunt followed with a double.

Tara Harmon then lined a double down the left-field line to make it 2-0. Dori Loukopoulos’ RBI single capped the scoring in the first.

After both teams scored one run in the second inning, the Trojans broke the game open in the third.

Katie Overcash hammered a three-run home run to left-center field, and two batters later, Leedy hit her first home run of the year to left field to give the Trojans a 9-1 lead.

That marked the end of Ewton’s outing.

“Sometimes it’s just not your day,” Harper said.

Shields shut Chambersburg down, but the damage was already done.

The Trojans coasted to victory with starting pitcher Laken Myers limiting the Lady Little Lions to three hits and two runs to earn the win.

“I was a little upset that we didn’t take quality at-bats later, but when you get up nine runs, 9-1, it’s tough to stay in the zone and try to continue to battle,” Skultety said. “Sometimes it’s let’s just get the game overwith and that’s the mentality we got to to get, we got to finish and put teams away completely.”

Harper was pleased with how his team finished the game.

“After the two-home run inning, we were fine,” Harper said. “We played ‘em pretty tough head to head. We didn’t get down. I liked the way we stuck in there and hung in there, and we played well for the rest of the game. It’s too bad we didn’t play well earlier, but I was really pleased with how we responded to that big inning both offensively and defensively.”

Ryne Gery: 814-231-4679, @rgery