Weaver No-Hitter Stops Warriors in Semis
Lampeter-Strasburg pitcher Jordan Weaver threw a no-hitter in the L-L league semi-final game between the Pioneers and the Warriors Monday night at Garret Field to lead the Pioneers to a 2-1 victory over Warwick.
Weaver powered pitches in the mid-60-mph range past even the toughest Warwick hitters, earning fourteen strikeouts in the 7-inning game.
Weaver threw five no-hitters during the regular season, two against Northern Lebanon, and one game apiece against Lancaster Mennonite, Elco, and Cocalico. She was unaware that she had a no-hitter in progress.
“I personally, honestly did not know that I was throwing one the whole entire game, until a couple of other people came up and told me that I was throwing one,” said Weaver. “It was exciting, it felt good.”
The semi-final game was a pitching duel from the start, pitting Warwick southpaw Amanda Herr, who threw a 2-hit shutout of Pequea Valley on Saturday, against Weaver. Herr, a freshman, allowed only four hits Monday night.
After Mack Russell and Vanessa Strohm struck out in the first inning, Warwick’s Ashley Royer reached base after being hit by a pitch in the face mask. She was stranded on first when Amanda Herr went down swinging.
Despite Weaver’s speed and her placement of pitches, the Warriors managed to get runners on base and score the first run of the game. In the fourth inning, Strohm led off the inning with a walk. Royer then walked. An error on a bunt by Amanda Herr allowed Strohm to reach home, and the Warriors went up 1-0.
With Royer on third, a long fly ball was hit. Rather than hold Royer, coach Mark Hough let her go halfway down the line. When the fly ball was caught, and there was no time for her to return, tag up, and head to home plate. Royer remained on third at the end of the inning.
Hough’s decision was one that set the stands buzzing, and would turn out to be pivotal to the game’s outcome.
The Pioneers tied the game at 1-1 in the 5th. Groff singled, Graungard moved her to second with a sacrifice, and Garber’s single drove in the run. The game was tied 1-1 until the bottom of the seventh inning. Feaster led off the inning with a single, then advanced when Groff sacrificed. Feaster scored on a Warwick error, ending the game.
The seventh-inning error may have ended the game, but it is not the error that caused the loss. Afterwards, Hough took responsibility for his coaching error that appears to have cost Warwick the game.
“We had a chance in the fourth inning to get that second run in, and this could have all been pretty much a moot point,” said Hough. “I miscommunicated with Ashley (runner on third base) and I’m just sick about it. Absolutely sick about it,” he said, adding that the fly ball down the right field line could easily have scored Royer.
The Warriors had faced Weaver and the Pioneers during the regular season with a different outcome.
“The first time we faced her she was dealing with a shoulder and an elbow issue, and I think even a hamstring issue, but tonight she came out and just threw a really good game. This is like a home game for them and its a field their comfortable with, and it’s a new environment for us. We’re a young team, we have our growing pains. This one stings.”
Hough was proud of his pitcher Herr, whose consistency all season helped the Warriors to reach the semi-final round.
“Amanda, for being her age, for being a freshman, to have the poise that she does in her first Lancaster-Lebanon League semifinal speaks to the kind of character she has and her ability.”
Though disappointed in the game’s outcome, Hough remains positive about his team, who moves on to District play next week.
“Credit goes to the girls, to Heather Hess, my assistant coach, and Samantha Derr, my other assistant coach. I couldn’t be prouder of the staff and my girls.”
“I really keep the hitters off-balance, and try to make them hit the ball, put in in play, because I know the defense has my back, they back me up,” said Weaver.
Lampeter-Strasburg moves into the L-L League finals tonight against Donegal High School at Garrett Field in Willow Street. They will be the home team tonight since they are section champions. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for students and seniors cititzens. Game time is 7 p.m.
“We’re just going to take it one pitch at a time, and see what happens,” said Weaver. “We’re just excited to keep on going.”