Monday, January 22, 2018
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  • Bears nip Mounts in OT

    Bears nip Mounts in OT

    Megan Mahlandt scored for the Lady Mounts. Read More
  • District Champs!

    District Champs!

    Ephrata players celebrate after winning the District 3 Championship. Read More
  • District Bound!

    District Bound!

    Matt Kreider and Lauren Moyer qualified for the District Golf Tournament. Read More
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Upcoming Varsity Events

  • 22 Jan 2018
    Swimming vs Elizabethtown 04:00 PM to 06:30 PM
  • 22 Jan 2018
    Boys Basketball @ Lebanon 07:30 PM to 09:00 PM
  • 23 Jan 2018
    Rifle vs Manheim Central 04:00 PM to 05:30 PM
  • 23 Jan 2018
    Girls Basketball @ Cocalico 07:30 PM to 09:00 PM
  • 23 Jan 2018
    Boys Basketball vs Cocalico 07:30 PM to 09:00 PM
  • 24 Jan 2018
    Wrestling @ Elizabethtown 07:00 PM to 08:30 PM
  • 22 Jan - 24 Jan
  • 25 Jan - 26 Jan
  • 27 Jan - 01 Feb
  • 01 Feb - 03 Feb
  • 06 Feb - 06 Feb

Ephrata's watershed season came to an end Wednesday in the first round of the PIAA boys' lacrosse playoffs at Exeter High School.

The Mountaineers played even with Downingtown West for the first quarter and half before the Whippets finished the game with an 11-2 scoring run to secure a 13-4 win.

Judging by the celebratory, purple and gold human teepee Ephrata's boys' lacrosse team built on the turf after the final buzzer Thursday night, it was obvious the victory felt awesome.
Even better, perhaps, was the impact it figures to have on so many others, some of whom have never even picked up a lacrosse stick.

Ephrata came back for thirds Tuesday, and as a result achieved a first, with another unique achievement now within reach.
The Mountaineers beat Hempfield for the third time this season in boys' lacrosse, 13-6 in a District Three semifinal at Lower Dauphin Middle School. And as a result they advanced to the championship game for the first time in school history.

The rain cleared, but Ephrata's offense kept pouring it on, ousting West York, 15-3, in the completion of a first-round game in the District Three boys' lacrosse playoffs at Ephrata Middle School Wednesday afternoon.
Tucker Keefer led the charge with five goals for the Mounts (19-2), who advance to play Cumberland Valley (15-3) at Penn Manor's Comet Field [directions] at 5 p.m. in today's (May 17th) quarterfinal round. 
Klayton Garman scored two goals for the Bulldogs (12-6).

Two imaginary hurdles stood in Ephrata's way.
The first was that the Mountaineers had never won a league title. The second was they had never beaten Manheim Township. Ever.
To get the first they would have to achieve the second.

Ephrata battled while Manheim Township cruised.
Both teams, though, are heading to the L-L League boys' lacrosse championship game for the second straight season.
The Mountaineers used a fourth-quarter rally to edge Hempfield 9-7 in the first game, while the Blue Streaks were dominant in a 17-1 win over Penn Manor in the nightcap of the L-L semifinals Wednesday at Hempfield.

In a League quarterfinal match, the host Barons overcame a first-game defeat and dispatched Ephrata 3-1.

Manheim Central rolled headfirst into Ephrata's best skill—that is, blocking. With David Witmer (6-foot-6), Jordan Shultz (6-4), Chris Prosser (6-2) and Matt Gass (6-1) at the net, the Barons had trouble finding a clear path to the floor.

When the Ephrata Mountaineers take the floor tonight in the first round of the Lancaster-Lebanon Boys' Volleyball League playoffs, the seniors may harken back just two seasons ago, when the playoffs may not have seemed possible.

Two seasons ago, when the current seniors were sophomores, many of the players saw action in both the varsity and junior varsity matches due to a thin roster.

Another game, another steady, precise dissection of an opponent.

Just another day at the office for Lampeter-Strasburg's baseball team.

The Pioneers improved to 20-0 by beating Ephrata 6-0 in the quarterfinals of the Lancaster-Lebanon League baseball playoffs Saturday at Ephrata's rainy War Memorial Field.

