LAMPETER — For a pair of softball teams and their respective pitchers, this season should be more than, “Oh, K.”
Meeting up in the third game of the young season, Lampeter-Strasburg ace Jordan Weaver not only out-dueled counterpart Brittany Hook of Penn Manor, but no-hit the Comets with an incredible 19 strikeouts in earning a 3-0 victory Wednesday afternoon.
Hook was nearly as dominant, striking out 13 batters in six innings, allowing just four hits and two earned runs.
The contest’s first 15 outs came via the “K.”
“Funny thing is my brother today said get 20 strikeouts today,” Weaver began with a laugh. “I said to him I’m going to try to get 10, so I’m happy with the outcome at least.”
The Pioneers left the bases loaded in the first inning. In the bottom of the fourth, however, Weaver was hit by a pitch and moved to second on Robin Feaster’s two-strike bunt. Caroline Braungard followed with a clean single up the middle to score Weaver.
In the fifth, Hanna Garber’s two-out single plated Kate Rohrer, who tripled over the right fielder’s head leading off the inning, and Bri Garber, who reached on an error. Hanna and big sister Bri were the only two players not to strike out for either team.
“We cranked the machine up yesterday; we were trying to get prepared,” Hanna Garber said of the pending matchup of dominant pitchers. “Jordan shut them down, Britt shut us down.”
Weaver admitted she was pumped from the get-go.
“I was from this morning when I woke up,” said the senior, committed to play for Mount St. Mary’s next season. “My one teacher at school, Mr. Swarr, said to me, ‘Who else are you competing against (today).’ It was a trick question, but right off the bat I knew I was competing against myself. I’m not competing against anyone else out here, it’s just me and my sister catching.”
Which can be a bit monotonous for the remaining seven Pioneer defenders.
“The outfielders do this (finger) snap thing,” Garber said. “We try to have fun out there even though we were a little bored, but that’s good that we’re bored.”
The Pioneers (3-0) play Ephrata on Thursday in one final tune-up before the Lancaster-Lebanon League season gets under way.
“It’s still early in the season; we’re trying to find our way,” L-S coach Tim Shoff said. “We have a couple kids we’re trying to work in the lineup to see what they do. It’s a step in the right direction when you can beat Brittany Hook.”
Meanwhile, the Comets (2-1) move into next Monday’s contest at Warwick with no reason to hang their heads.
“It’s always good to see good pitching,” said Penn Manor skipper Dave Stokes. Hopefully that’s what the kids take away from this … that we need to improve because that’s what we’ve got to beat.”