HAMBURG - It was rough outing for the Northern Lebanon softball team in a non-league encounter at Hamburg on Thursday afternoon.
The Vikings committed six errors behind starter Jess Kreiser and generated just five base hits off Hamburg pitching in a five-inning, 11-1 loss.
Hamburg’s Paige Lesher – the pitcher who opposed the Vikings (1-2) for four of those frames – hit a walk-off three-run home run in the bottom of fifth. Lesher’s blast caromed off the back wall of the football stadium press box, which is situated a few feet beyond the outfield fence.
“It was tough afternoon,” Vikings associate coach Dale Kreiser said. “We didn’t play well today. Defensively, we were just not good. Hitting, we were not good. We played Cedar Crest the other day and had something like 11 hits. Today we had just a few hits and didn’t put ‘em together. Tough to score.
“We’ve got to come to play. Monday we’re facing (Lampeter-Strasburg), and they’ve got a girl who throws over 70 (mph).”
In the circle, Lesher was not overpowering – she struck out just three – but was able to execute her pitches when she needed to do so. The Vikings loaded the bases in the top of the fourth on a hit, walk and an error but came up empty when Lesher induced a strikeout and a comebacker.
Hamburg jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first, with Erica Lutz driving home two runs on a double to deep left-center field.
After three errors led to a run for Hawks in the third, the game unraveled for the Vikings during the next inning. Hamburg plated four runs on just one hit to double its margin to 8-0. The Hawks sent 10 batters to the dish and scored three of those runs courtesy of an error and two bases-loaded walks.
Northern Lebanon scored its only run in the top of the fifth when Kreiser singled and later came home on an infield ground out.
Lesher’s blast to end it came with one out in the bottom half, having been preceded by a single and a walk.