It had been two years since Manheim Township's boys' lacrosse team won a league championship.

And to end their two-year drought, the Blue Streaks made it rain.

Township poured in 11 unanswered goals to storm by Ephrata, 17-2, in the L-L League championship Friday night at Warwick.

Two things happened Wednesday night in the L-L League boys' lacrosse semifinals.

Manheim Township continued its dominance over L-L foes this season and Ephrata rocked the status quo of the league.

Baseball games aren't often decided in the first inning.

Warwick had other ideas Monday.

In the Class AAAA nightcap of a District Three first-round playoff doubleheader at Manheim Township, Adam Zipko staked himself to a 3-0 first-inning lead with a two-run home run off fellow ace Madison Zimmerman and No. 8 Warwick eliminated No. 9 Ephrata, 10-0, in six innings.

Saturday's District Three boys' lacrosse quarterfinal was like a chess match between old rivals who knew exactly what to expect from each other.

Hempfield and Ephrata were playing for the third time this season, so no move came as a shock, no attack was a surprise.

He was carrying the championship trophy from the floor of Clipper Magazine Stadium Thursday night when a visitor approached.

At that moment, Ephrata left fielder Tim Murray handed the hardware to a teammate.

A symbolic moment, to be sure.

For the second game in a row, Spring Grove lost in overtime. This time, the Rockets will not get to play another game this season.

After losing in overtime to Eastern York in the semifinals of the YAIAA tournament, the Rockets watched their season come to an end when Ephrata's Leah Amstutz pocketed the game-winning goal with 6:24 left in the second overtime. It gave the Mounts a 3-2 win in the play-in round of the District 3 Class AAA girls' soccer tournament Monday night at Papermakers' Stadium.

This was sort of a run-manufacturing seminar, with the Section Two champion Mounts (15-6) just a bit more effective.

Neither team solved the pitchers, Jayson Frymyer and Dusten Rutt for Ephrata and Pequea's Tyler Schmitt. They combined for seven hits, just two by the Mounts off Schmitt.

Evan Weaver wasn't certain if winning a second straight L-L Section Two baseball title -- as Ephrata did Wednesday -- was made more special by the fact that the Mountaineers had to fight for it.

"It made it more dramatic," the sophomore outfielder said. "But we would have liked a little less stress."

Hempfield, the defending L-L League champions, escaped with a 6-4 win over Ephrata in the L-L League semifinals Wednesday at Comet Field.

"This is why you work so hard in the offseason and during the season. To get the opportunity to play in a championship game," said Hempfield coach Doug Bailey.

Bailey's squad had its hands full against Ephrata, the Section Two champions.

Penn Manor defeated Ephrata, and will now face Donegal in the championship game at Clipper Magazine Stadium Thursday at 7 p.m. The Comets defeated Ephrata 5-2 in Tuesday's semifinal action.

Penn Manor's victory didn't require the same late-inning magic. The Section One runner-up built a 4-0 lead through the first two innings and held on against Ephrata.

Adrian Shelley isn't a fan of the phrase "small ball."

Ephrata's baseball coach prefers to think of his team's style as pressure-oriented, the kind of ball that forces opponents to make critical errors at crucial times.

The Lady Mounts Soccer team traveled to Cumberland Valley Thursday evening to take on the top seeded Cumberland Valley Eagles in the opening round of the District 3-AAA Tournament. The Mounts, fresh off their play-in 5-0 win over York Champion Spring Grove, gave the Eagles all they could handle. 

The Spring Grove girls' soccer team experienced the highs and lows of athletic competition in quick succession.

Four nights ago the Rockets finally captured a YAIAA championship with their stirring victory over Central York.

Monday night at Manheim Central High School, their season came to an end with a thud.

The Rockets were eliminated in the first round of the District 3 Class AAA playoffs, 5-0, at the hands of a quicker, sharper Ephrata squad.

No. 17 Spring Grove's season ends with a 17-4-2 mark.

For their efforts, the 16th-seeded Mounts (13-5-1) draw top-seeded Cumberland Valley in the next round.

Led by three time medalists Jordan Yarbrough and Brynn Lyons the boys and girls track teams both finished 8th in the league track meet held this past weekend at Hempfield's Stadium.

