CARLISLE — Carlisle spent its first four innings Monday proving that it had the physical tools needed to contend in the Mid-Penn Keystone Division.
It spent the last three innings showing it had the necessary mentality, too.
The Thundering Herd continued their solid start to the season on a sunny day at Carlisle High School, running out to a big lead and then holding off a late Lower Dauphin comeback attempt in a 7-5 victory in a Keystone contest.
The win improved the Herd to 2-0, doubling the squad’s win total from the 2019 season. Every Carlisle batter reached base at least once in a contest that featured plenty of action on the basepaths, backing up Addy Gregg’s effort in the circle.
The Herd’s patience at the plate and aggressiveness on the basepaths fueled their early lead, as they jumped out to a 6-0 advantage after three innings. Catcher Katelyn Coldren was the catalyst from her No. 2 spot in the order, tallying a double and three walks in her four plate appearances. In the first inning, she scored from second after a mishandled throw on Jana Fetterman’s sacrifice fly, giving Carlisle a 2-0 lead. In the second inning, her leadoff double ignited the Herd’s four-run frame; in the fifth, her bases-loaded walk brought in a critical insurance run.
Gregg’s day was all about being sharp early and being tough late. She cruised through the LD order the first time, striking out six and not allowing a ball out of the infield. Trouble came in the fifth, though, when Lower Dauphin tallied four runs. Gregg allowed another run in the fifth, but then gritted it out to get the final outs — she induced a grounder to strand two in the sixth and then struck out the side in the seventh.
By the numbers
Carlisle put the pressure on Lower Dauphin from the get-go, with 1-2 hitters Kyrstin Kauffman and Coldren each swiping bases after reaching base via walk in the first inning. Carlisle runners advanced via stolen base, wild pitch or defensive indifference 10 times in the first three innings, an aggressiveness that pressured Lower Dauphin into four errors and build the Herd’s early lead.
The Herd didn’t pile up their runs via base hit, tallying just three on the day. But Carlisle drew 10 walks and its batters were hit by pitch four times, creating plenty of traffic on the bases. Allison Coldren drew three walks and scored a run, while Fetterman had a pair of RBIs via sacrifice flies.
Carlisle resumes its Keystone slate Wednesday, hosting Palmyra, before closing the week with a Saturday contest against Northern. Lower Dauphin will also be back at it Wednesday, hosting Bishop McDevitt in an important early season division clash.
They said it
Gregg, on the difference with this year’s Herd: “We all just get along with each other and we fight to the end. We don’t give and we don’t let our energy slip. We are always in it 100 percent.”
Coldren, on the Herd’s baserunning: “The aggressiveness is very important. If you know your speed and you see something, you have to take it. You can’t hesitate.”
Carlisle head coach Laura Keim: “The chemistry between them is great, and the girls work really hard every day at practice. They don’t quit. I think in the past, we would get down or make an error and everyone’s shoulders dropped. This year they are not. They’re very resilient and they’re fighting on every pitch.”