Sam Offenback is in unfamiliar territory.
The senior catcher for Neshaminy's softball team has played for a PIAA Class AAAA state title. She has competed in the District 1 Class AAAA tournament and won Suburban One League National Conference championships.
She has played in some big games and put up even bigger numbers since taking over behind the plate as a freshman.
But she has never before caught a pitcher younger than her.
The Long Island University recruit laughed about just that after Neshaminy's 11-5 victory at Souderton on Wednesday afternoon.
For the last three years, Offenback has dealt with older, more seasoned veterans in the circle. This year, however, Neshaminy has two freshman aces: Amber Brugger and Sarah Dowalo.
"I can relate to them, I know exactly what to say," said Offenback, who went 2 for 3 with an RBI. "It is a pitcher-catcher relationship, but also a senior-freshman relationship. I know exactly how to communicate with them on a whole other level."
In other words, she remembers being a freshman thrust into the starting lineup for a powerhouse program, too.
Brugger is a righthander; Dowalo is a southpaw. Then there is junior Cailyn Seely, who can close the game.
The combination was a good one against the Indians. Brugger went the first five innings, allowing only one run on three hits. Dowalo pitched the sixth and Seely took the final inning.
"Our pitchers were huge," sophomore Hunter Hart said. "Two freshman pitchers - and they are great. They can both deal, and then we have another pitcher - a junior - that can also [make an impact]impact."
Neshaminy (2-0) jumped out to a 4-0 lead, boosted by a lineup full of power hitters. Hart was 3 for 3 with two RBIs and a stolen base on the afternoon. But the 4-0 lead was quickly 4-2, and then a 6-2 lead became 6-3.
Souderton (0-1) wasn't going to go away.
Brugger wasn't going to go away so easily herself.
"Impressive? No, because I expect it from them," Offenback said of the underclassmen. "It is nice to see it, though, because they could have given up at any time."
In the sixth inning, Alexis Watkins led off with a solo home run that flew over the fence, expanding Neshaminy's lead. As her teammates greeted her at home plate, they chanted:
Freshman. Freshman. Freshman.
It might be something heard pretty often from the Redskins this season.
Neshaminy 132 031 1 - 11 12 3
Souderton 002 102 0 - 5 4 3
WP: Amber Brugger. LP: Alex Scheeler. 2B: N-Hunter Hart, Jessica Mount; S-Angie Carty, Katie Kehler. HR: N-Alexis Watkins.