On the boys side Yarbrough had three third place finishes in the 100 (11.20), 200 (22.54) and the Long Jump (20-3.25).

Blake Crowhter's time of 50.12 was good enough for 5th place in the 400, while Greg Forstater went 19-3.75 in the long jump to secure a 7th place showing.

Unseeded, Eric Rowits earned an 8th place finish in the 800 with a time of 2:01.59.

While the Mounts' 1600 Relay team finished in 6th place with a time of 3:29.87.

On the girls side Lyons finished with a gold and a pair of silvers. Winning the 400 with her best time of the year (58.63), finishing 2nd in the Long Jump (16-9.5) and the Javelin (118-4).

Katie Ream took home 5th place in the High Jump (5-0), and also 7th place in the 300 Hurdles (48.71).

Emily Albright finished 5th in the 100 Hurdles with a time of 16.67, while Alison Hunt finished 8th in the 400 (62.45).

Lastly, two Ephrata Relay teams finished well, with the 1600 Relay finishing 4th (4:11.25) and the 3200 Relay finishing 7th (10:19.84).

After trying every which way to manufacture runs playing small-ball, Ephrata finally just unleashed a bombardment of base hits.

Playing Vesuvius to Lancaster Catholic's Pompeii, Ephrata erupted for 12 sixth-inning runs, sending 17 batters to the plate, pummeling Catholic 17-5 in the middle game of a Lancaster-Lebanon League playoff quarterfinal triple header Saturday afternoon at Ephrata's War Memorial Field.

With the victory, Ephrata advances to Tuesday night's league semifinals, both semifinal games will be played at Ephrata's War Memorial Field.

ImageFreshman Gabby Gehr and junior Brynn Lyons advanced to the state level competition this past weekend in the District III Track and Field contest held at Shippensburg University.

Gehr punched her ticket Friday night with a 17 feet 8.5 inch leap in the long jump, narrowly missing a silver medal, and finishing in third place.

Lyons, not to be outdone, came into her event seeded 9th in the javelin, her throw of 119 feet 11 inches was good for 2nd place and the silver medal.

On the boys side, C.J. Wilson came the closest to qualifying for states. His season best high jump of 6 feet 2 inches, was good for 7th place, narrowly missing a state seed.

Blake Crowther also moved up 7 spots finishing 11th in the 400.

Congratulations to all Mounts competing and Good Luck to Brynn and Gabby at States!

ImageThe Ephrata Mounts girls soccer team had a tough task at hand on Wednesday evening. Among the list of goals, trying to get a quick lead against Conestoga Valley, shut down the Buckskins Teresa Rynier, and most importantly, knock off the Buckskins in the District opener.

ImageIn a quarterfinal match for the Lancaster-Lebanon League Title, the Black Knights got off to a quick start, winning their first game against Ephrata, 25-8. Games of 25-13 and 25-18 followed. Shawn Sangrey had 14 kills and Jason Graham had seven blocks. Ephrata's Jeremiah Yang led the Mounts with eleven kills.

We've had a good week of practice and played well,'' said Hempfield coach Mike Vogel. "The kids are ready to go. It's time to produce.''

Hempfield's Chris Ostrander and Ephrata's Yang each had two service aces for their respective schools. Kyle Church led the Mounts with three blocks. 

Hempfield is the No. 4-ranked team in Triple-A in the state in the latest statewide coaches' poll.

ImageThe District 3 commission has released the track and field seeds for this weekends tournament held at Shippensburg University. The Lady Mounts send 13 girls in 9 events to Districts, while the boys team has 6 members competering in 6 events.

ImageAfter being shutout in the League Playoffs, the Lady Mounts soccer team was hoping to rebound in the District Playoffs. To earn that distinction the Lady Mounts were faced with a play-in game hosted by the Waynesboro Maidens.

ImageThe Ephrata Mounts Boys and Girls Track team went through their final tune-up before next weekends District Meet at Shippensburg University. Both teams faired quite well in the tournament, and we'll start the recap with the Boys team.

ImageEphrata (12-3) knew it had a tough task coming into Tuesday's game against the Hempfield Black Knights (9-4), but if they wanted to be called League Champs, eventually they'd have to turn back everyone in their path.

ImageSometimes the best defense is a good offense.

