With dark clouds looming off in the distance, the Lady Bucks and Hazleton Area took to the diamond for the second round of the District 2 Class AAAA playoffs.
After five complete innings, the Lady Cougars claimed a 5-0 victory, and will face Williamsport in the championship game.
Williamsport advanced by defeating Delaware Valley 8-0.
“It was a great year,” said Paupack manager Dan Gumble after a 45-minute delay before the game was officially called by the umpires because of weather.
“These girls have been playing together since they were six, seven, eight years old. They’ve been playing together for a long time and Mr. (Mark) Kirsten has put a great program together and the girls really play hard. We expect nothing less next year.”
Hazleton struck first, plating one run in the top half of the opening frame. They added another run in the second, two in the third, and the final score in the fourth to take command at 5-0.
Paupack’s only hit came in the second inning when Emily Winkler reached the first base bag on a slap bunt single.
“Their pitcher (Becky Demko) was pitching very well and kept us off-balance,” said Gumble.
“They scored a couple of runs early and that put a lot of pressure on us knowing that the weather was coming and we’re down a couple of runs.
“It even changes the coaching philosophy; it takes the small game away because you have to score a lot of runs very quickly. They (Hazleton) did a good job and took advantage of a couple of mistakes that we made.”
The girls finished the season with an overall record of 14-2, and claimed the Division One League Title.
It was the second year in a row that the girls have claimed the division, and the second year that the Lady Bucks have recorded double-digit wins.
In 2011, the Lady Bucks went 18-2.
“We’re looking forward to next year,” said Gumble.
“It’s almost impossible to replace a Katie Marro, and we lose Jess Carrigan, and Sam Hessling, it’s going to be tough, but I think our girls are going to step up and fill those holes pretty nicely.”
“We told them it was a great season, and we told them from the beginning of the season that getting to this point shows a lot of character in the girls. It really shows their hard work and determination to win games.”
Score By Innings...
HA (15-2) 1 1 2 1 0 - 5
WA (14-2) 0 0 0 0 0 - 0