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Northern Lebanon softball 018BY JEFF FALK

FREDERICKSBURG – The Northern Lebanon softball team has come so, so far, but it’s not quite there yet. Not only is the road long, the bar is high.

On a cloudy Friday afternoon, the picture of the Vikings’ development became much clearer, during a 4-0 setback to mighty Donegal. With their attention to detail at a much higher level than the home side’s, the Indians scored four times in the first four frames and really never allowed the Northern Lebanon offense to get going.

Before their meeting with the reigning PIAA Class AAAAA champions, the Vikings had won ten of their last 11 to push themselves into the Lancaster-Lebanon Section Three race. The loss knocked Northern Lebanon down to 11-5 overall, 10-5 in the section and out of contention for an L-L playoff berth.

Northern Lebanon softball 044But situated sixth in the latest Class AAAA power rankings, the Vikings are still very much in line for a District Three postseason berth.

Donegal, which had thrashed Northern Lebanon 18-7 in Mount Joy back on April 9th, improved to 17-1 on the spring and 14-0 in Section Three.

“We try not to get ahead of ourselves,” said Northern Lebano head coach Ed Spittle. “We try to play the team we’re playing today. This was going to be one of those measuring sticks. We’ve come a long way since we played them the first time. I’m pretty much happy.

Northern Lebanon softball 012“I thought it was a decent outing,” continued Spittle. “They’re (the Indians) state champs for a reason. The fact that we won ten out of 11 tells a story. We could’ve played a 1-0 game today very easily. There were some little things, and they capitalize on that type of stuff. That’s why they’re Donegal.”

Donegal pushed across runs in three of its first four at-bats, and in all four of those at-bats, the Indians’ lead-off hitter reached base.

Donegal’s Savanna Kolenda led off the game with a double against Northern Lebanon starter Mel Showers. Then with two outs, Indian teammate Sierra Neiss plated her with a single to make it 1-0.

The Indians’ top of the second inning started with a walk to Steph Reider and a sacrifice from Madeline Gohn. Again with two outs Donegal scored, this time on a Northern Lebanon error.

“I couldn’t ask more out of these kids,” said Spittle. “We’re battling. When we go into districts, it’s going to benefit us. We’re going to see some good pitching in the playoffs.

Northern Lebanon softball 038“We’re a little young,” Spittle continued. “We’re not a rah-rah group. But they’ve (his players) learned to talk when it’s close. Did we lose a little tail? We might have. But at the end we were extending.”

Donegal right-hander Neiss had the Vikings off-balance most of the game. She retired the first eight Northern Lebanon batters she faced, before nine-hole hitter Lindsay McFeaters ripped a two-out triple down the right-field line in the bottom of the third.

Neiss finished with 13 punch-outs and one walk. She retired the Vikings in order on four separate ocassions.

The only other hit Neiss surrendered was a one-out single to McFeaters in the bottom of the sixth, when the Vikings loaded the bases on a subsequent hit-by-pitch from Taylor Douple and a walk to Hannah Bashore. It was Northern Lebanon’s most serious threat of the evening.

“She did throw hard,” said Spittle of Neiss. “Her rise-ball really jumped. She threw reall well. If you can shut us down like that, you know you’ve pitched well. But I thought at the end of the game we were putting more pressure on them than they were on us.

Northern Lebanon softball 033“I feel real good,” added Spittle. “We’re a four-A school. They’re state champs in five-A. We’ve played some really good teams this season. That helps you. When you play better teams it can help you get better.”

Showers was very effective in her own right.

She scattered ten hits, struck out two and walked two. Only two of the runs she yielded were earned.

“I thought she threw well,” said Spittle of Showers. “With an error and a missed call, it could’ve been a one-run game. They (the Indians) got some timley hits.

“They (the last 11 opponents) were teams we were going to be competitive with,” added Spittle. “We took care of business. But we played too many games in too many days. I thought it caught up with us.”

Northern Lebanon softball 040Donegal doubled its lead to 4-0 in the top of the fourth inning, thanks in part to Jessica Kosheba’s two-run single. The table had been set by a Reider single, a Viking error and a stolen base.

“We told the girls, ‘If you want to get better, this is what you’ve got to do,'” said Spittle. “They bought in. We made ourselves a very good defensive ball club. Who does the credit go to? It goes to the kids. But sometimes you need to be pushed to get better.”

