Lebanon Sports Buzz
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 BY JEFF FALK

 FREDERICKSBURG – The Northern Lebanon softball team has enjoyed a wonderful season. The Vikings have and will continue to meet or exceed almost every one of their pre-season goals.

 Now is the time for them to realize their rewards.

 On a humid Thursday afternoon at Northern Lebanon High School, the Vikings’ latest reward came in the form of a 7-3 triumph over West York, in the quarterfinal round of the District Three Class AAAA playoffs. With senior hurler Emma Kelliher sharp on the mound, Northern Lebanon snapped a two-all deadlock in the bottom of the fourth inning, then piled on some insurance tallies in its next at-bat.

 Six different Viking batters drove home runs.

 The District Three playoff victory was Northern Lebanon’s first in 12 years and snapped a six-game losing skein over those season. The second-seeded Vikings, who improved to 18-4 on the spring, will now meet the winner between third-seeded Bishop McDevitt and sixth-seeded Eastern York, in Tuesday’s semifinals, at a site and time to be determined.

 Because the top three Class AAAA finishers from District Three earn spots in the PIAA tournament, the Vikings have been assured at least two more games this season. Northern Lebanon is now 11-21 all-time in the District Three playoffs.

 The setback ended tenth-seeded West York’s year at 13-9.

 “The first goal was to make the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs,” said Viking skipper Ed Spittle. “We checked that one off our list. Now we’re checking a few other things off. We wanted to make districts for the third year in-a-row. Now we’ve won a game in districts.

 “We’re going to enjoy the ride as long as we can,” continued Spittle. “The league took notice of our kids, and they got their due. Emma (Kelliher) has been a pleasant surprise. You’re never sure what you’re going to get on the mound. It’s been a nice reward. These kids work hard. They deserve everything they get.”

 “Today was important because Northern Lebanon hasn’t won a district game in awhile,” said Northern Lebanon senior shortstop Sydney Mengel.  “For us to win this game, it’s huge. Northern Lebanon softball is not known for going this far. We’re making a name for ourselves. We’re putting ourselves out there.”

 With the game tied at two and momentum hanging in the balance, the Vikings came to bat in the bottom of the fourth inning.

 It was seven-hole hitter Lindsay McFeaters who got things rolling for Northern Lebanon, with a single. With two outs, Autumn Bohr knocked in McFeaters with a hit, to give the Vikings a lead they would never relinquish.

 In the bottom of the fifth, the Vikings scored four times to extend their lead to 7-2. Mengel’s triple ignited the fire and Hannah Bashore stoked it with a bunt single, before senior Ally Hazy, McFeaters, A. Bohr and Summer Bohr contributed RBIs to the Northern Lebanon cause.

 “I felt we were the better team,” said Spittle. “You want to play to your strengths and not give them extra outs. Then you want to add to it. We kind of put more pressure on them than they did on us. That’s what you want to do. At this time of the year, that’s the type of softball that you’ve got to play.

 “I thought we played well,” Spittle continued. “Someone said that this is the most disciplined hitting team he’s ever seen. That was a good analysis, and that’s what you saw today. We played good defense, and Emma always gives us a chance to win. We were happy to get the game in.”

 “Once they (the Bulldogs) got those two runs, everybody got it into their heads, ‘we need to pick it up,'” said Mengel. “We had to just keep hitting, and it carried over into our fielding. I thought Emma threw great. She throws great every game.”

 Not too high, not too low, Kelliher was consistent and steady throughout. She retired West York in order in the fourth and sixth frames.

 Kelliher fanned three, walked two and scattered five hits – one of which was Alexis Colon’s two-out, two-run base knock in the top of the third that tied the score.

 “She didn’t have her best stuff of the season,” said Spittle of Kelliher. “But she kept us in it. She gave us a chance to win. It’s our 22nd or 23rd time out, and she’s done it every time.

 “Our three seniors show leadership,” added Spittle. “It’s a nice mixture, but they’ve all been through it and played some ball. We don’t panic too often.”

 “We played really good,” said Mengel. “We were a little shaky at the beginning. But we finished the game the way we know how to. I think we were all kind of nervous. But it was just another game, so we had to go play like we can.”

 Despite those nerves, the Vikings jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, after A. Bohr and S. Bohr opened with a walk and a single. Taylor Douple laid down a sacrifice bunt, ahead of an RBI-single by Mengel and a sacrifice fly from Bashore.

 “If you lose today, you’re done,” said Spittle. “If you win today, you get to play Tuesday. Win one of the next two, you’re in states. Our fate is in our hands. It has been for a while. We didnt see anything today that we haven’t all season.

