BY JEFF FALK
FREDERICKSBURG – The road to success isn’t a straight highway. It’s a jagged line, complete with detours, and chocked full of bumps and potholes.
The key is to never stray too far, and to return to the beaten path as quickly as possible.
On a seasonal Thursday evening at Northern Lebanon High School, the Viking softball team got back on track and stayed on course, with a 4-1 Lancaster-Lebanon Section Three triumph over Garden Spot. Northern Lebanon executed sound fundamental softball throughout, built a 4-0 lead and supported senior right-hander Emma Kelliher, both offensively and defensively.
The Vikings have their share of realistic goals for this spring, and the outcome made them 5-2 overall and 4-2 in Section Three. Garden Spot slipped to 4-3 on the season and 3-3 in the circuit.
“We played well,” said Northern Lebanon head coach Ed Spittle. “We lost a 1-0 game to (Manheim) Central on Monday and it looked like we were in a fog. It looked like to me that no one was interested. Today we played like I thought we would on Monday. We battled.
“The expecations were high coming into the season and we’ve fulfilled most of them to this point,” continued Spittle. “We’re right on schedule. I think we’ve taken care of business like we’re supposed to.”
“It’s still early,” said Kelliher. “But we’ve got great chemistry. We’re close. We’re playing for each other. We definitely need to keep hitting. We’re definitely improving. We need to beat the teams we’re supposed to beat.”
Mixing her pitches and keeping the Comets off balance, Kelliher wiggled out of minor trouble in the first and fourth frames, before yielding a solo homer to Meg Fisher with one out in the top of the sixth. Kelliher set down the Comets in order in the second, third and seventh innings.
During her complete-game effort, Kelliher whiffed ten, walked two and surrendered four hits.