The Elizabethtown Area High School softball team has a strange season thus far. Despite falling to opponents like Wilson and Manheim Township, the Lady Bears have also knocked off traditionally solid teams like Solanco and Mechanicsburg. They powered up during their recent slate of games though, putting their current winning streak to four games.
The team hosted Penn Manor on Wednesday, April 10. The Comets got on the board early after sophomore Madi Trout nailed a two-out triple to bring home fellow sophomore Tori Hook. The Lady Bears were able to tie the game at 1-1 in the bottom half of the first with a run from junior Alyssa Hamilton off a wild pitch.
Elizabethtown exploded in the bottom of the second. Freshman Jessie Zimmerman led off with a double, scoring off an RBI single from junior Bri McCaulley. Junior Erin Heffleger came in on a wild pitch, and McCaulley pulled off a double steal with Hamilton to steal home. The latter finally scored off a single from sophomore Kristin Geesey, giving the Lady Bears a 5-1 lead.
Penn Manor added a run in the top of the third thanks to a single from freshman Emily Riggs that plated senior Kate Green. Elizabethtown answered in the bottom of the fourth with a sacrifice fly from junior Hayden Calaman to bring home sophomore Megan Gray.
The Comets narrowed the gap to 6-4 in the fifth off sacrifice plays from Riggs and sophomore Sophia Rineer in bases-loaded situations. However, the Lady Bears extended their lead to 9-4 thanks to a Hamilton single to score Heffleger and a Geesey single to plate Hamilton and freshman Brooke Bryan.
Geesey would later strike out the side in the top of the seventh to give Elizabethtown the victory. She went 4-for-4 at the plate with 3 RBIs and allowed 5 hits and just one earned run on the mound in addition to 4 strikeouts. Hamilton scored 3 runs and was second on the team in hits (2) with Zimmerman.
Riggs started the game at pitcher for Penn Manor, lasting through the early part of the second before being replaced by sophomore Bella Peters. The former led the team with 2 RBIs, while the latter struck out 6 batters.
Elizabethtown next hosted Hempfield on Friday, April 12. The Black Knights began the day as one of the top overall teams in both Section One of the Lancaster-Lebanon League and in Class 6A for District 3. However, both sides struggled at the plate through the first three innings, combining for just 3 hits in 20 at-bats.
Hempfield finally broke the door open in the top of the fourth when junior Skyler Constable used a pair of Lady Bears errors to come in for a run. Elizabethtown tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom frame after Gray tripled and subsequently scored on a Geesey single.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Lady Bears took the lead on a Hamilton single that plated McCaulley. The former was later brought in on another Geesey single, with Gray scoring on a Calaman single during the next at-bat. The Black Knights were unable to respond in the sixth and went empty in the seventh as well despite getting the tying run to the plate twice, leaving Elizabethtown with a stunning 4-1 upset.
Geesey once again led the way for the Lady Bears, tying for the team lead in hits with 2 and leading all players with the same number of RBIs. She allowed just 4 hits and no earned runs on the mound, striking out 4 batters as well. Gray had a game-high 2 runs, while Hamilton and Calaman notched RBIs.
Senior Cara Mahoney had 2 of Hempfield’s 4 hits. Senior Gabi Turner pitched the entire game, allowing 11 hits and 4 runs.
Lastly, the Lady Bears traveled to Cedar Crest on Monday, April 15, cruising to a 16-3 win. They got going early in the top of the first, scoring four runs thanks to RBI singles from Geesey, Calaman and senior Sadie Seaman. Elizabethtown added another run in the second on another Geesey single that plated Hamilton.
The Falcons came to life somewhat in the bottom of the third; freshman Anna Gable doubled in two runs and later scored on a single from junior Morgan Arnold, cutting the score to 5-3. Elizabethtown bumped the score to 6-3 in the fifth with a Heffleger single to bring in senior courtesy runner Lauren Hottenstein.
During the sixth, the Lady Bears exploded for five runs thanks to RBI singles from Gray, Geesey, Seaman and Zimmerman, plus a Calaman double. They repeated themselves in the seventh; after Hamilton scored on a Geesey single, Calaman nailed a triple to plate Gray and sophomore courtesy runner Chloe Garner, then came home on a Seaman home run, giving Elizabethtown a huge cushion for the eventual victory.
Calaman and Seaman each had 5 RBIs to lead all players; the former tied for the game-high in hits at 4 with Geesey, who had 3 RBIs and notched a season-best 9 strikeouts at pitcher. Hamilton reached base in all of her plate appearances, scoring 4 runs and finishing with a whopping 5 steals. Calaman, Gray and Garner had 3 runs apiece as well.
Now at 8-3 on the season, Elizabethtown was scheduled for a huge game at Warwick, currently the first-place team in Section One, on Wednesday, April 17. The Lady Bears will then host Dallastown in a non-league contest on Thursday, April 18, before another home game against McCaskey on Monday, April 22.