And when it comes to an attacking, high-powered offense, no Lancaster-Lebanon League girls soccer team has found the back of the net more this spring than Ephrata, which has scored a league-high 48 goals heading into the final few days of the regular season. 

ImageIt was a little over a year ago, when late in the season, Garden Spot beat the Ephrata Girls Track team for their only loss. The 53-97 loss denied the Mounts the section title. With the Garden Spot girls coming in with a record of 4-0-1 versus the Lady Mounts whose record stood at 5-0, it was something Ephrata looked forward to for a year. On the boys side, things looked up a little as Jordan Yarbrough and C.J. Wilson returned to the Mounts lineup, even if their events were still limited by nagging injuries.

ImageThe Ephrata girls softball team fell victim to Central Dauphin's one-two punch of Sara Romano and Nicki Averso in the opening round of the District Three AAA Softball Playoffs at Heishman Field in Newville Tuesday.

Romano, the designated hitter for the Rams, drove in all three Central Dauphin runs while Averso was splendid on the mound, allowing just two hits over seven innings as the Rams advanced out of the first round with a 3-1 win over the Lady Mounts.

Romano had a two-run homerun in the fourth and an RBI single in the sixth off hard-luck losing pitcher Christi Wise, who wiffed seven and scattered five base hits. Leah Shema went 2-for-2 to set the table for Romano's RBI as Shema's courtesy runner, Kiersten Darhower, had three stolen bases and two runs scored.

Averso struck out 10 and walked just one for the Rams (18-5), who placed second in the District a year ago.

Ephrata, which closed out the season at 12-9, got its lone two hits on the day from Erica Ewing, who was subbing for the injured Keirah Hoerner, and Alyssa Harnish.

The Mounts lone run of the game came in the fifth when they cut the lead to 2-1 as pinch runner Nicole Miller crossed the plate on an error by the Rams shortstop. 

ImageCentral Dauphin senior southpaw Zach Whitman rode a devastating curve to a one-hit, 10-strikeout performance and dealt the Mountaineers (16-7) their first shutout of the season, 3-0.

My catcher (Chris Albright) kept calling (for the curve) so I have to give him credit," smiled Whitman, who outdueled Zac Schnader and is now 7-1 this year. "I felt good the whole game."

Mounts coach Adrian Shelley was impressed with Whitman. "We ran into a buzzsaw," Shelley said. "I knew he had a pretty low ERA (1.54) in a league (Mid-Penn Conference) that's very respected and competitive. He was lights out tonight."

The Rams (13-10) rode a double by Tom Healy and an RBI single by Nate Shroy to a 1-0 lead in the third.

Levi Bailey's leadoff homer to right in the fourth made it 2-0. Schnader, a senior righty who surrendered eight hits and struck out seven, allowed an unearned run in the sixth when Jim Crowley reached on an error and courtesy runner Tim Hook scored on an RBI single by Mike Hartz.

The 3-0 lead proved to be more than enough for Whitman, whose no-hit effort was spoiled by Derek Sipe's third-inning single."

He carried us, he put us on his back," Rams coach B.J. Osevala said of Whitman, who owns two one-hitters and a two-hitter this season.

Shelley agreed. "(Whitman) commanded the game," he said. "We were overmatched."

ImageThe Ephrata Track team completed a successful season competing in the District Meet held at Shippensburg University.

Sophomore Brynn Lyons was th highest finishing Mount as she went 16 feet 7.75 inches in the long jump to claim a seventh place finish. Lyons also finished 18th in the 400 with a time of 1:01.06.

Taylor Fletcher finished 4th in her heat in the 100 meter hurdles, with a time of 17.13, but her time was not low enough to advance to the next heat.

The Ephrata girls 4x800 relay team claimed 10th place at the meet. 

CJ Wilson finished third in his heat with a time of 11.45 in the 100 meter dash, but finished 8th in his second run of the day with a time of 11.54. Wilson also competed in the high jump, but was unable to clear the 6-0 mark set at the start of Districts.

Dan Szabo finished 13th in the Javelin with a throw of 157 feet 5 inches. 

ImageAll season long, Manheim Township believed it was the best baseball team in the Lancaster-Lebanon League.

Now the Blue Streaks have the hardware to prove it.

