Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Weather can't chill Leaman
Donegal hurler keys 6-2 victory over Manheim Central Weather can't chill Leaman BY DAVE BYRNE, Sports Writer
The evening had a definite playoff feel to it.
Never mind that the bone-numbing cold was more reminiscent of playoff football than playoff softball.
"This weather's not helping either team," said Donegal coach Wayne Emenheiser. "You know when June comes around, it's going to be totally different."
Still, it was Donegal and Manheim Central playing softball once again, for the first time since the 2012 District Three AAA quarterfinals.
Seemed like old times.
Pitching with an early lead, Sophie Leaman allowed two hits and two unearned runs as the Indians took the first set in what promises to be a spirited season series, 6-2, Wednesday night in Manheim.
Leaman, who walked two and struck out six, helped herself at the plate, going 3 for 3 with a walk and knocking in three runs.
"Normally, I psych myself out with her," Leaman shared, talking about hitting against Barons ace Sara McKee. "This time I relaxed, watched the ball come in and (go) off my bat."
Leaman showed little effect from the cold, taking a perfect game two outs into the fourth inning before Aerika High and Rachel Clippinger hit back-to-back singles.
McKee was not as sharp. A week after a command performance against Warwick -- a three-hit, 11-strikeout shutout -- McKee struggled with her command.
She walked six, gave up nine hits and allowed six runs, four earned, while striking out 11.
"I thought she struggled a little bit (with) the cold weather," offered Emenheiser.
The Indians had struggled with the Barons recently, what with Manheim carrying a four-game winning streak against the Tribe into the new season.
The Indians' Haley Bollinger smoked McKee's first pitch of the night off third baseman Abby Hahn's glove and into left.
Steph Gainer sacrificed her to second and Bollinger scored when Abi Weaver dropped Madi Emenheiser's fly to left.
After Erin Tirko walked, Leaman singled in the second run and the Indians were on the way.
"That sparked us," said Leaman. "We got the lead right away and we didn't come down."
McKee retired 11 of the next 13, but, with one out in the fifth, Gainer and Emenheiser singled.
McKee induced Tirko to pop to short, but Lindsey Mackley walked to load the bases and Leaman chased two runs home with a line single to right.
Rachel Mummau beat out a grounder to second, scoring Mackley, and Megan Ober singled home courtesy runner Krissy Truett.
Down 6-0, the Barons broke through against Leaman in their half of the fifth as Abby Hahn worked a one-out walk and Abi Weaver was hit with a pitch with two outs.
Mummau dropped Miranda Becker's fly to left, scoring Hahn and Weaver, but recovered to gun down Becker at third, ending the threat.
The inning could've been much more, but took a bad turn early on.
Sarah Fink led off lining sharply to right field. But she spun her wheels getting out of the box, then collapsed at the plate when her right knee gave out on her.
She was taken from the field, but her condition was unavailable at presstime.