The independent voice of the students of Penn State Harrisburg

The Blue & White Journal

The independent voice of the students of Penn State Harrisburg

The Blue & White Journal

The independent voice of the students of Penn State Harrisburg

The Blue & White Journal

Softball Seeks Championship

PSH Athletics.
Sophomore Kierstyn Smith pitches against Elizabethtown.

The Penn State Harrisburg softball team has seen plenty of regular season and postseason success over the past few years, but the United East Championship trophy has thus far eluded them. However, with a solid 12-6 record, the #2 seed in the division and plenty of conference
matchups to play down the stretch, the squad is in an excellent position to make a run in 2024.

It has been quite a fluctuating season for the softball team thus far, as the girls have had two winning streaks of at least four games plus a recent three-game losing streak.

“We started off on a really good foot this season,” said junior infielder Maddy Lehigh. “We went to Myrtle [Beach], and that was our best spring training trip since I’ve been here. We also played York, and even though they’re such a big school, we did really well against them, so that was big for us. Since I’ve been here, this is the closest we’ve ever been as a team. We’re there for each other, and it’s all about what’s best for the team.”

Sophomore Kierstyn Smith agreed, crediting their success to close-knit team relationships. “Our team chemistry is a lot better this year than it’s ever been. We’re always there to pick each other up and help each other when we’re down, and we’ve gotten a lot more selfless.”

Maddy Lehigh, a former United East Rookie of the Year and First Team All-Conference selection, has been leading the charge on the offensive side with a team-best .431 batting average, a pair of home runs and stolen bases, and 13 runs batted in. Lehigh said that her success this season comes from a team-first mindset.

“I just want to do what’s best for the team. Even if I get out on my first at-bat, my goal is always to see what the pitcher is like and get information back to the team.”

On the defensive side, sophomore pitcher Mackenzie Sawdey – last year’s United East Rookie of the Year – has been on fire with eight wins, 72 strikeouts, and a 1.65 ERA. “Last year I knew she would be amazing, and she was. But this year she holds herself different-
ly,” observed Lehigh. “She has so much more confidence in herself, she’s not as nervous, and she goes out there knowing that she’s going to win.”

“She’s a lot more confident on the mound,” added Smith. “She holds herself differently, and when she goes out on the circle she knows that she’s going to own it. The team has her back, and we’re always there for her. She knows that all of us on and off the field will be there for
her in her highs and lows.”

The Lady Lions are 2-2 within the conference, and 18 of their final 20 games in April will be against conference rivals. Both Lehigh and Smith emphasized the need for focus in the hitting game down the stretch in order to lock up a postseason berth and make a run. “The main thing we need to focus on is our hitting,” said Lehigh. “Our hitting is good, but if we are in the box and get too in our heads, we can get antsy and scared to mess up.”

Smith agreed, but also added that their hitting success has been on display recently. “When we played Gallaudet this past weekend, it really showed that when we string hits together it becomes contagious. One inning we scored a ton of runs with two outs, and we scored 13 in the game. It’s all about trusting each other. We just need to make sure that we successfully move the runners and not leave them on the bases, that’ll help us win games.”

Penn State Harrisburg softball returns to action on Friday, April 5th with a road doubleheader against Abington. The following day, Saturday, April 6, is Youth and National Student Athlete Day, highlighted by two home games against Berks.

To keep up with Penn State Harrisburg softball all year round, visit the school’s athletic page at and follow Penn State Harrisburg softball on Instagram. Keep up to date with sports at the Blue and White Journal website at

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