Wallenpaupack Area varsity softball team headed to D2 playoffs
The regular season has had its ups and downs for Wallenpaupack Area’s varsity softball team.
However, the Lady Bucks were able to capture a 15-0 no-hitter, thanks in part to sophomore slinger Maddie Schmalzle and some serious slugging from everyone in the line-up.
Prior to their game with Western Wayne, both teams took a moment to honor their senior players.
“Our five seniors are a great bunch,” said Paupack Head Coach Dan Gumble.
“Every one of them has been with the program since freshman year and they’ve all done something to leave the team better than when they found it.”
Brittney Merrigan is a four-year veteran of the softball team and also played tennis for one season. She has been a member of the prom committee, SADD, and has been active in Volunteers in Paupack for three years.
Brittney belongs to the National Honor Society and earned the gold award for each of the past four years. She also placed second in the Skills USA nursing competition.
She is the daughter of Jim Johnson, Carl Merrigan and Amanda Merrigan. She plans to attend Penn State to study kinesiology and one day hopes to become a physician’s assistant.
Outside of softball, Sabrina Boyd has participated in FBLA, SADD.
She's been a member of the soccer team for four years, twice receiving Lackawanna League Second Team All-Star status, served as a manager for the swim team, and has played travel softball.
Sabrina plans to continue playing soccer and softball in college while studying to be a sign language interpreter.
Alyssa Watson has been a 4-year member of the softball and field hockey teams and has swam for one year. For field hockey, she was named to the Second Team Wyoming Valley Conference All-Stars in 2014 and 2015, and to the First Team in 2016.
Where softball is concerned, she was twice named to the Lackawanna League First team All-Stars. She earned an All-State Honorable Mention for softball and was a Channel 13 Athlete of the Week.
Alyssa is a member of the National Honor Society three-time Gold Award winner, has volunteered at Wayne Memorial Hospital, the Red Cross, and Bethany Village Nursing Home.
She has participated in Rachel’s Challenge, the Allied Health Program, Skills USA and the Knowledge Bowl.
Alyssa is the daughter of Mark & Sharon Watson. She plans to major in nursing at Quinnipiac University where she will continue to play field hockey.
Nikki Neglia is the daughter of Michael & Denise Myers.
She's been a peer helper, a member of the Prom Committee, a member of Rachel's Challenge, and has been a volunteer for the Wallenpaupack cheer clinic.
She has been on the honor roll and has received the Silver Award.
She has been in softball for four years and cheerleading for four years. She has been a member of the Competitive Cheer team for three years and helped the team attain District-II silver medals.
Nikki plans to go to Lock Haven University next year to begin studying to become a Physician's Assistant.
Alyssa McKean pretty much lives softball. She’s been a four-year varsity starter and put in six seasons playing travel ball.
She also spends a lot of time conditioning and fostering younger players with their skills. Alyssa was named the defensive player of the year for Paupack in 2014 and 2015.
The daughter of John & Michelle McKean, Alyssa is a member of the National Honor Society where she has attained the silver award. She also has served as a manager for the football.
She plans to continue her academic and softball career at Shippensburg where she will study earth science education.
Rachel Tirjan continued to boost her batting average with a monster performance versus Western Wayne.
The sophomore slugger went 4-for-4 at the plate and scored three runs. Also making it home three times was Sabrina Boyd.
Not only did Maddie Schmalzle throw a no-hitter, she the sophomore pitcher also drove in five runs.
Right behind her was junior Angelina Ioppolo who went 3-for-3 with a walk, scored twice, and drove home four.
Junior Olivia Gregory batted in three runs while Rebecca Pizzo and Alyssa McKean each drove in one.
Among their hits, Gregory, Ioppolo, and Pizzo each notched a double.
As courtesy runners for Schmalzle, Emily Peet, Natalia Montalvo, and Elaina Gatusso each scored one run.
Also crossing the plate were Watson, McKean, Gregory and Pizzo.
At 8-4, the Lady Bucks are 2nd in the PIAA District II/XI 5A standings, behind Abington Heights, which stands at 10-2.
They are tied with Delaware Valley for the top spot in Division 2.
The Purple & White finish out the regular season on May 18 at Scranton. They then have two non-league games, both away, at East Stroudsburg North on May 16 and at Pocono Mountain East on May 18.
Provided they hold on to earn a seed in the sub-regional championships, the Lady Bucks will begin the quest for a district title on May 23.