NAPLES — Kevin Giannino said he could write a book about the clutch moments Ella Moon has had with York High’s softball team.

The senior provided the Wildcats’ coach with a couple more chapters Friday afternoon.

Moon hit a game-winning home run in the eighth inning, shortly after making an outstanding defensive play, and York defeated Lake Region 5-4 in a matchup of Class B South contenders.

“It was really intense,” Moon said. “I think all the hard work we’ve been putting into this season definitely paid off. I think it’s really fun to play challenging games like this.”

The game was eerily similar to the showdown between the teams on the same field last year. In that game, Lake Region rallied to beat York 5-4 in nine innings, handing the Wildcats their first loss. This time, the Lakers again fought back after trailing 3-0 through five innings.

And like last year, one of the teams lost for the first time. Lake Region dropped to 6-1, while York improved to 9-1.


“It was deja vu all over again,” said Giannino. “We knew coming in it was going to be a good game; they’re always tough, and they’re always tough at home. But we endured.”

Trailing 4-2, Lake Region tied it in the seventh. Lyla Levesque doubled and scored on an error, and Mallory Smith scored on Laura Dutton’s sacrifice fly.

Moon’s home run put York back in front, though the Wildcats didn’t know it at the time. When her high fly to left landed beyond Lake Region’s see-through fence, there was a pause as the teams wondered if it was a home run or not.

“Was it out?” a York player asked out loud.

It was, and Moon, who finished with two RBI, could enjoy her trip around the bases.

“When I looked up, the sun was right in my face. Once I got out of the sun, I saw it drop, and I just jumped up and down,” she said. “I feel like I perform well under pressure. I knew what I needed to do.”


Kortes rolled 1-2-3 through the heart of the Lake Region order to wrap up the win. Even after the seventh, she was confident going out for the eighth.

“My thought was we’re the ones up, we need to take a deep breath,” Kortes said. “They’re the ones that have the pressure on them.”

Kortes had a no-hitter through 5 2/3 innings, and a lead that she extended to 3-0 with her fourth home run of the season in the top of the fifth. But Lake Region came to life with two out in the sixth on a single by Margo Tremblay and then a two-run homer to left by Emily Rock. The Lakers seemed to stay in business when Melissa Mayo hit a line drive to deep right, but Moon made a lunging catch on the run.

“She’s delivered so many big hits for us,” said Giannino, whose team went up 4-2 in the seventh when Ella Hickey doubled and scored on Maddie Fitzgerald’s groundout. “And if it’s not a clutch hit, it’s a spectacular catch in right field.”

Lake Region didn’t go down easily, a notion that stuck with Coach Shawn Rock afterward.

“To be down five innings and come back, tie it up, I’m impressed,” he said. “They did this last year, (in) almost every one of our games, they’d come from behind. (It’s) that mindset to not give up.”

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