CUMBERLAND — While going undefeated in the Cumberland City League is usually hard enough in itself, the way Fort Hill rolled through the competition is what is most impressive about the Sentinels march to a conference championship.
Behind the leadership of of four standout players and a strong supporting cast Fort Hill almost made it through the City schedule without allowing a run. Limited to three games because of weather, the Sentinels still outscored Allegany and Bishop Walsh by a combined score of 26-1, topping the Campers twice and Spartans once.
Adding another slice of uniqueness to Fort Hill’s situations is the fact that those four standouts were all juniors. Sierra Minnick, Alexis Kimmel, Sarah Lowery and Shania James not only lead the way on the 2013 Times-News All-City Team, but are set up to do so again in 2014.
Allegany’s (2-2 City) selections are seniors Courtney Landis and Chantel Collette, and junior Ashleigh Eisentrout.
Senior Alyssa Cotton and freshman Caroline Snyder were the Bishop Walsh (0-3) representatives
Kimmel and Collette are the only repeat players on the first-team.
A pitcher for the Sentinels, Minnick won all three City games for her team this year and did plenty at the plate to help herself out. Not that she needed a whole lot of help after striking out 18 and allowing no earned runs in the three trips to the mound.
She was just as imposing at the dish, reaching base in half of her plate appearances and posting a batting average of .375.
She entered in the second inning in the City opener against Allegany and not only got out of a jam, but allowed only two more hits in the Sentinels’ 9-1 win. She then tossed a one-hit shutout to secure the City title in a 13-0 win over Bishop Walsh.
Allegany’s senior infielder proved herself to be one of the City’s top hitters by collecting six hits in seven at bats for an .857 batting average. Her six hits consisted of three doubles, two singles and one triple.
All six of her hits and her RBIs came during a doubleheader against the Spartans in early May.
She drove in three runs and scored four others despite missing some of the Campers’ early conference games. She also stole a team-high three bases.
Along with Lowery, Landis was also on this year’s Times-News All-City Girls Basketball team.
Another standout junior for Fort Hill, Kimmel made no errors while anchoring the Sentinel defense from her position at short stop. She had a total of 12 putouts against Allegany and Bishop Walsh.
She helped stop Allegany from building an early lead on the Sentinels with her play at shortstop.
She was able to frustrate opposing pitchers with her .444 on-base percentage and two stolen bases.
Despite missing time early on for Allegany, the senior infielder returned to put up a .667 batting average by collecting four hits in six at bats.
She hit two doubles and added two singles to drive in two runs while scoring three more.
She hit a pair of doubles during Allegany’s final City game, an 11-0 win over Bishop Walsh.
Lowery provided the City with almost all of its power by hitting its only home run. She also proved she could hit for average by putting up a .571 batting average and an on-base percentage of .667.
Lowery, also a member of the All-City basketball team, had two hits and an RBI in Fort Hill’s 9-1 win over Allegany.
One of three seniors on Bishop Walsh’s squad, Cotton did a little of everything for the Spartans during her time there.
Cotton batted .333 in three City games.
On the mound, she led Bishop Walsh with 30 strikeouts after getting 17 a season ago.
An All-City second-team selection as a sophomore, Eisentrout stepped up to the first team her junior year after posting a .400 batting average.
She finished with four hits, all singles, in 10 at bats and had one RBI to go with one run scored.
The Allegany catcher had two singles during her team’s final City game, an 11-0 win over Bishop Walsh.
Snyder didn’t wait to get used to producing in the City as the freshman wound up leading her Spartans in hitting over their three games.
Snyder had three singles in six at bats against Fort Hill and Allegany to finish at .500.
James proved to be one of the City’s most dependable hitters by leading the conference in runs batted in with five.
She doubled, and drove in one RBI on a bases-loaded walk in Fort Hill’s opener, and added two singles when the Sentinels clinched the league with a 13-0 win over the Spartans.
Besides driving in five runs, James also had a .300 batting average and an OBP of .364.
Fort Hill’s selections to the second-team are Michale Garrison, Morgan Cranford, Cheyane Rice and Emma Bauer.
Allegany placed Tori Bohrer, Talia Logsdon and Brooke Dougherty.
Bishop Walsh’s selections are Maggie Mathews and Nicole Ross.
Chris Appel is a sportswriter for the Times-News. Contact him at email@example.com.