Sean Rigney spun a five-hitter and Chris Hartl went four-for-four at the plate with two RBIs to lead Township past Ephrata, 6-3, in the L-L title game Thursday night at Ephrata's War Memorial Field.

The league championship marks the first for the Streaks (20-2) since 1980, when Township defeated Lampeter-Strasburg 2-1. The Streaks had played in four L-L championship games since but had gone winless in each, including an 11-7 loss to Hempfield in their most recent appearance in 1997.

"We were always very close," said Rigney, a senior left-hander who improved to 9-1 on the season and avenged his only loss, a 2-1 defeat at Ephrata (15-6) in an L-L Sections One-Two crossover game on April 24.

En route to outdueling Mountaineers right-hander Derek Sipe, Rigney threw 110 pitches, 66 for strikes, while striking out six and walking two. He also singled in two runs in the fourth to highlight a decisive four-run rally, and doubled in the sixth.

"We always had the talent but we never put it together," Rigney said of the Streaks' unrealized title hopes in recent seasons. "From the first practice this season, we had confidence in this team. We knew we had what it took. We felt we had the most talent and the best team, and we put it together."

The victory not only ended Township's 26-year L-L title drought, it also gives the Section One champion Streaks a first-round bye in the District Three Class AAAA playoffs that begin Monday.

For Bill Sassaman, the league championship marks the first in his 14 seasons as Township head coach.

"You get into high school coaching for the kids, not for awards," Sassaman said as he held the coveted trophy. "But every coach wants to experience one moment of winning a league championship."

ImageSchnader, Mounts grind out win over Hempfield

 In the most recent string of overused sports cliches, "blue collar" and "worker's mentality" are at the top of the list, especially when the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers are in the conversation.

It isn't a cliche when it comes to Ephrata pitcher Zac Schnader, though.

Hard hat and all.

"It all started with that helmet,'' Schnader said Tuesday night. "The trainer wanted me to wear it, so I decided to try it out and threw with it in the bullpen. It was OK, but I didn't have it. Then I took it off and I got back to what I do."

In Schnader's second start since returning from a concussion, he donned a hard hat, even though cleared of any restrictions, for the first four innings before shedding it and throwing three game-ending shutout innings.

Tuesday night, Schnader worked his way through a 128-pitch complete game, scattering 10 hits and four runs, while his teammates did the rest. Center fielder Steve Tretter's two-run single highlighted a four-run second inning as the Mounts knocked off Hempfield, 6-4, in the L-L League semifinals at Ephrata's War Memorial Field.

Section Two champion Ephrata advances to the L-L League championship game to face Manheim Township at 7 p.m. Thursday at Ephrata.

Ephrata's Zac Schnader goes to work against Hempfield in Tuesday night's early game at Ephrata. Schnader went the route for the victorious Mountaineers, striking out five and walking four.
© Deb Grove — Intelligencer Journal

Schnader was the winner in the Mounts' section title game against Conestoga Valley, but was advised to wear a hard helmet for Tuesday's start by a concussion specialist.

ImageThe Ephrata Mounts boys volleyball team found themselves in a tough pool at Penn Manor Tuesday night. Unfortunately for the Mounts, it was a pool they couldn't get out of as they were eliminated from the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs.

Hempfield defeated Ephrata 25-14, 25-16, and 25-21 to start the pool play. Ephrata then faced current #1 team in the state Lancaster Mennonite who put the Mounts down 25-6, 25-12 and 25-17.

In the third round of pool play the Mounts dropped their match to Penn Manor 25-17, 25-23 and 25-11.

The 0-3 record in pool play eliminated the Mounts from the tournament.

Congratulations to all the members of the team for qualifying for the League Tournament. 

ImageEphrata advanced to the L-L semi-finals, which are scheduled to be played this Tuesday at the War Memorial in Ephrata.

Conestoga Valley (15-6) and Manheim Township (18-2) play in the second game at 7:30 p.m., preceded by Hempfield (11-8) and Ephrata (15-5), scheduled for 5:30.

Ephrata (15-5) benefited from a five-run outburst, in the second inning, to stop Annville-Cleona 5-0.

The Mountaineers' Derek Sipe had an efficient outing, throwing just 57 pitches in six innings before exhausting his legal allotment for the week (he had thrown eight innings Monday).

