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Falcons play for state softball title

Posted 6/10/14

School's out. Seniors have graduated. But the Lower Dauphin softball team is still playing.

And boy, are they playing.

Great pitching and timely hitting have taken the Falcons to the state championship game. On Friday, June 13, they will …

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Falcons play for state softball title

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School's out. Seniors have graduated. But the Lower Dauphin softball team is still playing.

And boy, are they playing.

Great pitching and timely hitting have taken the Falcons to the state championship game. On Friday, June 13, they will play for the PIAA Class AAAA title against Souderton (21-5) at 12:30 p.m. at Beard Field at Nittany Lion Softball Park on Penn State's University Park campus.

Lower Dauphin (23-5) reached the title game by storming back to edge previously-unbeaten Parkland, 8-7 in eight innings on Monday, June 9 at Fleetwood. It took a wild rally for the Falcons to extend their season – they scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game, after falling behind 7-0 in the fourth inning.

Down to their last out, the Falcons forced extra innings thanks to a two-run double by their No. 9 hitter, Jamie Knaub.

In the eighth, Lower Dauphin claimed the improbable victory on a squeeze bunt by Shelby Alcorn that drove in Kaylee Stoner for the winning run. Stoner had reached base on a Parkland error, and Alcorn executed the bunt after two intentional walks loaded the bases.

Parkland, the District 11 champion, had scored seven runs on 10 hits against Lower Dauphin's star freshman pitcher, Ava Bottiglia. And its pitching ace, Morgan Rentzheimer, was sailing along with a 7-0 lead when the Falcons tallied a run in the bottom of the fourth and three more in the fifth.

Lower Dauphin, the District 3 runner-up, pounded out 12 hits in the game.

Now the Falcons face Souderton, a 2-0 winner over DuBois in the other Class AAAA semifinal game on Monday at Bloomsburg.

It will be the first trip to the state championship game for both Lower Dauphin and Souderton. In fact, the last Souderton team to win a state championship was the boys' volleyball team in 1998.

Pitcher Erelle Sowers held DuBois to just four hits, striking out six batters.

Lower Dauphin reached the semifinals by eliminating Archbishop Ryan, 4-0, on Friday, June 6 at Fleetwood.
Bottiglia pitched a no-hitter in a sterling performance on the mound, striking out 11 Ragdolls. Acorn drove in two runs, while Sam Gorman and Kayla Holl drove in a run apiece.

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