Following their heartbreaking loss to Garden Spot on Monday, May 7, via a walkoff home run that knocked them out of Lancaster-Lebanon League playoff contention, the Elizabethtown Area High School softball team still had three out-of-conference games left on their regular season schedule, all against District 3 playoff teams.
The Lady Bears first hosted Mechanicsburg on Wednesday, May 9, coming away with a mercy-rule shortened 12-0 shutout win in five innings. A leadoff single from sophomore Alyssa Hamilton and a follow-up RBI single from freshman Kristin Geesey kickstarted Elizabethtown’s offense in the bottom of the first. Hamilton nailed a triple in the following inning to plate two more runs, later coming home on an error. Senior Jocelyn Zook scored in the same frame on a wild pitch.
Junior Lauren Leese hit an RBI single in the third to bring in fellow junior Bethany Burton. Two sacrifice grounders from Hamilton and freshman Megan Gray scored an additional two runs. The Lady Bears broke into double digits in the fourth on an RBI triple from sophomore Hayden Calaman, a single from Burton and an inside-the-park home-run from junior Sadie Seaman.
Hamilton led the team with 3 RBIs, with Seaman right behind at 2. Both had 2 runs each alongside Burton and Leese, while Hamilton, Leese and Hayden Calaman had 2 hits.
Geesey was outstanding on the mound, holding Mechanicsburg to just one hit, which came from junior Victoria Yother. Senior Megan Williamson started for the Wildcats, lasting until Seaman’s homerun before being replaced by freshman Hailey Wagner.
Elizabethtown got an extra home game on Monday, May 14, against Manheim Central after the latter’s home field was determined to be in unplayable condition following rain from the previous day, though the Lady Bears were still treated as the away team. The game had already been moved from Thursday, May 10, also because of inclement weather.
It was scoreless through the first two innings before Zook singled, stole second and came home on an RBI single from Geesey in the top of the third. The Barons answered in the bottom half, with junior Codi Bollinger scoring on a wild pitch to tie the game at 1-1 all.
Manheim Central took the lead in the bottom of the fourth when senior Reagan Rohrer hit an single to plate fellow senior Tayler Lauver. Elizabethtown battled back, however. Sophomore Haylee Calaman nailed a triple in the top of the sixth, coming home on a sacrifice fly from her sister Hayden to tie the game at 2-2.
The Lady Bears had a chance to go up in the top of the seventh and succeeded. Leese pinch hit and got on base with a single, being replaced by senior pinch runner Grace Eckert. Zook would then hit an RBI single to give Elizabethtown a 3-2 lead.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, sophomore Lilly Wagner forced a walk to keep the game alive for the Barons. Bollinger then nailed one into deep left field for a game-winning inside-thepark home run to give Manheim Central a 4-3 win. It was the second straight Monday where the Lady Bears lost on a walkoff homer.
Zook, Geesey and Hayden Calaman all had RBIs for Elizabethtown, while Hamilton had a game-high 3 hits. Geesey did relatively well on the mound before the final homer, allowing 6 hits in total.
Bollinger’s 2 RBIs on her game-winner led all players. She and Lauver had 2 hits each to lead Manheim Central. Senior pitcher Maddie Walter had 7 strikeouts.
The team’s final regular season game began at Dallastown on Tuesday, May 15, previously moved from its original date in March because of weather. Alas, Mother Nature struck again. The contest was in the bottom of the fourth inning when lightning was spotted, causing a delay. A tornado warning shortly thereafter halted the game further and postponed it to Wednesday, May 16, the last day before district seedings are determined.
Dallastown had the initial score in the bottom of the first after Elaina Winemiller tripled and came home on a wild pitch. The Lady Bears responded with two RBI singles from the Calamans in the third to go up 2-1. Winemiller then hit a two-run inside-thepark home run in the bottom frame, but a sacrifice fly from Geesey and a wild pitch gave Elizabethtown a 4-3 lead before the delay hit.
Regardless of weather shenanigans, Elizabethtown can also look ahead to the district playoffs, which are set to begin on Tuesday, May 22.