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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2018 Northern Lebanon Softballl Results

Date Opponents Outcomes
3/29
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Hamburg
4/06
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Cocalico
6
2
4/09
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Donegal
7
18
4/11
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lampeter-Strasburg
3
9
4/12
4:15 pm
Manheim Central
at Northern Lebanon
6
0
4/17
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Annville-Cleona
11
0
4/18
4:15 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Northern Lebanon
1
8
4/20
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
Pequea Valley
at Paradise Park
1
2
4/21
4:15 pm
Conrad Weiser
at Northern Lebanon
0
10
4/23
4:15 pm
Columbia
at Northern Lebanon
0
10
4/24
4:15 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon
0
12
4/26
7:30 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Manheim Central
5
1
4/30
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
Elco
at Newmanstown Softball Field
12
0
5/01
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lancaster Catholic
7
4
5/02
4:15 pm
Cocalico
at Northern Lebanon
0
6
5/03
4:15 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Northern Lebanon
1
16
5/04
4:15 pm
Donegal
at Northern Lebanon
5/07
4:15 pm
Lampeter-Strasburg
at Northern Lebanon
5/08
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Northern Lebanon
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PIAA District Three

 Class AAAA Power Rankings

 

AAAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 East Pennsboro 14- 0- 0  0.745940  1.000000  0.435422  14.6  108.1  0.0  140.1
2 Kennard Dale 13- 0- 0  0.741822  1.000000  0.426270  13.2  94.0  0.0  126.5
3 Bishop McDevitt 14- 2- 0  0.711585  0.899408  0.482023  15.2  125.4  1.7  134.7
4 West Perry 15- 3- 0  0.682843  0.846369  0.482978  15.2  136.9  2.8  146.6
5 James Buchanan 10- 4- 0  0.659981  0.765517  0.530992  11.1  141.4  3.4  124.9
6 Northern Lebanon 11- 4- 0  0.645582  0.757576  0.508700  11.3  155.0  3.6  149.7
7 Eastern York 10- 4- 0  0.631911  0.732394  0.509098  10.4  125.9  3.8  121.4
8 York Suburban 7- 4- 0  0.578401  0.641256  0.501578  7.2  111.3  4.0  110.6
9 Hamburg 9- 7- 0  0.559947  0.599379  0.511753  9.7  161.1  6.5  153.7
10 West York 7- 9- 0  0.530314  0.509615  0.555612  8.0  165.4  7.7  132.3
11 Fleetwood 7- 7- 0  0.523523  0.546429  0.495527  7.7  133.0  6.4  135.4
12 Littlestown 6- 9- 0  0.482477  0.426117  0.551362  6.2  160.0  8.4  130.2
13 Schuylkill Valley 8- 10- 0  0.454218  0.448649  0.461024  8.3  131.0  10.2  153.2
14 Susquehanna Township 3- 8- 0  0.448125  0.330144  0.592323  3.5  159.0  7.0  109.4
15 Berks Catholic 6- 10- 0  0.409054  0.391304  0.430749  6.3  113.1  9.8  149.4
16 Lancaster Catholic 5- 10- 0  0.408409  0.318996  0.517692  4.5  150.7  9.5  140.4
17 Wyomissing 5- 11- 0  0.394384  0.293939  0.517150  4.9  146.3  11.7  136.6
18 Eastern Lebanon County 3- 12- 0  0.356264  0.200000  0.547252  2.8  168.8  11.0  139.7
19 Bermudian Springs 3- 15- 0  0.332716  0.184066  0.514400  3.4  142.0  14.9  134.1
20 Boiling Springs 0- 10- 0  0.290195  0.000000  0.644877  0.0  142.6  8.6  78.5

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Northern Lebanon softball 019  Lancaster-Lebanon League

 Section Three Standings

League Overall
  W L PCT W L PCT RS RA
Donegal 14 0 100.00 17 1 100.00 198 17
Lampeter-Strasburg 13 1 92.86 13 2 86.67 207 21
Northern Lebanon 10 5 66.67 11 5 68.75 114 48
Manheim Central 10 5 66.67 12 6 66.67 141 51
Cocalico 5 9 35.71 7 9 43.75 86 104
Elco 2 11 15.38 3 13 18.75 60 135

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