Sipe scattered three hits, struck out one and walked nobody as Annville-Cleona (14-6) hit just one ball out of the infield.


"I'm not usually this efficient," he said. "They were just putting the ball in play and my defense was making the plays behind me."

The Mounts, who have now won 13 of their last 14, reached A-C ace Nolan Hostetter in a second-inning bat-around plus one.

Alan Kliewer plated the first run with a bases-loaded pop-up to short left. Alex Weaver, hitting last in the lineup, delivered the key blow, doubling off the fence in left to drive in two runs.

"You never know in the playoffs who is going to be the hero at the plate," said Mounts coach Adrian Shelley. "Today it was [Weaver] in the nine-hole."

Sipe smoked a two-run single through third baseman Andrew Tilley's legs to cap the outburst, and carried his lead home.

ImageBrynn Lyons captured gold at the recent L-L League Championships held at Hempfield High School. Lyons went 16-9 in the long jump to capture 1st place.

Lyons also finished in 5th place in the 400 Meter Dash.

Ephrata's Relay Team of Lyons, Dana Haas, Alicia Harbold and Samantha Fink finished in second place in the 3200.

 On the boys' side C.J. Wilson earned third place in the 100 yard dash, and 5th place in the High Jump.

Devon Williams also earned an individual medal securing 5th place in the Discus.

Ephrata's 400 Meter Relay team (Burkholder, stauffer, Yarbrough, Wilson) also finished 4th.

The Mounts will now turn their attention to the District Meet which starts Friday evening at Shippensburg University

ImageReid Martin provided the power, Zac Schnader the pitching, and the combination proved potent enough Wednesday to give Ephrata its third L-L League Section Two baseball title in four years.

"This has been our goal, and it's great to achieve it," said Martin, who stroked a single to left field in the bottom of the seventh inning to rally the Mountaineers past Conestoga Valley, 3-2, in the section championship played at Manheim Township.

"We're a clutch team, we've been like that all year," said Schnader, who hurled a five-hitter in his first mound appearance since suffering a severe concussion two weeks ago.

The dramatic victory was the ninth one-run win this season for the Mounts (13-4 in the L-L) and sends them into Saturday's opening round of league playoffs opposite Section Four runner-up Annville-Cleona (11-5).


The Buckskins (12-5) will face Section Four champ Pequea Valley (12-4). Starting times for Saturday's quarterfinals at Ephrata's War Memorial Field are expected to be announced today.

Ryan Crowther got the Mounts going in the seventh when he was hit by a pitch from Bucks reliever Joe Wengerd with one out.

Steve Tretter followed by driving an 0-1 delivery to right center for a double. Trying to score from first, Crowther was tagged out at home by catcher Greg Dissinger in the second of two outstanding defensive plays by the Bucks.

ImageIn a game where lateral passes came to die, Section One runner-up Hempfield and Section Two runner-up Ephrata exchanged offensive firepower for the entire game, but the scoring chances were the difference maker.

 "We missed a few opportunities that we should have had, but I think they missed more than we did. That could have been an 8-6 contest," Hempfield coach Keith Nagley said. "We just found a way to come up with big stops when we needed them and score goals at the right time."

Hempfield capitalized on the majority of its early scoring opportunities thanks to the success of its forwards getting under the Ephrata defense on balls from the midfield.

"We made an adjustment coming into the game with which side we wanted to attack and how we wanted to play. We wanted to get the ball to the weak side and get it in there when it was open," Nagley said.

With that method in mind, Hempfield rattled off first-half goals from Caitlin Moore and two virtually identical scores from Amy Wengrenovich and Marina Pappas in the 19th and 23rd minute, giving it a 3-1 lead at the break.

The Knights struck first in the second half on Greenawalt's tally for a three-goal lead, but Ephrata managed to keep attacking.

The Mountaineers broke through with 17:00 to go on Aly Goodman's second goal, and again with a point-blank shot by Melissa Speros to cut the lead to 4-3.

Ephrata kept plugging and with just over a minute remaining, Arielle Gordon couldn't convert on a breakaway shot, as Hempfield managed to hold it.

"It turned out to be a nailbiter, but it shouldn't have been. They needed to pop one in and just couldn't get it done. Phew, I don't need anymore like that. It'll give me ulcers," Nagley said. 

