It's been a while since the Eastern York softball team got off to a good start.
While good starts don't necessarily translate to championships, a bad start can put a season on the rocks for good.
Fortunately for Karlee Livelsberger, her senior season may be unfolding unlike any one she's experienced before.
After collecting three hits and driving in a pair of runs, Livelsberger's Golden Knights improved to 4-0 after a 4-2 road victory over West York on a cold and wet Monday afternoon.
“This is pretty great," Livelsberger said. "We haven't been 4-0 in any of the other (two) years I've been playing on varsity.”
Eastern has been getting it done with a timely approach that has paid off on both offense and defense. The Knights collected 12 hits for the contest, driving in single runs in the second, third, sixth and seventh frames.
Livelsberger credited a slew of freshmen who have made a difference so far this year.
"We have some really solid freshmen that have come in and are just helping us out tremendously," she said.
Eastern coach Brad Rohrbaugh echoed that sentiment.
“This is the best freshman class that I've had since 2004," he said. "Katie Lehman, who pitched the last two innings, Haydyn Shaffer, Emily Smith, Morgan Winter, Bailey Merriel. They've all done their share.”
Smith had one hit while Lehman tallied two doubles, with Lehman driving in the run in the seventh with a double. Lehman was called upon to pitch the final two-plus innings after the Bulldogs drew to within 2-1.
“Our hitting and our defense has been timely," Rohrbaugh said. "For instance, Bailey out in right, she played three games and didn't have a ball hit out to her. But against Columbia, with one out in the seventh, a girl hit a rocket out to her and she shagged that one."
Merriel managed to track down a hard-hit ball Monday off the bat of West York starter Jossalin Shipley. That play proved key when two batters later the home team cut the deficit in half on a Paige Weekly homer.
That prompted Rohrbaugh to call in Lehman, who pitched brilliantly in relief. Lehman allowed an unearned run and two hits while fanning two to pick up the save.
But a lot of the credit can be heaped on Livelsberger, who reached base in all four plate appearances. She also scored three of her team's four runs.
“I was just feeling good tonight," she said. "I just had a good feeling hitting off of (Shipley).”
Not surprisingly, Livelsberger has a similar feeling about her team's chances in her final season.
"If we can stay playing the way we're playing, we're going to have a really solid team," she said.
Katelyn Dellinger led the Bulldogs with two hits.
Susquehannock 7, Delone Catholic 2: At McSherrystown, two teams expected to be contenders for York-Adams League division titles squared off, with the Warriors coming away with the impressive road win. Susquehannock scored four runs in the seventh to break open a tight game. Maddie Staub pitched a complete-game seven-hitter to get the win, striking out five and walking three. Staub also tripled. Lauryn King and Shelbee Holcomb homered for Delone. King finished with three hits. Susquehannock, which outhit Delone 11-7, improved to 4-0. Delone fell to 2-1.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.