BEDFORD - The last time the Everett and Chestnut Ridge softball teams faced each other, the Lady Warriors jumped out of the gate quickly and eventually won the regular-season contest in extra innings.
Wednesday afternoon's District 5 Class AA title game at Bedford High School started out the same way, but this time around, the Lady Lions made sure the end result was a little different.
After Everett scored twice to open the game, Chestnut Ridge plated 12 runs in the first two innings and never looked back, as the Lady Lions won their fourth consecutive district championship, 14-4, in five innings.
Mirror photo by Nate?Foreman
District 5 softball director Todd Beatty presents the championship trophy to (from left) Ridge’s Alexis Corle,?Karamee Fickes and Makayla Dunlap.
"We gave up the two [runs] right in the beginning and that's what they did with us the last time we played them," Chestnut Ridge coach Chuck Corle said of Everett's quick start. "We were off for a week-and-a-half, and we were hitting balls right at people.
"Today, the balls fell. The outfield had a little bit of trouble there on some of the fly balls, and we took advantage of that. But our girls hit the ball around - it was hit to right field, it was hit around, they ran the bases well."
The Lady Lions (16-6) pounded 13 hits - several reaching the fence either on solid hits or mis-reads in the outfield - and chased Everett starter Josie Clark after the Lions opened up a 9-2 lead with no outs in the bottom of the second inning.
Chestnut Ridge sent 14 batters to the plate and scored nine runs in the second to build a 10-run lead.
Both teams were retired in order in the third - including Everett's Aarika Price's three big plays at shortstop, but the Lady Warriors (10-10) chipped into Ridge's lead with two runs in the fourth inning.
Everett reliever Sarina Laidig walked in a run in the fourth inning, and Alexis Corle doubled in the fifth, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored the game-ending run on Dunlap's chopper down the third base line.
"You've just got to stay on them, try to get that 10-run [mercy rule] and move on to the next step," Corle said.
Everett jumped all over pitcher Bridgit Yothers - who tossed a no-hitter in last week's semifinal win over Bedford - in the first inning.
Laidig doubled and scored on Rachel Clark's triple to left, and Jessica Wilt drove in Clark with a single to left-center.
Yothers gave up seven hits, struck out three and walked two.
"We just couldn't hit the ball when we needed to," said Everett coach Junior Bennett, whose team overcame a 3-9 record and won seven straight to reach the title game. "Someone has to win and someone has to lose. It was our night to lose.
"I've been here a while, and I'm more proud of this team than any team I've ever had. They played hard. In the middle of the season, they just completely flipped around. I can't say anything bad. It just wasn't our night."
The bats consistently showed up for Chestnut Ridge's potent lineup, though.
Mackenzie Feather, Jennifer Carthew, Corle and Dunlap each had two hits and two RBIs in the top half of the order, while No. 8 hitter Josie Neatrour was 2-for-2 with an RBI, and No. 9 hitter Kristi Batzel was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
"From the bottom of the order to the top, they made contact," Corle said. "I can't complain with that. They did a great job."
The Lady Lions advance to the PIAA tournament for the fourth straight time and will play the District 3 champion on Monday.
But even Corle was skeptical earlier this year that his team would get to this point.
"After losing seven girls off of our starting team last year, did I think we'd be district champs? I was hoping we'd get here, but I didn't know if we'd win it.
"We've struggled [in the PIAA tournament]," he admitted, "but right now we're just happy to be district champs."
EVERETT (4): Price ss 300, Laidig 1b-p 311, R. Clark cf 311, Wilt 3b-1b 201, Brallier c 312, J. Clark p-3b 311, Brown 2b 100, Peterson rf 200, Schurg lf 100, Painter lf 101. Totals - 22-4-7.
CHESTNUT RIDGE (14): Feather ss 222, Carthew 2b 221, Yothers p 421, Corle lf 422, Dunlap cf 412, J. Fickes c 300, K. Fickes 1b 131, Neatrour rf 212, Batzel 3b 312. Totals - 25-14-13.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Everett200 20X X-4 7 1
Chestnut Ridge390 11X X-14 13 1
There were 0 outs when the winning run scored.
E-Peterson, Dunlap. DP-Everett 1. LOB-Everett 5, Chestnut Ridge 6. 2B-Laidig, J. Clark, Yothers, Corle, Dunlap. 3B-R. Clark, Feather. RBI-R. Clark, Wilt, J. Clark, Painter, Feather 2, Carthew 2, Yothers 2, Corle 2, Dunlap 2, K. fickes, Neatrour, Batzel. SAC-Feather. SB-Brallier.
Everett-J. Clark (L), 1 IP, 8 H, 10 R, 10 ER, 2 BB, 0 SO; Laidig, 3 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 1 SO.
Chestnut Ridge-Yothers (W), 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO.
PB-Brallier 3. WP-J. Clark, Laidig.
Records: Everett (10-10), Chestnut Ridge (16-6).