Softball Dominates the Month of April


Christopher Palm

Mary Kate Penczkowski (L) winds up as Steph Reider sets for a ground play

After opening conference play on home turf with a doubleheader sweep, Penn State Harrisburg Softball kept the ball rolling throughout April.

In a rematch of last year’s conference championship series, the Lions were swept by Penn College losing 10-0 in five innings of the first game.

In the second game, Mary-Kate Penczkowski held off the Wildcats for eight innings despite the team losing 2-1.

“We’ve struggled against (Penn College) but we’ve struggled against them but we’re definitely ready to come back and play them,” said Steph Reider.

A week later, the Lions returned to their scoring ways on the road against Wells College with a pair of five-inning victories in double-digit margins.

Olivia Herncane and Reider came out swinging in the first game recording five RBI apiece with Herncane hitting a three-run homer in the top of the third inning.

Herncane and McKenzie Boozel contributed to the scoring effort in the second game with a pair of home runs in the top of the second inning, with Herncane hitting a grand slam.

Carissa Yeager threw a combined 11 strikeouts en route to a no-hitter in the first game as the Lions set new single game records on the weekend, including the most runs scored and most RBI in the first game.

Returning home to Courtney Pollock Memorial Field, the Lions swept Lancaster Bible scoring 14 combined hits on the afternoon.

Yeager and Penczkowski combined 10 strikeouts on the Chargers as Delaney Nevius produced a grand slam homer in the nightcap.

The Lions kept the momentum going into the next day with a doubleheader sweep over Gallaudet, dominating the Bison in five innings apiece.

Samantha Weaver drove in two RBI along to go with a couple of doubles in the first game while Boozel brought the heat in the second game with five RBI.

“We’ve definitely come together and our chemistry is very strong,” said Reider, “so I definitely think we’re going to do well throughout the rest of the season.”

The Harrisburg Lions faced adversity in their next doubleheader against conference rival Penn State Berks, scoring a walk-off in a come-from-behind 6-5 win courtesy of a Madelyn Lehigh single to drive in two runs.

The Berks Lions dominated in the second game, beating the Harrisburg Lions 13-5 in five innings.

“As long as we play our game and we stick to what we know, we’ll be great,” said Boozel.  “We don’t have anything to worry about so I’m confident in our team.”

The Harrisburg Lions soon turned things around in the next pair of doubleheaders against Morrisville State.

In the first doubleheader at Pollock Field, the Blue and White swept the Mustangs allowing just two runs and matching the single-season record for wins (21).

In addition to throwing eight strikeouts en route to a 15-2 win in the nightcap, Penczkowski surpassed a historic landmark of 200 strikeouts during her time at Penn State Harrisburg.

Prior to the doubleheader, the team also recognized senior players Weaver and Madelyn Krantz for their time and contribution to the softball program.

The next day, the Lions swept the Mustangs again, setting a new record for wins in a single season previously set in 2011.

Lehigh and Emma Einarson combined seven RBI in the second game as the Lions shut out Morrisville State 15-0, producing a season sweep over the Mustangs.

Meeting up with Penn College on home turf, the Lions held off the Wildcats in the first game but were unable to come back in the second game, resulting in a 2-1 loss.

Krantz and Reider made history in the first game, reaching 100 hits apiece in their careers en route to the Lions’ 4-3 victory.

“Don’t get in our heads, stay positive throughout, no negative talk, cheering, stay up no matter what,” said Boozel.  “Even if you get a bad hit or you make an error, just staying up and cheering on your other teammates, keeping them up.”

The Harrisburg Lions will look to wrap up the season in dominating fashion with two remaining doubleheaders between Penn State Berks on Friday, April 29, and Penn State Abington on Saturday, April 30.