The summer game was Summer’s game Monday afternoon in Denver.
Northern Lebanon senior third baseman Summer Bohr went 5-for-5 with a pair of doubles and drove in five runs, as the visiting Vikings vanquished Cocalico 13-3 in a Lancaster-Lebanon Section Three matchup.
In a game shortened to six innings by the mercy rule, the Vikings (2-0 league, 2-0 overall) shook off an early 3-0 deficit, spraying 15 hits around the yard, five for extra bases. They built a 6-3 lead, scoring two runs each in the second, third and fourth innings, then busted the game open with a six-run, bat-around plus-two fifth inning.
In a section where youth is the watchword, the Vikings are no exception. Bohr and her sister Autumn, a junior, are the only players with varsity experience returning from the last time they took the field, back in May 2019 in the District Three 4A semifinals.
“Right now we have two juniors on the field, three sophomores and the rest freshmen,” said Bohr, who added, “I think we’re going to be decent this year.”
If there are any givens when it comes to the Vikings, year in, year out, they will hit and they will be technically sound defensively.
“A lot of our young girls play travel,” Bohr said, “so they have the experience.”
But pitching experience? Nicole Leaman was set to debut in the circle when the pandemic canceled her freshman season. Getting her second varsity start Monday, Leaman was unsettled in the first inning, giving up two hits, walking three, hitting a batter and throwing 38 pitches, just 18 for strikes.
The Eagles (1-3, 1-3) capitalized, as losing pitcher Haley Schoener plated a run with a ground out, Kaidyn Heinaman singled in a run and Allison Breneman delivered a third run with a bases-loaded walk.
“We talked to her, told her to calm down,” Bohr said. “Usually she does after the first inning.”
Which she did Monday, scattering four hits the rest of the way. Finding the outside corner, she struck out four Eagles looking and finished with seven strikeouts on 98 total pitches.
Meanwhile, her teammates were digging her out of the hole.
Brooke Beamesderfer and Hope Ritchie led off the second inning with back-to-back triples, Ritchie scoring on an error. Bohr and Kiera Anspach added RBI doubles in the third inning.
When centerfielder Aleigha Kohl threw out Anna Kolacek trying to score on Anspach’s fourth-inning single, Schoener could see her way out of the inning. Bohr singled in her sister, however, and Anspach scored on a wild pitch to make it a 6-3 game.
A classic work-the-corners-and-change-speeds pitcher, Schoener threw 158 pitches in a workhorse effort. She struck out nine while walking four, but the Eagles gave Northern Lebanon three extra outs in the fifth, and the Vikings made it hurt.
“We’re talented, athletically, we have rock-solid kids,” Eagles coach Jeff Schmeck said. “We’re going to surprise some teams.”