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LebCo Softball Season Outlook: 2024

With the new Softball season now underway, there is much optimism about how the LebCo teams will compete this season. Annville-Cleona, ELCO, and Northern Lebanon look to build upon past successes with solid veterans returning to the line-ups. Meanwhile, Cedar Crest, Lebanon, and Palmyra are also generating a lot of excitement, as they concentrate on improving and making progress, which could result in some surprising outcomes.

Be sure to check throughout this season for updates as we work to keep tabs on all of the action.


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     Annville-Cleona Dutchmen 

Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 4

Head Coach: Amber Rexrode – 1st season

Key Returning Players: Meda Pulaski (Sr.); Ashlyn Shaak (Sr.); Danika Setlock (Jr.); Morgan Long (Jr.); Faith Wagner (Jr.); Abby Evans (So.)

Key Newcomers: Temperance Brubaker (Fr.); Peyton Elder (Fr.); Nia Hafey (Fr.); Zoe Miller (Fr.)

Key Losses: None

2023 Record: 12-8 regular season, 9-6 in Section 4 – District Qualifier

Outlook: After making Districts in 2023, the Dutchmen are back in force and looking to make a deeper postseason run. First year head coach Amber Rexrode will lead a talented squad representing Annville. The new coach’s odds of winning will be aided by senior pitcher Meda Pulaski, who was dominant on the mound last season striking out 145 batters in 110 innings pitched. Pulaski also batted .438 with 20 RBI and 4 home runs. Junior shortstop Danika Setlock will continue to provide high-level defense, but it is worth noting that she batted .400 and drove in 27 runs. Joining Setlock in the middle infield once again will be Abby Evans, now a sophomore, who burst onto the scene with a solid freshman season. With the Dutchmen returning with another year of experience, look for them to push the limits in 2024.


     Cedar Crest Falcons 

Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 1

Head Coach: Stephanie Leonardo, 4th season

Key Returning Players: Lydia McClintic (Jr.); Addison Nolen (So.); Kate Poorman (So.); Kya Sherwood (So.)

Key Newcomers: Angie Orosco (Fr.); Julia Cole (Fr.); Lana Cawley (Fr.)

2023 Record: 3-16 overall, 3-12 in Section 1

Outlook: Last season, the Falcons struggled to string together wins. The focus in 2024 will be to build a positive team culture that focuses on building fundamental skills. Coach Steph Leonardo is not concerned about the wins and losses, but rather how the team responds to adversity along the way. If they can do that, they will not only learn a valuable life lesson, but the hope is that they will enjoy the journey. After batting .293 in her freshman year,  Addison Nolen will prove to be a key piece in the Falcon lineup during her sophomore season. While this is not being labeled a rebuild, there may be some rough spots along the way as a foundation being laid for future success.


2023 Season Recap

    ELCO Raiders  

Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 3

Head Coach: Allen Phillips – 3rd season

Key Returning Players: Grace Phillips (Sr.); Karly Tice (Sr.); Abby Hassler (Jr.); Gabby Smith (Jr.); Morgan Wilson (Jr.); Kenzie Deeks (So.); Avery Garrison (So.); Emma Krall (So.); Abby Ruth (So.); Chloe Shirk (So.)

Key Newcomers: Hailie Weik (So.); Addie Weiler (So.); Peytyn Bryan (Fr.); Emma Fisher (Fr.); Makayla Noll (Fr)

Key Losses: Gracie Barshinger, Emily Dietrich, Caitlyn Kleinfelter

2023 Record: 10-10 overall, 7-8 in Section 3

Outlook: In 2023, ELCO finished 10-10 playing in a tough Section 3 of the Lancaster Lebanon League. While it was respectable, the Raiders return in 2024 hungry for more. They feature pitching depth led by juniors Gabby Smith and Abby Hassler, along with freshman Peytyn Bryan joining the mix. Smith was named All-State for her outstanding season on the mound, striking out 151, and at the plate where she batted .455. On offense, they will be led by sophomore Chloe Shirk, who batted .371 and drove in 32 runs on her way to picking up an All-State nomination. Another major offensive weapon is Morgan Wilson, the team’s MVP last season, after batting .355 all while quickly becoming the team’s catcher when the starter went down with an injury during the first game of the season. There will be some depth concerns again at the backstop position, but overall the Raiders are trending in the right direction with a large roster and new pieces, such as freshman Makayla Noll, who will provide quality playing time. With much of the core returning, look for ELCO to be in the mix when the postseason begins.


