May 28—NEW PARIS — Chestnut Ridge pitcher Zoie Dunlap not only found ways Thursday to beat Northern Bedford in the circle, but also as much of a problem at the plate.
The Lions hurler pitched a complete game and went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a double as top-seeded Ridge pounded the Black Panthers, 14-1, in the District 5 Class 2A softball semifinals at Chestnut Ridge High School.
Dunlap struck out 10 batters while giving up just the one run on two hits with a walk.
The win sets up a date in Wednesday’s championship game against No. 1 seed Everett, which defeated Conemaugh Township 16-0, at a site and time to be announced.
“She’s been a horse for us all year,” Chestnut Ridge coach Greg Lazor said. “She has nice speed to her, really starting to work her offspeed a little bit better. She’s coming around, doing a real good job.”
Dunlap was also causing Northern Bedford issues at the plate, as she went 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs. She clobbered two doubles, including one in the third and one in a fourth inning where the Lions erupted for six runs to help activate the 10-run rule when Alecsis Mowry and Rylee Ansell scored.
Lazor has been impressed with how she has handled the leadoff role after having started the year in the No. 9 spot in the lineup.
“She got that one five-game stretch where she hit .720 something, and that’s a true .720 something,” he said. “We moved her up to the front (of the lineup). She was hitting so well we couldn’t keep her back there.”
Chestnut Ridge nearly batted around three times and did so successfully in the fourth-inning rally. It also had all but one player in the lineup score at least once.
The Lions also racked up 16 hits — including six doubles — and had five hitters record at least two hits.
Northern Bedford, though, didn’t go away quietly as Leah Swanseen reached on an error, which allowed Makayla Kochara to score.
“Our offensive side for us was a little quiet unfortunately,” Northern Bedford coach Christa Moyer said. “I thought for sure after that run against Windber (Tuesday) we’d have those bats going today.
“When you’re up against a team that has that many sticks in the lineup, you got to be able to answer.”