HAWLEY — Wallenpaupack Area's varsity softball team has won two straight Lackawanna League championships.
The Lady Bucks went 13-1 in each of the past two seasons en route to a pair of Division One crowns.
After being trapped inside most of the spring, Coach Dan Gumble's girls finally began defense of their titles this week with back-to-back wins.
On Tuesday, Paupack traveled to the Electric City and hammered out a 9-0 shutout of Dunmore. The Lady Bucks then made it two in a row by dealing Montrose a 7-1 loss Saturday morning on the shores of The Big Lake.
Brittany Guerrieri led the way each time. The fireballing senior righty started both games and pitched her team to victory.
"She did a great job," Coach Gumble. "I think her approach today was fantastic. Brittany kept her weight back and drove the ball to the plate. She throws pretty hard, but she mixed in some off-speed pitches really well too."
Nicki Mann, Paupack's all-star sophomore shortstop, was quick to agree.
"Brittany and I are cousins and I love playing with her," Mann said. "She's improved so much the past couple of years. I think she's one of the best pitchers in the league."
With these early-seasons wins, Paupack is off and running in its title defense. If the weather continues to cooperate, the Lady Bucks will open their regular season slate Thursday at North Pocono.
"They were a very good team last year and I expect they'll be good again this year," Coach Gumble said.
"It should be an interesting game. I'm anxious to get out there and see what we've got."
Paupack wasted not time in cranking up its offense against Dunmore.
Page 2 of 2 - RaeAnn Ehrhardt ripped a 2-run single in the top of the first and the Lady Bucs never looked back. The local lasses knocked Dunmore ace Sarah Ross out of the circle, the second straight time they'd turned that trick.
Guerrieri made the best of that support, powering her way to a shutout. Brittany allowed just one hit in seven innings while striking out five.
She was equally impressive Saturday morning against Montrose.
Paupack's top twirler surrendered only an unearned run in six frames before handing the ball off to freshman Katie Schoenagel for an inning if relief work.
Guerrieri racked up six more strikeouts and flexed her muscles at the pate, too. Brittany crushed a towering 2-run homer in the bottom of the third.
Emily Winkler paced the offensive assault. Paupack's lead-off batter banged out three hits in four at-bats, scored three runs and drove in a other.
Kennedy Thomas also terrorized Montrose pitchers. The Lady Buck catcher smoked a 2-run double in the home first.
Caitlin Donahue contributed a pair of base hits as well. The senior first baseman roped a triple in the third and a single in the fifth.
Mann chipped in with two hits, a sacrifice, run scored and RBI.
"I'm feeling pretty good up there," Nicki said. "I still have a way to go, but I'm getting there. I'm excited for the season. I think we're going all the way this year."
Score by Innings...
MON (1-1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 1
WAL (2-0) 0 0 0 0 0 0 x - 7