ImageChristine Wise (11-6) scattered 8 hits allowing the Mounts to hold of the Bears in Elizabethtown Monday night 4-3.

The Bears struck first in this one pushing a run across in the bottom of the third on a suicide squeeze.

The Mounts came right back in the top of the fourth scoring three runs. Keirah Hoerner (.483 BA) scored first on a Jen Keith ground out, and Jolyn Stauffer followed with an RBI single in the inning, Nicole Miller then courtesy ran for her, promptly stole second, the stole third and advanced home as the throw from the catcher skipped into the outfield. The Mounts collected three hits in the inning and took the lead 3-1.

The score remained there until the fifth inning when the Bears leadoff batter Bigler tripled and was plated on an Ahern single.

Again the Mounts came right back in the sixth loading the bases before Erica Ewing reached on a fielding error which plated Caitlin Mull who had singled earlier in the inning and the Mounts stretched the lead back to two, 4-2.

The Bears went 1-2-3 in the sixth, as did the Mounts in the seventh.

Then things got interesting for the Mounts. In the bottom of the seventh Hipple reached on a fielding error, and was replaced by Heisey as a courtesy runner. The Bears Libby struck out on a wild pitch allowing Heisey to move to second, she then stole third with Bigler up again.

Again Bigler blasted a shot, this time to deep right field, scoring Heisey, but Mull tracked down the ball fired to Audrey Thorp who relayed it to Stauffer to nail Bigler at the plate and keep the lead at 4-3.

The Bears followed with another single, but the momentum had long since shifted to the Mounts and Wise induced Klim into a comebacker to end the game.

ImageWinner earns Section crown, date with Annville-Cleona and an automatic District spot

Ephrata rallied back several times Monday evening before putting Elizabethtown away, earning a hard fought 9-8 victory. The Mounts put a run across in the seventh to tie it and won the game in the eighth on an error by the Bear's secondbasemen. The win kept the Mounts (12-4) tied with Conestoga Valley (12-4) at the top of Section 2.

The Mounts will meet the Buckskins Wednesday afternoon at 4:15 to determine the Section Champ, the game will be played at Manheim Township. The teams split during the regular season, and both have assured themselves a spot in the League playoffs. The loser of the game will play Section 4 Champ Pequea Valley (12-4) on Saturday at Ephrata, the winner gets Annville-Cleona (11-5).

The other playoff matches on Saturday at Ephrata include Manheim Township (14-2) vs Donegal (11-5), and Northern Lebanon (12-4) vs Hempfield (8-8). 

ImageThe Ephrata Mounts Girls Soccer Team needed overtime to get past a pesky Elco team (9-7-1) on Saturday afternoon. Melissa Speros scored the winning goal on Saturday at 82:30, propelling the Mounts to a Quarterfinal date with Section One runner-up Hempfield (13-3-1).

The Mounts started the scoring in the first half 23 minutes into the contest Emily Beamesderfer slid one past Jacklyn Smith (6 saves) to give the Mounts an early 1-0 lead.

That lead looked like it might be enough to win until Ashley Gardener scored at the 75 minute mark, knotting the game at 1-1, a score that would hold until the end of regulation. 

Once in overtime, Speros wasted little time scoring the final goal of the game. Becca Cetkowski turned away 10 Elco shots enroute to the victory.

The Mounts (12-4-1) play Hempfield on Tuesday at 7:30 at Conestoga Valley . Their game follows the 5:30 game of Lancaster Catholic (16-2) and Warwick (8-6-1). 

Good Luck Mounts! 

ImageThe Mounts tuned up for the League meet this past weekend participating in the Blue Streak Relays. The girls finished 8th overall, while the boys finished 11th overall.

But it was Brynn Lyons and Amber Davies that stood out as they set a meet record in the Long jump with a combined total of 31 feet 11.5 inches. For the girls, Ephrata also claimed to third place finishes in the 4 x 1600 relay and in the 4 x 800 relay. The Mounts finished 4th in the Shuttle Hurdle Relay and capped off the scoring with a 6th place finish in the High Jump.

The boys placed second in the 4 x 100 with a time of 44.2, a third place finish in the shot put with a distance of 92 feet .5 inches. They also finished fifth in the Sprint Medley Relay, and 6th in the Triple Jump.