  “We went from the seven-seed last year to the second-seed this year, and got a home game,” Spittle added. “It was nice to see as many people here as we had. They got rewarded. We understand the game right now. We’re playing it.”

  “My job is to keep our energy up,” said Mengel. “I’ve got to make sure I can hit and move the runners. And I’ve got to make any play that comes my way.”

 

 

 

 

 

To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to https://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/photo-gallery/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019 Northern Lebanon Softball Results

 
 
Date Opponents Outcomes  
3/26
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Elco
17
6
 
3/27
4:15 pm
Octorara
at Northern Lebanon
0
13
 
3/28
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Northern Lebanon
0
10
 
3/29
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Donegal
0
7
 
4/01
4:15 pm
Manheim Central
at Northern Lebanon
1
0
 
4/03
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Cocalico
24
4
 
4/04
4:15 pm
Garden Spot
at Northern Lebanon
1
4
 
4/06
1:00 pm
Hamburg
at Northern Lebanon
1
8
 
4/08
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lancaster Mennonite
12
0
 
4/11
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Columbia
11
1
 
4/15
4:15 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Northern Lebanon
0
5
 
4/17
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lebanon Catholic
27
2
 
4/18
4:15 pm
Pequea Valley
at Northern Lebanon
0
14
 
4/22
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Annville-Cleona
13
1
 
4/24
4:15 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon
1
12
 
4/29
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Octorara
29
0
 
5/01
4:15 pm
Donegal
at Northern Lebanon
8
7
 
5/03
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Manheim Central
2
1
 
5/08
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Garden Spot
3
2
 
5/09
4:15 pm
Cocalico
at Northern Lebanon
5
9
 
5/11
11:00 am
Northern Lebanon
Lampeter-Strasburg
at Pequea Valley
2
8
 
5/23
4:30 pm
West York
at Northern Lebanon
3
7
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Lancaster-Lebanon League
 Section Four Standings
 
 
  League Overall
  W L PCT W L PCT RS RA
Donegal 18 0 100.00 20 1 95.24 201 27
Northern Lebanon 15 3 83.33 18 4 81.82 229 50
Manheim Central 14 4 77.78 15 5 75.00 155 23
Garden Spot 11 7 61.11 12 8 60.00 137 36
Octorara 6 12 33.33 7 13 35.00 83 140
Cocalico 5 13 27.78 6 14 30.00 112 134
Elco 3 14 17.65 4 14 22.22 100 141
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Northern Lebanon Chronological History

   In District Three Playoffs

 
0-1 L East Juniata 0-4 1975 3A quarterfinal
0-2 L Central Dauphin 3-2 1980 3A quarterfinal
1-2 W Greencastle-Antrim 9-2 1983 3A first round
1-3 L Shippensburg 3-9 1983 3A quarterfinal
2-3 W Palmyra 8-7 1984 3A first round
2-4 L Chambersburg 2-3 1984 3A quarterfinal
3-4 W Palmyra 7-3 1985 3A first round
3-5 L Chambersburg 1-6 1985 3A quarterfinal
4-5 W Conrad Weiser 7-6 1986 2A quarterfinal
4-6 L Kutztown 2-3 1986 2A semifinal
4-7 L Shippensburg 3-9 1987 3A first round
4-8 L Chambersburg 2-6 1988 3A first round
4-9 L East Pennsboro 10-20 1989 3A first round

4-10 L Central Dauphin 1-5 1990 3A first round
5-10 W Living Word 20-0 (3) 1997 2A first round
6-10 W Upper Dauphin 7-0 1997 2A quarterfinal
6-11 L Kutztown 2-4 1997 2A semifinal
6-12 L Fleetwood 0-4 1997 2A third place
7-12 W Halifax 11-3 1998 2A first round
8-12 W Kutztown 4-1 1998 2A quarterfinal
9-12 W Eastern York 4-3 1998 2A semifinal
9-13 L Annville-Cleona 0-2 (10) 1998 2A championship
9-14 L Boiling Springs 2-4 1999 2A first round
9-15 L Eastern York 0-2 2000 2A first round
10-15 W West York 1-0 2007 3A preliminary
10-16 L Hershey 0-4 2007 3A first round
10-17 L Northeastern 1-3 2008 3A preliminary
10-18 L Northeastern 0-6 2009 3A preliminary
10-19 L Hamburg 1-4 2010 3A preliminary
10-20 L West York 7-14 2017 4A first round
10-21 L West Perry 1-5 2018 4A quarterfinal

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