The Knights scored five runs in the third inning to break the game open
Even with a lead, it was clear that Fairfield's softball team was anxious.
The Green Knights entered the seventh inning of Friday's home game against Gettysburg up by seven runs but committed three errors that helped the Warriors score twice. Looking to secure Fairfield's first win of the season, sophomore pitcher Courtney Harbaugh was determined to keep things under control.
"I was still feeling confident," Harbaugh said. "We played well all game so I knew we would do it."
Harbaugh would take care of the final out herself, throwing out Shanna Martin on a short ground ball to secure Fairfield's 8-3 home win. It capped a performance in which the sophomore struck out seven while going 2-for-3.
The Knights (1-2) entered the season prepared to rely on underclassmen, with only one senior and five freshmen in the starting lineup. That formula worked well on Friday, as Harbaugh and sophomore catcher Gena Elker (3-for-3) provided some of the team's biggest plays. Elker singled, doubled and tripled.
With Fairfield trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the third, Elker ripped a two-run double that sparked a five-run inning for the Knights. Both Elker and Harbaugh would later score insurance runs in the fifth and sixth innings.
Fairfield head coach Terry Weikert said he's confident leaning on his younger players, since many of them either played varsity last year as freshmen or have years of experience playing the sport — just not years of varsity experience.
"We tell the kids that we understand when they make mistakes because they're young, but they're experienced and young," Weikert said. "A lot of these kids have been playing travel ball, and they're bringing a lot of energy out here, even the freshmen."
Although the Knights started the season 0-2, their two losses came to a talented Littlestown team and an improving Eastern York squad. Because of that, Weikert said he believed Fairfield was still in a position to have a successful season.
Coming off a 10-10 season that included a second-place finish in Division IV, the Knights are confident they can post a winning record in 2016. Although Weikert knows dethroning defending division champion Delone Catholic will be difficult, he's excited for the Knights to be tested this season.
"We don't get nothing coming out here and pounding the crap out of somebody, I think if we play better competition we learn to play better," Weikert said. "Delone is tough, but if we play like we're capable of we're going to make them work."
For Gettysburg (1-1), head coach Max Laing said the Warriors need to capitalize on early opportunities and not allow one or two innings to get out of hand.
"They had a couple quick innings on us, twice we went three-up, three-down. Twice they ended the inning on a double play. So we didn't give ourselves time to recover," Laing said. "When you get behind the eight ball like that, it's tough to make it up."