Dallastown's Harbold excels on the diamond
Jaelynn Harbold found herself in a jam in the fourth inning of Dallastown’s afternoon matchup with Dover.
The Eagles had managed to load the bases with only one out, and the Eagles had a chance to swing the game’s momentum in their favor. But Dallastown's pitcher didn’t let the pressure of the situation get to her, and she retired the side without allowing a single runner to score.
Earlier in the game, Harbold found herself in a similar situation with runners on the corners. Harbold also worked out of that inning without allowing a run.
“Jaelynn has been spot on,” Wildcats coach Howie Merriman said. “We’ve been calling those right pitches at the right times to get us out of those trouble situations. We practice that daily. We put pressure in practice so when we’re in game time we’re ready.”
The Wildcats came away with the 8-1 win over the Eagles, with Harbold helping to lead the way with six strikeouts through six innings on the mound.
Harbold has had a strong start to the season, winning all but one of her starts in Dallastown’s first five games of the year. She has had five or more strikeouts in four of her five starts, and she has not walked more than three batters in a single game.
Her earned run average, according to Merriman, is just above 1.00.
Not one to take all the credit, Harbold was more than willing to point out the contributions of her teammates. Harbold called Melanie Grant “a very good catcher” and went through the Dallastown lineup explain how each one has helped her be more confident on the mound.
“I can tell myself when I get down in a count, ‘Just let (the other team) hit the ball cause you’re defense will do the work for you.’ That’s very nice to have,” she said.
Offensively Harbold has been equally as important. While Tuesday wasn’t her best outing at the plate, she has certainly made her presence known while at bat.
Harbold kicked off the 2016 season going 3-for-3 against Kennard-Dale, with a triple and a home run.
“She’s a three-hole hitter this year for a reason,” Merriman said. “Her batting average is somewhere around .500. Her slugging percentage is even higher. This wasn’t her best offensive game, but so far this season she has been on fire.”
Hitting is something that Harbold said she, as well as the rest of her teammates, works on during the offseason.
“We’re just really trying to hit the ball,” she said. “Get the ball in play because that’s the only way we’re going to produce runs. That’s really the key for us.”