     Lebanon Cedars

Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 2

Head Coach:  Tyler Roth, 4th season

Key Returning Players: Iris Krouse (Sr.); Alexis Messner (Sr.); Ana Weaber (Sr.); Seira Wolfe (Sr.); Kambria Harbaugh (Jr.); Jenna Seyfert (Jr.); Sereniti Zidik (Jr.)

Key Newcomers: Kenidee Gilbert (So.); Tatiana Franco (Fr.);   Nina Harrison (Fr.); Emely Liriano (Fr.); Victoria Martinez (Fr.); Jay Mejia (Fr.); Rayven Soliday (Fr.); Skylar Strickler (Fr.); Makenzie Swisher (Fr.)

Key Losses: Eve Fenstermaker

2023 Record: 2-18 overall, 0-15 in Section 2

Outlook: Lebanon Softball had lost 74 straight games until the end last season when the hard work of a young group of Cedars won back-to-back games to close out the year. Coach Roth returns a group that, while still young, has some experience that has made them hungry to continue their improvement. Senior Alexis Messner and juniors Serenity Zidik and Jenna Seyfert are among the returning pieces. Zidik will be in her third season as the starting pitcher for the Cedars providing her skill on the mound while also looking to improve upon her .361 batting average. Messner and Seyfert will also loom large in Lebanon’s offense. Sophomore Kenidee Gilbert is an intriguing addition, as she will serve as the team’s backstop.

Keep in mind that it was the exception to have a freshman report on the first day of practice with prior softball experience. Despite this, the girls worked hard to overcome skill gaps to compete against much more seasoned opponents. The newly established Lebanon Youth Softball program is starting to change things in Lebanon and is beginning to impact the varsity program, providing the roster with more depth and experience.

While the Cedars may not compete for any championships just yet, their steady improvement will provide just as much excitement for anyone paying attention.


2023 LebCo All-County Softball Team

   Northern Lebanon Vikings

Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 4

Head Coach: Bob Bashore, 3rd season

Key Returning Players: Kiera Anspach (Sr.); Brooke Beamesderfer (Sr.); Bailey McFeaters (Sr.); Abby Palkovic (Sr.); Lynsie Mauser (Jr.); Olivia Shutter (Jr.); Carley Umbrell (Jr.); Addison Hollenbach (So.); Addison Kubica (So.)

Key Loss: Hope Ritchie

2023 Record: 16-6 overall, 14-1 Section 4 – Section 4 Champs / District Qualifier

Outlook: Northern Lebanon finished their 2023 campaign with 16 wins and a District 3 Playoff appearance. The good news is that they only lost one player, Hope Ritchie, to graduation. Even better news is that senior Abby Palkovic will return after battling back from a major injury. In addition, four Section 4 First Team All-Stars will be back. Among the all-star crew will be senior Brooke Beamesderfer, who finished last season with a .484 batting average,18 RBI, and 29 runs. She will be joined by junior Lynsie Mauser and sophomore Addison Hollenbach, who both lit it up on the mound and at the plate. Additionally, Addison Kubica will be one to watch as she enters her sophomore year after picking up an all-star nod in year one. Northern Lebanon’s experience and depth should undoubtedly carry them into the postseason, with a State Playoff appearance being a likely prospect.



   Palmyra Cougars

Mid-Penn Conference – Keystone Division

Head Coach: Nate Kinney, 1st season

Key Returning Players: Mia Morrison (Jr.); Kate Shenk (So.)

Key Newcomers: Riley Westenberger (Jr.); Anna Crawford (Fr.); Avery Cassel (Fr.)

Key Losses: Emily Cutman (Penn State – Harrisburg); Mollie White (West Virginia Wesleyan)

2023 Record: 11-9 overall, 8-5 in Keystone – District Qualifier

Outlook: In 2023, Palmyra won 11 games and qualified for Districts. That said, they were senior-heavy and featured Mollie White, the LebCo Pitcher of the Year, and catcher Emily Cutman, the LebCo Player of the Year. First-year head coach Nate Kinney will have to work to replace what was lost to make the Cougars competitive in 2024. He feels that he has a good foundation, beginning two heavy bats in the middle of his lineup in the form of shortstop Kate Shenk and third baseman Mia Morrison. Palmyra will also get a boost from pitcher Anna Crawford, a freshman already showing great skill. If the Cougars can overcome the lack of varsity experience, they could easily become the surprise team of the Keystone.

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