Softball prepping for the EPC playoffs
An international crowd was on hand to cheer the Northampton softball team on to a 10-4, revenge victory over Whitehall on Friday evening for Senior Night.
The pitchers and catchers from the Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) junior national team were in town to attend a clinic given by pitching coach Jen Shellhammer and stayed to watch the Kids in action.
Seniors Hannah Boggs, Gabby Demchak, Nikki Secara and Emily Stuhldreher were honored before the game.
After the first two innings, it looked like the game might reprise the first game against the Zephyrs as the Kids went down 4-0.
In the third inning, the Whitehall defense faltered, allowing 3 of the of the first 4 batters in the inning to reach on errors. Boggs and Maddie Biechy each had a 2-out single to push across the runs to tie the game.
Emily Stuhldreher led off the bottom of the 4th with a tiebreaking home run. Catcher Maddie Fraley added a 2-out 2-run single to give the Kids a 7-4 lead.
A Biechy home run in the 5th and a pair of RBIs by seniors Boggs and Stuhldreher in the 6th completed the scoring.
Freshman Kaira Zamadics shut down the Zephyrs after the second inning to pick up the complete game win with 9 strikeouts.
Head coach Kristy Henritzy spoke about her team’s approach.
“We talked about being aggressive all week this week and just not letting up,” she said. “It’s a game of momentum, so when we had the momentum, we wanted to keep moving. That was part of our game plan.”
On contemplating the last few games she will have with her seniors she said, “It’s really hard. They are such a good group of kids. It’s hard to let them go, but at the same time, they’re going to do great things and I’m happy for them to get out and do them.”
Northampton closed out its regular season with a tough loss at Nazareth. The Kids trailed 4-1 after 3 innings but battled back to score 3 in the 4th and 2 in the 5th. The Blue Eagles put up 3 in the bottom of the 5th to claim the 7-6 win.
Maddie Biechy, Katelyn Stuhldreher, and Jordan Geroulo all homered off defending EPC MVP Sam Gorkos.
The Kids finished behind Parkland in a 4-way tie for the EPC runner-up spot with Emmaus, Stroudsburg, and Freedom at 12-4. As of this writing the seeds had not yet been announced, but the tiebreakers should favor Northampton receiving the 2 seed. This would pit them against either Easton or Nazareth, who tied for 6th and 7th at 11-5. There are no pushovers in the EPC tournament.
The Kids will host their quarterfinal game on Friday, weather permitting. The semifinals are at 5 and 7 p.m. on Monday at Patriot’s Park.