Eastern stays hot, beats West York to reach 4-0
It's been 15 seasons since the Eastern York softball program won a YAIAA divisional crown and 14 years since the Golden Knights won a district playoff game.
This year's talented group of freshmen could help Eastern York put an end to those droughts before long.
The Golden Knights remain unbeaten this spring after Monday afternoon's rain-soaked, 4-2 win against West York in a YAIAA inter-divisional game at West York High School.
"It's probably been 15 years since we started off 4-0, too," head coach Brad Rohrbaugh said. "But we have a lot of tough teams coming up."
After a 1-2-3 first inning, Eastern York (4-0) posted at least one hit in every inning. Senior center fielder Karlee Livelsberger paced the Golden Knights' 12-hit attack by going 3-for-3 with three runs scored and a run batted in from the cleanup spot in the batting order. Teammate Katie Lehman added two doubles and an RBI and pitched 2 1/3 innings of two-hit ball to close out the Bulldogs.
"If we can keep playing how we are playing, we could have a pretty good team this year," said Livelsberger, who is in her third varsity season.
Lehman is a part of that freshman group, along with left fielder Haidyn Shaffer, third baseman Emily Smith, catcher Morgan Winter and right fielder Bailee Merriel.
"This freshman class coming in is as talented as I've had in a long while, maybe 2002 or 2004," Rohrbaugh said. "It's a young team, but our hitting and defense has helped carry us so far."
Livelsberger scored the first run of the game and gave Eastern York the lead to stay in the second inning. She led off with a swinging-bunt single to third, moved to second on a passed ball and scored on a single to center field by No. 7 hitter Kierstin Grove. The junior Grove also drove in Livelsberger with a sixth-inning single.
"We've managed to get some key hits when we need them," Livelsberger said.
That support allowed McKenzie Buchmyer to pick up the win with a little relief help from Lehman. The right-hander Buchmyer tossed 4 2/3 innings and scattered six walks and four hits while striking out three.
West York (0-3) finally broke up the shutout with two outs in the fifth when No. 5 hitter Paige Weekly blasted a home run over the center fielder's head. The sophomore Weekly scored the Bulldogs' other run in the seventh on a run-scoring ground out by No. 8 hitter Makenna Hopta.
"Each game I'm seeing improvement," said West York coach Chris Ilyes, whose pitcher Jossalin Shipley was the only senior and returning starter in Monday's lineup. "Give Eastern credit, they played a good game. They got some key hits and played good defense. We hit a few shots and they hung on to them."
Katelyn Dellinger was 2-for-3 with a double for West York.
"(Eastern York) got the key hits when it counted and we didn't," Ilyes said. "I think I counted that we left 15 runners on base. I don't know how many we had on with none out or one out and we couldn't get that key hit."