Story first appeared in the April 21, 2016 edition of The Salisbury Press and was available on thelehighvalleypress.com on April 22, 2016.
Salisbury softball head coach Jeff Appleman compared his third baseman, Morgan Goletz, to Theodore Roosevelt. What the junior did in the bottom of the seventh inning in last week’s game against Northwestern would have made the late president proud.
The admittedly quiet Goletz stepped up to the plate with the bases-loaded and one out in the bottom of the seventh inning of a scoreless game. Without much fanfare, she slapped an RBI, walk-off single into right field, scoring Rachel Costantini, and winning the game at Salisbury Middle School for the Lady Falcons, 1-0.
After the celebrations, Goletz relayed the thoughts that were going through her head before the hit.
“I just need to get a hit and win the game,” she said.
Appleman said he had a simple message for Goletz before she stepped into the box.
“All I told Morgan was that they were playing the infield in, so all she had to do was hit the ball hard and it is going to find a hole,” he said.
The first six innings of the contest zipped by as it was a pitchers’ duel between Lydia Danner of Northwestern and Brooke Rogers for Salisbury (5-2 overall, 4-2 Colonial League). Both teams finished the contest with only five hits.
Rogers earned the complete game shutout victory for the Lady Falcons, but it did get a little hairy in the top half of the seventh inning for the junior.
Northwestern landed runners on first and second base with no outs, but its next two batters grounded into fielder’s choices on the left side of the infield, punching out the lead runner on both occasions. Rogers got the final out via a ground ball to shortstop, emerging unscathed from the inning.
“Sarah [Reilly] hasn’t played in two years,” he said. “She is a senior and came out this year. She went into the hole to get that ball. That was huge. If that gets through, and if I’m the coach I’m sending (the runner) because at that point there was no runs, that was huge to get that out. Then we got two ground balls to short.”
Appleman said that style of game is how his team plays, starting with Rogers in the circle, who so far this season is the only player to pitch for Salisbury.
“She is a bulldog that girl,” said Appleman. “She has a lot of heart. She doesn’t strike out a lot of people, but she doesn’t give up many walks either.”
Appleman said that he does have a second arm in the staff, but that she “hasn’t pitched in years.” He has complete faith in Rogers to handle a heavy workload.
“Brooke has, like I said, a ton of heart,” he said. “She does not want to come out of there. She is pumped up all the time. If we do have back-to-back games, she does tire at the end, but being a tournament pitcher, she has pitched three times in one day. I know she can do it, but it isn’t ideal.”
The pitching situation may not be a dream scenario for the Lady Falcons, but the way this season is unfolding is a favorable situation for the first-year head coach, who believes his team can go far this season.
“We have to keep doing what we are doing,” Appleman said. “We have to execute a little bit better, but I’m not going to change my approach. We are just going to keep building. Districts are a real possibility. I think we can go pretty far if we take it one pitch at a time, one inning at a time. I know it is cliché, but I really believe it.”
Salisbury hosts Catasauqua on Wednesday, visits Moravian Academy on Friday, and hosts Dieruff in a non-conference game on Saturday at 10 a.m.