For the past three years Jill Kushlan has faced her friend Courtney Gingrich when Solanco and Warwick opposed one another in Lancaster-Lebanon League softball. They had some great confrontations during those three years with one game going 17-innings. Gingrich now throws for the University of Maine and currently sports a 1-1 record with a 3.86 ERA. The Lady Black Bear has walked three and struck out 11 while appearing in five games. Kushlan in now Mrs. Dave Garver and will be following her military husband to Italy in the near future. Since both outstanding windmillers have graduated Emily Smoker and Chelsea Kreiter tow the rubber inside the circle for their respective teams.
This past Monday it was Kreiter who walked away with the win as Warwick took advantage of Solanco miscues and a three-run home run off the bat of senior shortstop, Melissa Witmer, improving their league record to 5-2 with a 10-1 win over the Lady Mules.
The Warwick victory ended a two-game win string for the Lady Mules.
After Warwick stranded two base runners in the first inning, Solanco took the lead when leadoff hitter Ashley Stump reached base on an error, moved to second on an Ali Marano sacrifice bunt and scored on a Mallory Benard two-out double.
Warwick answered quickly when Nicole Morales led off with a miss-played fly ball that fell in for a double and scored on two consecutive one-out singles in the top of the second inning off the bats of Steph Gabers and Kim Martin. Both runners moved up on a ground out and scored on a two-out single by Angie Sollenberger to give the visitors a 3-1 lead.
Kreiter retired Solanco in order in the bottom of the second and third inning with Warwick tacking on three more runs in the top of the fourth. Martin led off with another single and moved to second on Jenna Pickel's single. With one out Witmer stepped to the plate and drove a pitch deep to centerfield for a three-run round tripper giving the Warriors a five run advantage.
The Lady Mules found scoring opportunities limited.
Solanco stranded a runner at third in the bottom of the fifth when Danielle Fisher stroked a sharp one-out single to left and moved to second when the Warrior leftfielder bobbled the ball. Fisher advanced to third on an infield ground out, but was left stranded when the next batter hit into a short-to-first ground out.
Warwick tacked on four unearned runs in the top of the sixth to ice the win. All the runs crossed the plate with two outs and erased an outstanding play from center field when Arienne Wrigley nailed a runner at home with an accurate throw to catcher, Morgan Jackson, who returned to the scene after a two game absence due to a sprained ankle.
Smoker scattered 13 hits, walking one and struck out one. Kreiter limited Solanco to three hits. In addition to Benard's double and Fisher's single, Abby Bauermaster singled cleanly to the right side of the infield in the bottom of the sixth.
Kreiter, a tall lanky left-hander, struck out four and walked two. She retired the side in order in the bottom of the seventh on three infield groundouts.
Solanco hosts McCaskey (0-7) on Friday, April 21, 8-4 losers to Ephrata, before heading to Lebanon on Monday, April 24, where they'll face Cedar Crest (5-2), 4-0 winners over Garden Spot.