YORK — Two York teams met in Saturday’s under-12 softball tournament championship game at Clover Community Park, with the Aftershock defeating the Heat 5-3.
The Aftershock avenged two previous losses to a Heat team that entered the postseason tournament unbeaten.
With Aftershock pitcher Carlee Shannon and Heat pitcher Madalyn Sanford at the top of their games, the teams entered the fourth and final inning scoreless.
Vanessa Offhein started a productive inning for the Aftershock when she reached base on an error. After Shannon reached base, Kendall Dover’s infield hit loaded the bases. Lindsey Johnston delivered a two-run single, staking the Aftershock to its first lead.
Another run scored on Lizzie Miller’s infield roller, and the fourth was scored when Sam Lesslie grounded out.
The Aftershock stretched the lead to 5-0 on an errant throw.
The Heat responded in the bottom of the inning with a rally of its own, beginning when Jalynn Liles reached base on a walk. Tikezia Crawford also walked.
After Liles scored on a wild pitch, Crawford crossed the plate on Jesse Comer’s ground ball. Sanford followed with a hard-hit ball caught by the left fielder.
Madison McCartney’s run-scoring single sliced the lead to two.
Third-baseman McCartney came up with a defensive gem in the second inning when she speared a screaming liner off the bat of Hunter Neely and put the tag on the Aftershock runner attempting to scramble back to third, preventing a potential Aftershock rally.
Shannon, who held on for the win with a gritty performance, said she felt nervous early.
“I settled down,” Shannon said. “I knew I had the support of my teammates.”
“We lost to the Heat in two previous games, one by a wide margin, the other a closely played game,” said Aftershock head coach Dusty Dover. “Our kids responded today. I am proud of them.”
Heat head coach Craig Comer took the loss in stride. “There were two equal teams out there today,” Comer said. “Two of the three games we played them this year were three-run games.”
Comer said credit goes to the Aftershock team: “They played well,” he said. “Their pitcher did a good job and so did ours.
“We were unbeaten until this game. I am proud of our kids.”