With the Softball season over halfway, below is a check in with each of the six LebCo teams. While there is only so much space to mention a small handful of athletes from each team, there are many other players within the county who are worthy of praise for their hard work and dedication.
Power Rankings are accurate as of April 22. Most recent results may not be reflected due to lags in reporting and calculations.
Home teams are in italics.
Bolded games are wins.
* Denotes League match-up.
Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 4
Current Record: 7-4, 5-3 in Section 4
District Power Ranking: #5 – 3A (top 6 qualify)
Last Five Games:
*4/12: Annville-Cleona 16, Lancaster Mennonite 1 F/4 (Box Score / Tweet Summary)
*4/14: Northern Lebanon 10, Annville-Cleona 6 F/6 (Box Score / Tweet Summary)
*4/17: Annville-Cleona 10, Pequea Valley 6 (Box Score / Tweet Summary)
*4/19: Annville-Cleona 2, Lancaster Catholic 1 F/10 (Box Score / Game Article)
*4/21: Northern Lebanon 12, Annville- Cleona 3 (Box Score / Tweet Summary)
Update: The Dutchmen have had a solid start to their season and are currently on pace to make the District 3 2A Playoffs. Due to realignment, Annville is only in 2nd place in Section 4 thanks to the addition of Northern Lebanon, but have otherwise defeated all other league opponents. Among those victories was an instant classic, a 10-inning win over Lancaster Catholic on April 19. In that game, pitcher Meda Pulaski struck out 20 Crusaders (Read the full story). Over the course of the last 7 games, the junior Pulaski has claimed 72 victims. While dangerous on the mound, she has been dangerous at the plate as well. In those games, Pulaski has batted .458 (.536 OBP) racking up 11 RBIs and cracking 3 home runs. Sophomore Danika Setlock has also been on fire during that same stretch, batting .400 (.464 OBP), driving in 11, crossing the plate 10 times, including on a home run against Columbia. While the Section 4 title may be out of reach this year, expect this Annville-Cleona to win many more games into the postseason.
Coming Up: Annville-Cleona has one more game with Lancaster Mennonite before they begin their third trip through the Section 4 schedule. They also have Spring Grove (5A) on the schedule as a non-conference game on Saturday, April 29th.
Cedar Crest Falcons
Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 1
Current Record: 1-9 overall, 1-7 in Section 1
District Power Ranking: #21 – 6A (top 12 qualify)
Last Five Games:
*4/12: Cedar Crest 3, McCaskey 1 (Tweet Summary)
*4/14: Warwick 15, Cedar Crest 4
*4/17: Hempfield 14, Cedar Crest 0
*4/19: Penn Manor 10, Cedar Crest 0
*4/21: Warwick 16, Cedar Crest 4
Update: It has been a rebuilding year for Coach Leonardo’s Lady Falcons, but they are finding positives amid the difficulty finding wins. Among those positives has been the leadership of senior captain Laura Kneasel who has work to help her younger teammates in their development, while batting .300. One of those players responding is junior Brooke Zimmerman, who is leading the team with a .316 batting average (.409 OBP). The battery of pitcher Reese Arnold and catcher Riley Rohrer has been a positive, with the highlight coming when the junior Arnold struck out 14 on their way to beating McCaskey. If this group can continue to develop, Cedar Crest will be in a better position next year when many of the main contributors will be seniors.
Coming Up: Cedar Crest will have one more trip through the Section 1 rotation as they continue developing for the future. Before they start that journey, they will have another game against McCaskey. Next Saturday, they will also host a non-league game against Berks Catholic.
Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 3
Current Record: 5-6 overall, 4-4 in Section 3
District Power Ranking: #13 – 4A (top 10 qualify)
Last Five Games:
*4/14: ELCO 5, Octorara 0 (Tweet Summary)
*4/17: ELCO 17, Garden Spot 0 F/4
*4/19: Donegal 11, ELCO 1 F/5
4/20: Middletown 9, ELCO 2
*4/21: Octorara 4, ELCO 2
Update: The early season has been one of adversity and positivity for the Lady Raiders. During the first game of the season, senior starting catcher Emily Dietrich was sidelined with a broken hand. Sophomore Morgan Wilson has stepped up and while still learning the position has played it well. She is also batting .407 with 2 home runs and 8 RBIs through the first 9 games of the season. Another domino that fell was sophomore Abigail Hassler’s move from centerfield to shortstop where Wilson had been playing. Hassler is batting .542 with 2 home runs and 14 RBIs. As a pitcher, Hassler is also 2-1 and has 19 punch outs. The primary pitcher for ELCO is sophomore Gabby Smith, who now holds the program’s single game record for strike outs with 18 and this past Friday eclipsed the 300 strike out record for her career. At the plate, she’s batting .345 and has 11 RBIs. While the team is sophomore heavy, Coach Phillips has also relied upon freshmen Chloe Shirk and Kenzie Deeks, as they are playing like solid veterans. This ELCO team is playing well and is trending in the right direction. If its roster full of young talent can continue to develop and find consistency, there is a good chance that they could make it into the District 3 Playoffs.
Coming Up: With 9 games remaining, ELCO will look forward to moving back through the Section 3 rotation with some favorable match-ups on the schedule, along with a chance for revenge in others. They are also slated to play two non-league games; one against Wyomissing and the other against Tuplehocken.
Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 2
Current Record: 0-11 overall, 0-8 Section 2
District Power Ranking: #23 – 6A (top 12 qualify)
Last Five Games:
*4/12: Lampeter Strasburg 19, Lebanon 0 F/4 (Box Score / Tweet Summary)
*4/14: Solanco 16, Lebanon 0 F/2 (Box Score)
*4/17: Ephrata 17, Lebanon 1 F/4 (Box Score / Tweet Summary)
*4/19: Conestoga Valley 14, Lebanon 3 F/5 (Box Score)
*4/21: Solanco 20, Lebanon 4 F/4 (Box Score / Tweet Summary)
Update: When looking at the final scores, it may be tough to recognize that the Cedars are improving over past seasons. Coach Roth’s major initiative has been introducing softball to Lebanon students at an earlier age. This is beginning to show some results with the recruitment of many freshmen to the team. They are still learning the game, yet have already reached the team hit total from last season. One of the reasons for the number of hits has been the play of senior Eve Fenstermaker who is batting .316 (.409 OBP) and has been a solid role model and leader for her younger teammates. Sophomore Jenna Seyfert is sporting a team leading .350 batting average and has driven in 5 runs. Sophomore Serenti Zidik has been the primary pitcher for Lebanon and while still developing has struck out 37 batters. At the plate, Zidik is batting .263 with 2 doubles and a home run. As long as the Cedars remain positive and continue supporting one another, there is plenty of time for these players to develop.
Coming Up: The Cedars still have another round of Section 2 games, but also have non-league match-ups against Hanover and Milton Hershey that may be a good measuring stick as to how far the development has taken this tenacious bunch of young ladies.
Northern Lebanon Vikings
Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 4
Current Record: 9-1 overall, 8-0 Section 4
District Power Ranking: #5 – 4A (top 10 qualify)
Last Five Games:
*4/12: Northern Lebanon 8, Pequea Valley 3 (Box Score / Tweet Summary)
*4/14: Northern Lebanon 13, Annville-Cleona 3 F/6 (Box Score / Tweet Summary)
*4/17: Northern Lebanon 1, Columbia 0 (forfeit)
*4/19: Northern Lebanon 21, Lancaster Mennonite 1 F/3 (Box Score / Tweet Summary)
*4/21: Northern Lebanon 12, Annville- Cleona 3 (Box Score / Tweet Sumary)
Update: Entering the season as the reigning Section 3 Champion, the Lady Vikings have shown that they have not missed a beat as realignment has put them into Section 4. Since an opening day loss to Manheim Township, Northern Lebanon has outscored opponents through Friday 94-18 in 8 games. Simply put, they have been an offensive juggernaut, while pitching and defense has not allowed their opponents in many games. The first thing worth mentioning is that Northern Lebanon has three pitchers who are all reliable: Lynsie Mauser, sophomore – 1.05 ERA, 20 IP, 41 Ks; Addison Hollenbach, freshman – 1.07 ERA, 19.2 IP, 43 Ks; Hope Ritchie, senior – 2.62 ERA, 5.1 IP, 8 Ks. On offense, it is Mauser who is leading the explosiveness, as she is batting .652 (.742 OBP) with 18 RBIs, 12 runs, and 2 steals. Hollenbach is batting .582 (.687 OBP) with 11 RBIs, 15 runs, and 2 steals. While there are several other dangerous non-pitching batters on the team, junior Brooke Beamesderfer has been among the most dynamic of all players in the Lancaster Lebanon League. Over the eight game win streak (not counting the forfeit), Beamesderfer is batting .583 (.687 OBP), 14 RBIs, 15 runs, and has stolen 5 bases. Northern Lebanon is well positioned to make a deep run in the playoffs.
Coming Up: Northern Lebanon will work through the third time through the Section 4 schedule. They will want to be careful playing against teams like Annville-Cleona and Lancaster Catholic a third time, but have the talent to run the table.
Bonus: On Saturday, Northern Lebanon played at the Big Spring Tournament. While it ended early due to the storms, they did play two games, resulting in a win and a loss.
4/22: Northern Lebanon 8, State College 7 Tweet Summary
4/22: Shippensburg 5, Northern Lebanon 2 Tweet Summary
Mid-Penn Conference – Keystone Division
Current Record: 8-3 overall, 6-1 in Keystone
District Power Ranking: #9 – 5A (top 16 qualify)
Last Five Games:
*4/12: Palmyra 10, CD East 1 (Game Details)
*4/14: Palmyra 4, Gettysburg 0 F/8 (Box Score / Game Summary)
4/17: Exeter Township 8, Palmyra 2 (Box Score / Tweet Summary)
*4/18: Mechanicsburg 3, Palmyra 2 (Box Score / Tweet Summary)
*4/20: Palmyra 3, Hershey 1 (Box Score / Tweet Summary)
Update: The Lady Cougars have become one of the toughest teams in the Keystone Conference, as they have found solid team play led by many on their seniors. On the mound, Mollie White has been nothing short of outstanding. She has befuddled batters with tremendous control, striking out 154 victims and has registered three shut outs. At the plate, she has shown shades of Ohtani, hitting two home runs with a batting average over .400. Fellow senior and recent PSU-Harrisburg commit Emily Cutman has done an excellent job catching White, but has also been an offensive powerhouse for Palmyra. Over the past 9 games, Cutman is batting .571 (.667 OBP) with 16 hits, 7 doubles, 9 RBIs, 9 runs, and 9 steals. Another senior showing her skills is third baseman Nitya Patel, who has been as valuable defensively as any of her teammates have been with a bat. Coach Hertzog’s team has also benefitted from the strong play of freshmen Kate Shenk and Vivian Jacoby. The goal of her team is to “do the little things well as a team so we can play as long as possible this season together.” At this point, they are showing that they may be able to play together for a long time after the regular season ends.
Coming Up: Palmyra will continue its march through the Keystone schedule and on their calendar will be circling the rematch with Mechanicsburg that is scheduled to take place on May 10th.
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