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Cedar Crest softball 030BY JEFF FALK

SOUTH LEBANON – Yesterday, an already trying season for the Cedar Crest softball team became even more difficult. It may be that the Falcons must first hit rock bottom in order for things to turn the other way.

On a breezy Thursday evening at Cedar Crest Middle School, Cedar Crest suffered its toughest setback to date, a 23-7 Lancaster-Lebanon Section One loss to McCaskey. What made the outcome so hard for the Falcons to swallow was how it happened and why it happened.

Cedar Crest softball 029Cedar Crest led 5-0 through five innings of play, before the wheels came off in the sixth and seventh innings. McCaskey rallied for six runs in the top of the sixth inning against CC starter Madison Sherrid, then after Sherrid got hurt, the Red Tornado tallied a deflating 17 runs in the top of the seventh against Sherrid’s relief, and with a lot of help from the Falcons in general.

Cedar Crest’s early lead was its first of the season, and had the Falcons considering the possibility of their initial victory of the spring.

But as it was, the result left Cedar Crest, now 0-5 on the year and 0-5 in Section One, win-less. While the 23 runs were the most the Falcons had surrendered this season, they have allowed at least ten in every outing so far.

The triumph was the first of the season for McCaskey, which moved to 1-6 overall and 1-4 in the circuit. The contest was the Red Tornado’s seventh outing in the last eight days.

“My message was just to keep their heads up,” said Cedar Crest rookie head coach Jill Houtz of the post-game speech to her troops. “We had an unlucky situation and we had to go with it. We’re all frustrated with how things were going. We’re ready to get some wins.

Cedar Crest softball 039“Winning is important, but we’re a young team,” continued Houtz. “But now it’s about experience and growing with each game.”

Down five runs, McCaskey scored six times on six hits in the top of the sixth to take the lead. The Red Tornado sent ten batters to the dish and benefitted from two Cedar Crest errors.

But the top of the seventh was even harder for the Falcon faithful to digest.

McCaskey’s first 15 hitters against a tandem of Cedar Crest relievers reached base, and all 15 scored. The Red Tornado needed just three hits to score their 17 runs.

In the frame, the Falcons were guilty of hitting eight Red Tornado batters, issued seven free passes and committed two errors. There were also a handful of wild pitches/passed balls.

“Our pitcher got injured and we needed to throw in some back-up pitchers,” said Houtz. “It was looking good. But you can’t control when someone gets hurt. You’ve got to roll with the punches.”

What also made it disheartening was how well the Falcons played over the first five innings.

Cedar Crest assumed a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning.

The key blow was a two-run single struck by Sherrid, while teammate Camryn Putt also collected an RBI. The rally began with an Amber LaGrelius walk, a Maddie Casey single and a Desiree Leffler sacrifice.

“We were playing well,” said Houtz. “This was our best game out there. We were confident.

Cedar Crest softball 056“Our girls were finally communicating and knowing where to go with the ball,” added Houtz. “We were confident at the bat.”

The Falcons tacked two runs on to their lead in the bottom of the third.

It began with a single by Jaelyn Swisher, a sacrfice from LaGrelius and a walk to Casey. It ended with Leffler being hit by a pitch and with Putt’s two-run single.

“Compared to our first game, we’ve grown leaps and bounds,” said Houtz. “We’re more mentally able to know what to do when we get the ball. We’re much more confident too.

“I’d say the most important things are communicating and getting confidence,” Houtz continued. “They (her players) need more games.”

Before being tagged in the sixth, Sherrid had struck out four, walked one and surrendered a pair of safeties.

Cedar Crest softball 059Cedar Crest plated their final two runs  after loading the bases in the bottom of the seventh. Morgan Arnold drove home Casey and Leffler with a single.

“As a team, the goal is to support each other,” said Houtz. “I want to see improvement and for us not to be content with where we’re at. I want us to be competitive, come out here and give our best every game.”








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2018 Cedar Crest Softball Schedule

Date Opponents Results
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Warwick
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Hempfield
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Penn Manor
4:15 pm
Conestoga Valley
at Cedar Crest
4:15 pm
Manheim Township
at Cedar Crest
4:15 pm
at Cedar Crest
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon
4:15 pm
Garden Spot
at Cedar Crest
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Solanco
4:15 pm
at Cedar Crest
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Elizabethtown
4:15 pm
at Cedar Crest
9:00 am
Cedar Crest
at Annville-Cleona
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at McCaskey
4:15 pm
at Cedar Crest
4:15 pm
Penn Manor
at Cedar Crest
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Manheim Township
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Northern Lebanon
4:15 pm
Fleetwood H.S.
at Cedar Crest
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Lancaster-Lebanon League

 Section One Standings

League Overall
Penn Manor 4 1 80.00 4 1 80.00 44 4
Warwick 4 1 80.00 5 2 71.43 58 27
Hempfield 3 1 75.00 4 1 80.00 54 14
Manheim Township 1 2 33.33 1 2 33.33 17 14
McCaskey 1 4 20.00 1 5 16.67 36 82
Cedar Crest 0 4 0.00 0 4 0.00 8 64

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