With the help of 10 strikeouts from pitcher Lauren Lichtenwalner, the Black Knights were able to defeat Garden Spot in a SectionOne-Two crossover game on Monday, April 18, 2016. Video by John Buffone.
LANDISVILLE — For the first time in nine games, the Hempfield Lady Knights failed to convert a double play.
Not that it mattered. The best double play in softball is always good pitching and clutch hitting.
On the strength of Lauren Lichtenwalner’s three-hit shutout and a big hit from sophomore Lexi Harelson, the Knights remained undefeated in league play with a 3-0 victory over Garden Spot in a Section One-Two crossover.
“If you don’t aim at something you’re bound to hit it,” said Knights’ coach Brian Lohr. “Not giving up runs, right now they’re not committing errors. If we contain our errors, we’re going to win more of those games.”
It helps as well getting double-digit strikeouts from the senior in the circle. Lichtenwalner struck-out ten in her seven innings of work, utilizing a deceptive changeup early to throw the Spartan hitters off-balance.
“They were swinging and missing and I was like okay, so that’s obviously working,” began Lichtenwalner. “I just went with it.”
Locked in a pitcher’s duel with Garden Spot’s Taylor Martin – who throws a good changeup, herself – Hempfield (7-2 overall, 7-0 Section One) got on the board in the fourth inning as the Knights loaded the bases with one out.
Harelson came up to the plate and looped a single over a drawn-in shortstop, driving in Kara Cook (2-for-3, R) and Gabi Turner (2-for-3, 2R) with the only runs Lichtenwalner would need.
“She’s a little nervous stepping in the box,” Lohr said of Harelson, who has been platooning with junior Serena Felix at third base throughout the season. “She has done an outstanding job of coming through.”
In the sixth inning, a hard-hit liner by catcher Kylie Shreiner scooted past the Spartans’ leftfielder for a double, scoring Turner for the final margin.
“Everybody has come up big so far,” Lichtenwalner said. “Gabi had the big hit against Warwick, Kylie had the big hit against Penn Manor, today it was Lexi, so everybody takes their turn knocking-in runs when we need them.”
Garden Spot (7-3, 5-2 Section Two) got a pair of hits from Elizabeth King and a third-inning double by Martin, who gave up eight hits, striking out five and walking none in the hard-luck loss.
Hempfield 3, Garden Spot 0
GS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 3 1
HM 0 0 0 2 0 1 x — 3 8 0
SO-BB — GS Taylor Martin 5-0; HM Lauren Lichtenwalner 10-0
WP — Lauren Lichtenwalner; LP — Taylor Martin
2B — GS 1 (Taylor Martin); HM 1 (Kylie Shreiner)