Girls move on to District 11 semifinals
The Northampton softball team dispatched Stroudsburg 9-1 in their District XI 6A quarterfinal game on Tuesday. Coupled with their regular season win against Freedom, the Kids outscored the champions of the EPC Mountain and Steel Divisions by a combined 17-2.
The Kids’ offense got rolling, as it often does, off the bat of Hannah Boggs. The Lock Haven-bound senior smoked a line drive into the left-centerfield gap for a double that drove in Jordan Geroulo to put Northampton up 1-0 after the first inning.
In the third inning, the Kids loaded the bases in front of Boggs with no outs. A single to left drove in Kendyll Strohl and Geroulo. A Stroudsburg error loaded the bases once again and shortstop Katelyn Stuhldreher responded with her first-ever grand slam.
Northampton was never threatened as the Mountaineers scored their lone run in the 5th and the Kids tacked on insurance runs in the 5th and 6th innings.
Boggs was 4-for-4 in the game with a pair of doubles and 3 RBIs.
Maddie Biechy threw 5 innings of 3-hit ball. Kaira Zamadics pitched the final two innings and retired all 6 batters she faced.
Too often defense is overlooked in softball, but the Northampton infield of Boggs, Taylor Kranzley, Stuhldreher, and Strohl contribute as much with their gloves as they do with their bats.
In the second inning, Stuhldreher went deep into the hole, backhanded the ball, and gunned the runner out at first. In the third inning, Kranzley erased a leadoff walk when she snagged a grounder, tagged the runner flashing by, and calmly flipped the ball to first to finish the double play.
Both District XI semifinal games will take place Tuesday at Pates Park in Allentown. Northampton gets sixth seed Whitehall by virtue of the Zephyrs overcoming a 6-1 deficit to beat Nazareth 7-6. The two teams split their regular season meetings with Whitehall winning 11-1 on April 3 and the Kids winning 10-4 a month later.
Parkland will play Emmaus on the other side of the bracket. Easton scored 3 runs against Kelly Dulaney, but the Trojans prevailed 8-3. The Hornets went 8 innings against Freedom and won 1-0. These two teams split their regular season meetings as well. Parkland won 4-1 in April and Emmaus won 3-1 in May.
Head coach Kristy Henritzy expressed confidence in her team.
“I feel good about playing whoever comes our way,” she said. “Our team, playing our best game, is among the best in the District. We’re there. I feel like we play good ball when it matters the most.”
The semifinal game against Whitehall might matter even more than a potential district final. The winners of each semifinal game clinch a spot in the state playoffs. It would be the Kids first trip to states since the 2013 District XI championship team.