As Paupack heads into the Class AAAA playoffs, three seniors will be providing leadership.
The Lady Buckhorns capped off their regular season by playing host to the Lady Knights of Scranton on Monday in a Lackawanna League crossover contest.
Coming into the game, Scranton was seated nicely in Division I with a 7-5 league record while Wallenpaupack Area stood alone atop the Division II ranks at 10-2.
In the Circle
Brittany Guerrieri, pitching for Paupack, got right down to business.
Paupack's senior ace struck out the lead-off batter looking for the first out.
Raeann Ehrhardt then combined with Caitlin Donahue on a grounder for out number two, and then repeated the play to retire the side.
In the bottom of the inning, the Lady Bucks' Emily Winkler led off with a walk and was followed by Nicki Mann with a single.
A sacrifice by Ehrhardt advanced the runners, but they were left stranded.
Guerrieri surrendered a single in the top of the second inning, but escaped unscathed thanks to solid defense from her teammates.
In the bottom of the frame, Taylor Maloney caught a pop-up to first, then Samantha Bloom delivered a strikeout, and Maloney echoed her earlier play sending the Lady Bucks down 1-2-3.
Winkler and Donahue combined for good defense in the third for two outs. Jessica Bobersky then landed a single for Scranton but was quickly forced out by the efforts of Ehrhardt and Mann.
Paupack finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the inning when Mann batted in Winkler on a one-out sacrifice.
A groundout closed the inning, but now the Lady Bucks were up 1-0.
In the Lead
Guerrieri tallied another K to kick off the fourth inning.
She then gave up a single, but a caught foul by Donahue added a second out. Scranton managed another single and advanced the runners, but they were left stranded when Guerrieri struck out another would-be hitter.
In the bottom of the inning, she took a base-on-balls and went on to score off a Kennedy Thomas single.
Tori Ciszak also singled and was batted in by Lauren Goetz while a single from Destiny Marut drove home Thomas making it 4-1 at the end of the fourth.
Mann and Donahue worked to stop the lead-off hitter in the top of the fifth while Guerrieri took down the second batter for her fifth K of the day.
Ehrhardt and Dohahue then combined to thwart the third in the order giving Paupack another 1-2-3 inning.
The Lady Bucks went on to boost the score in the bottom half of the fifth.
A single by Mann was followed by a double from Ehrhardt. The one-out triple from Donohue drove them both home.
She too would score before the Buckhorns retired and at the end of five, Paupack was up 7-0.
Bloom ripped in a single for Scranton and Kate Savage followed by getting on base thanks to a fielder's choice.
However, Guerreri then put up K number six; Mann and Donohue made easy work of the next batter; and Guerrieri sent the last one back to the dugout looking.
For Paupack, Marut singled and was later sent home on a 1-out fielder's choice hit by Mann.
The added run took the score to 8-0.
Paupack's defense cleaned up what was left of the Lady Knights.
A pop-up to Mann was followed by a joint play by Winkler and Donahue, and Mann closed the book on Scranton by catching one last pop up to ensure the Paupack win.
Following the game, the three Lady Buck seniors and their parents were honored for their service an contributions to the team.
They were: Caitlin Donahue, Brittany Guerrieri and Destiny Marut.
Donahue, a four year veteran of the diamond, also played soccer and has been a part of several travel softball teams including the Wallenpaupack Storm, the Paupack Attack, and the Northeast Nightmares.
She will continue her softball career at Dowling College where she will major in political-science.
Guerrieri, also with four years on the team, was voted Defensive Player of the Year in 2012 and plans to continue playing softball at Kutztown University.
She will be pursuing a degree in elementary and special education.
Marut, who joined the team last season after moving to the Lake Region, plans to attend East Stroudsburg University in the fall of 2014.
In the interim, she will attending US Army basic training and then serve in radio/satellite communications with the National Guard.
Sophomore Irene Dispenza noted she will miss playing with them.
"Caitlin is the funniest person I've ever met," she said. "She's a great player and a good friend. Brittany has always been there for me and Destiny always gives good advice."
Coach Dan Gumble echoed many of Dispenza's statements.
"Caitlin has a great personality and is always smiling," he says with slight chuckle.
"Destiny moved her two years ago and fit right in. She's a good hitter and we use her in the designated player spot often.
"Brittany had pitching thrust upon her last season. She stuck with it and has done phenomenally well."