Warren Girls Majors 3rd in PA softball tourney

GREENSBURG – The tears showed they wanted a state championship badly.

But after one rough day, Warren’s Girls Majors All-Stars finished third in the entire state.

Not too shabby.

Warren’s District 10 and Section 1 championship softball team finished 9-2 overall in Little League all-star tournament play, and 2-2 at the PA Little League Girls Majors Softball State Tournament held this week in Greensburg.

After wins over West Point Little League (of Greensburg) and Williamsport on Thursday and Friday, respectively, Warren battled through bumps and bruises on Saturday to losses in the winners bracket final and losers bracket final.

Warren and eventual state champion Exton were tied 1-1 after three innings before Exton broke through in the winners bracket final for a 5-1 win.

Warren, which had scored 92 runs in nine straight wins, tied the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the third against Exton. Grace Wortman led off with a single, followed by Trinity Wennberg’s bunt single and Alexis Nyquist’s sacrifice bunt to put runners at second and third. With two outs, Celia Chase knocked in Warren’s only run of the game on a base hit.

Warren had its chances. Nyquist led the game off with a double, but couldn’t get pushed across on two fly balls. Ellie Lobdell had a one-out single in the second but was thrown out at second after a wild pitch.

In the bottom of the third, Chase knocked in Wortman but Wennberg was thrown out trying to get back to third – center to catcher to third.

Five runners were left on in the last three innings.

Exton made it 3-1 in the top of the fourth on two hits, including a lead-off triple, and 5-1 in the sixth on a hit and two errors, including a two-run error with two outs.

Starting pitcher Julia Lobdell threw 5 2/3 innings, and was hit on the knee with a shot with one out in the sixth; she picked up the ball and threw to first for the second out with two runners on, but was forced to leave the game.

Nyquist and Kiersten Hoffman had two hits each in the loss.

After Warren’s first loss, Trinity Wennberg, who had pitched in four tournament games prior, started and pitched into the fourth inning against Warrington.

In the elimination game, Warrington jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first on three hits and an error, but Warren fought back with two of its own. Nyquist bunted for a base hit, Julia Lobdell singled and Chase bunted them over before Gracie Wood’s two-run single tied it, 2-2.

Warren led 3-2 after three on Ellie Lobdell’s RBI double.

Wennberg got into trouble in the fourth and left with the bases loaded. Hoffman relieved her and also left with the bases loaded four batters later. Kelsey Stuart relieved Hoffman and pitched to five batters, getting Warren out of the six-run inning. She gave up two earned runs over three innings, but Warrington led 10-3 after five.

Ellie Lobdell finished with two hits, both doubles, for Warren, which scored four runs in two games on Saturday. She was one of five Warren players that batted over .400 in the 11 all-star games, including Nyquist, Wood, Chase, and Hoffman.

Nyquist, from the leadoff spot, reached base 27 out of 38 times up (71 percent), with one sacrifice bunt.

Nyquist hit over .600 with six doubles and a home run. Wood and Chase hit .500 or better; Wood had two doubles, three triples and a home run, and Chase a double and two triples. Hoffman had two doubles, two triples and a homer, and Ellie Lobdell two doubles, a triple and three homers.

True to form, Warren’s Girls Majors manager Scott Chase – who also coaches a travel softball team that includes eight of these 13 – gave credit to the entire team, and to one percentage in particular.

“The girls worked extremely hard this season (and off-season),” said coach Chase. “All 13 of them put in the extra effort it takes to improve. In my opinion, the one major thing you look for as a coach, is for the players to give 110 percent. These girls did that every time they stepped on the field. For them to finish third in the state of Pennsylvania is a great accomplishment. I am really proud to have been their coach.They are not just a group of great athletes, they are a group of great individuals. Every single one of them gets along and has fun together. That makes coaching them so much easier. With that being said, thank you girls!”

Warrington defeated Exton, 8-3, on Sunday in the first game of the finals at the West Point Little League Complex, but Exton rebounded to take the state title, 8-4, in the final game.

Exton 010 202 – 5 5

Warren 001 000 – 1 9

2b-Alexis Nyquist (W). Brooke Espenshade (E). 3b-Cameron Trotter (E). WP-Megan Hartz. LP-Julia Lobdell.

Warrington 200 620 -10 12

Warren 201 000 – 3 7

2b-Ellie Lobdell (W) 2. WP-Katie H. LP-Trinity Wennberg.