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Softball: Elco walks away with win over Lebanon

MYERSTOWN>> Nothing announces the impending implosion of a ballgame quite like walks.

The Lebanon softball team issued 10 bases-on-balls on Wednesday and watched it happen at Elco. The result was a 16-6 Raiders victory in 4 ½ innings, in a Lancaster-Lebanon non-divisional clash.

Host Elco (3-3) spotted Lebanon (1-5) a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, then rallied for eight runs on just three hits in the bottom half – and free passes were the big culprit. Cedars starter Mariah Rodriguez issued three straight to open her afternoon, then surrendered a two-run triple to Elco's Vern Reinhart.

Lebanon coach Bob Norman went out to get Rodriguez, moving her to left field, and brought in Katelyn Roth to pitch. On a bitterly cold damp day, Roth faced eight more Raiders, walking three, before finally retiring the side. Sarah Yermalovich's two-run double was a second huge blow in favor of the hosts, who sent 12 batters to the plate and quickly reversed the early deficit.

Roth finished it out for the Cedars.

Ironically, Elco starter and winning pitcher Claire Shaak walked the first three batters on the contest in the top of the first, then surrendered a two-run double to Marissia Trokie.

The difference is that Shaak, a senior, adjusted and settled down; Lebanon's hurlers were never able to find a comfortable groove in the circle. Shaak ended with five walks, but struck out nine.

"I don't think I was getting the calls I wanted to early and that kind of got me out of my rhythm," Shaak said. "I just had to settle down and rely on my teammates, who had my back, and that turned it around. It was my fault and I let the team down by doing that, and we just had to get back at it. I figured out where the strike zone was.

"We're a good-hitting team, and that (big bottom of the first) helped us get the momentum back for us to win."

After plating three runs in the second to take a commanding 11-2 lead, the Raiders broke the game wide open in the fourth by scoring five more for a 16-2 lead. Elco batted around for the second time, sending nine to the dish. The big blow was a two-run single to center off the bat of Kayla Cox that scored Maddie Drescher – who had singled to lead off the frame – and Taylor Brice, who walked.

That 14-run bulge brought the mercy rule into play for what turned out to be Lebanon's final swings in the top of the fifth, but the Cedars did not go quietly. In fact, they darn near nullified it.

Lebanon had its own bat-around, sending nine to the plate as Shaak struggled to record the final out. A lead-off double by Rodriguez was followed up by a walk to Trokie and wild pitch and passed ball. The passed ball plated Rodriguez.

Brooke Wagner singled with one out, then Jackelyn Checo sent Trokie around to score with an RBI single an out later. Emily Fake cleared them both with her two-run double to cut it to 16-6 and then pulled into third base on an infield pop-up that dropped.

But with a game-extending run sitting at third, Shaak got Roth, her opposite number, swinging to end it.

Lebanon20004—6922 Elco830

W— Claire Shaak (Vern Reinhart); L — Mariah Rodriguez (Emily Fake)

K/BB — E: Shaak 9-5, L: Rodriguez 0-3, Katelyn Roth 3-7

2B— E: Sarah Yermalovich, L: Marissia Trokie, Rodriguez, Fake

3B— E: Reinhart



Team1 xx, Team2 xx



SO-BB — x; W — x; L — x; 2B — x; 3B — x; HR —x;