Junior High Track News: On Friday, May 4, 2006, the Ephrata Mounts Junior High Track and Field team came up short to a tough Hempfield team. The highlight of the night was the amount of records that were broken!

It started when 8th grader Allison Hunt broke team mate Gabby Gehr's record of 13.3.  Allison shaved a tenth of a second off the previous record, lowering it to 13.2 and picked up a first place finish along the way.

Two events after, Mickey Molchany ran victorious in the mile breaking Givi Palagashvilli's 2004 record of 5:10 with a second place finish, and a new record of 5:09.  Keeping up with this "fast track" the girls 4x100 relay of Jenna Miller, Megan Bramble, Hunt, and Gehr ran to a new school record of 55.9. 

The last two records that were broken were both in the 800 meter run.  First, coming in first place, 7th grader, Kathleen Andriani ran her heart out lowering Brynn Lyons' record of a 2:38 down to 2:36.  Right after that Daniel Witwer ran a 3rd place finish with a time of a 2:21.

ImageEphrata is one of four teams trying to fill the two available spots in next week's Lancaster-Lebanon League girls' soccer playoffs Saturday at Pequea Valley High School .

Section Three runner-up Lancaster Mennonite (13-2-2) will take on Section Two third-place finisher Manheim Central (9-6-3) in the first game of a qualifier doubleheader at 2 p.m., before Section Two runner-up Ephrata (11-4-1) squares off against Section Three third-place finisher Elco (9-6-1) at 4 p.m. The Mounts did not play Elco during the regular season.

The winners of each game earn a spot in Tuesday's quarterfinals, which will be played at Hempfield and Conestoga Valley.

The winner of today's Manheim Central-Lancaster Mennonite game will face Section One champion Penn Manor (14-1-2) Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at Hempfield. The Ephrata-Elco winner earns a date with Section One runner-up Hempfield (13-3-1) Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Conestoga Valley .

Other quarterfinal games Tuesday include Section Two champion Conestoga Valley (12-3-1) vs. Section One fourth-place finisher Manheim Township (9-4-4) at 7:30 p.m. at Hempfield, and Section Three champion Lancaster Catholic (16-2) against Section One third-place finisher Warwick (8-6-1) at Conestoga Valley at 5:30 p.m.

Pequea Valley will host Thursday's semifinals (5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.) and Saturday's championship game (time to be determined).

ImageEphrata's Rory Burkholder pitched with poise and intelligence Monday afternoon amid sun-soaked surroundings in Witmer.

In the process, the junior left-hander paced the Mountaineers to an 11-6 win over Conestoga Valley and into a first-place tie with the Buckskins in the L-L League's Section Two standings.

But that's just half the story. Burkholder gained the big-game assignment only because scheduled starter Zac Schnader suffered an injury Sunday night when he was hit in the head by a line drive while pitching batting practice for his younger brother's Little League team.

"I've been waiting for an opportunity," said Burkholder, who went 6a-c innings and threw 112 pitches in his first start of the season.

"I just thought about what I had to do -- throw strikes and keep 'em guessing."

Making just his second mound appearance of the season, Burkholder owned a three-hit shutout through five innings against a Bucks offense averaging better than 10 runs per outing. By game's end, he had helped the Mounts improve to 10-3 in the L-L and 11-4 overall with three games remaining in the regular season.

ImageAccording to Leah Sipe, the heartbreaks were becoming increasingly harder to swallow.

For starters, there was that 4-3 loss to Conestoga Valley late in the Section Two season last year, during which the Mountaineers watched a 3-0 lead disintegrate in the game's final 12:00.

Then there was April 11 in windswept Witmer, when Ephrata came out on the short end of a 3-2 overtime decision to the Buckskins.

Eventually, something had to change.

"We felt this was the game to win," Ephrata's sophomore midfielder said of the Mounts' Section Two clash with CV Monday night. "We knew we would come in here (wanting to win) it. And the result was awesome. Awesome."

Not if you were wearing a CV jersey.

Using its quick-strike offense to rack up three unanswered goals after halftime, Ephrata reversed years worth of disappointment by drilling the Bucks, 4-1, at Ephrata's War Memorial Field.