Kids fall to PHS in EPC finals
On Thursday at Patriots Park, the Northampton softball team settled for silver medals around their necks as Parkland claimed their sixth-straight league title, by a score of 4-0.
Offensively, Parkland took advantage of some Northampton miscues to score its first three runs. The Trojans scored a run in the first inning on a wild pitch. They added two unearned runs in the 4th when the Kids made two, two-out errors in the outfield.
EPC MVP Kelly Dulaney pitched her second straight 2-hit shutout over Northampton. She has an 18-inning scoreless streak against the Kids.
Lily Stuhldreher broke up Dulaney’s no-hitter with a 1-out double in the top of the sixth inning. The Kids managed to get a 2-out walk and a single by Emily Stuhldreher in the seventh to spark a glimmer of hope of a miracle comeback. A routine groundout ended the game.
Although the Kids were unable to break Parkland’s stranglehold on the EPC title, their semifinal win over Emmaus the day before proved that the EPC seeding formula got it wrong as they beat the second-seeded Hornets for the third time this season.
Freshman Kaira Zamadics tossed a 2-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts to lead Northampton to a 2-0 win. The performance bettered Zamadics’ 3-hitter over Emmaus on April 29.
The Kids had reached the 4th inning without a hit when Jordan Geroulo got things going with a 1-out single up the middle. She advanced to second on a fielder’s choice before Hannah Boggs delivered the first RBI of the game.
The Hornets threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth with a leadoff double. Zamadics got the next batter to tap it back to her and finished off the inning with her 10th and 11th strikeouts.
In the sixth, Emmaus once again got its leadoff batter to second. A sacrifice brought the potential tying run to third with one out. Zamadics induced another grounder back to the circle and held the runner. As she turned to throw to first, the runner broke for home. Maddie Biechy recorded the out at first and alertly gunned the ball home. Maddie Fraley slapped on the tag for a bang-bang play at the plate and Northampton took a 1-0 lead to the final inning.
The Kids added an insurance run in the 7th on a Katelyn Stuhldreher double that drove in Brooke Geist who was running for Maddie Biechy.
With the EPC tournament now in the books, the Northampton can focus on districts.
“This isn’t the end of our softball season. This is just the beginning essentially,” said head coach Kristy Henritzy. “Going into districts and where we’re seeded (2nd), I’m confident in who we are and what we represent.”