Paupack softball ace twirls a Lackawanna League no-no
The Wallenpaupack Area varsity softball team has had its ups and downs so far this season.
Sitting on a 3-3 record heading into their April 16 match-up with North Pocono, the Lady Bucks were expecting to be on the road but swampy conditions on the Trojans home field forced the switch of venue.
Maybe it was home field advantage, but whatever the case, senior slinger Maddie Schmalzle dominated en route to a 4-0 no-hitter.
Following their Lackawanna League opener, a 5-2 win over Delaware Valley, the Lady Bucks dropped an 8-5 decision to Abington Heights on April 4.
The Comets took an early lead but by the end of the fifth inning, thanks to runs from Rachael Tirjan, Mia Watson, Maddie Schmalzle, Taylor Van Wettering, and Sarah Sassi, things were all tied up.
Unfortunately for local fans, Abington came back in the 6th to score three more and Paupack was unable to respond.
The local lasses struck back on April 10 at Western Wayne.
Schmalzle struck out the Lady ’Cats 13 times in the process of producing the shutout. Offensively, the bats came alive and generated 10 runs. Maddi helped her own cause by scoring twice, as did Tirjan, and Natalie Meredick.
Babyak, Watson, Kayla Schmalzle, and Madison Sottung each tallied one run each in the 10-0 victory.
Despite Schmalzle dishing out five Ks the next afternoon, Paupack couldn’t make a comeback following the 3-0 lead Honesdale amassed over six innings.
Schmalzle and Sottung let loose back-to-back homers in the bottom of the sixth, but with clear bases for each, two runs would be all they’d get before ultimately surrendering 3-2 at the close of the night.
Another loss came on April 13.
At Pittston things were tied 1-1 after three innings. Elaina Gattuso got the lone run for Paupack and things stayed that way until the bottom of the eighth when the Patriots trotted home on a two-out single for the 2-1 walk-off.
When asked, many North Pocono athletes in other sports will say Honesdale games are a must-win for them.
Lady Trojan softball players clearly put Paupack on the top of their hit list, and with good reason.
For the last four seasons, one of the two clubs has been the Division II champion and in most seasons they’ve split their records 1-1 against each other in league play.
Consequently, a healthy rivalry exists between the teams.
Schmalzle K’d the first two Trojans batters and the third popped out. Tirjan came home on a wild pitch and later in the bottom of the first, Babyak scored on an error.
A fly, a pop, and a K sent the NP ladies back to the field in the second, but it was a 1-2-3 inning for the Paupack gals too.
Short stands at the plate for both clubs continued until Kayla Schmalzle drilled an RBI that allowed Van Wettering to score in the 4th.
The younger Schmalzle sister struck again in the 6th when she brought in Watson to make it a 4-0 game.
A line out, a pop-up, and another line ended the Trojans chances in the 7th without a single one of them making it to first base on a hit.
Schmalzle served up six strikeouts and allowed no walks. North Pocono batters reached first base only twice, one hit by a pitch and another by an error.
“North Pocono has a very good team and hits well, but I wasn’t surprised by the win,” said Head Coach Dan Gumble.
“Maddi pitched very well and kept us in the game. Our defense backed her up and offensively, I’m very happy with how we played.
“We had to play some small ball that forced North Pocono to make some mistakes, and that allowed us to get a good win.”
Over & Out
Gumble admits there were some missed opportunities against Honesdale and Pittston Area.
Both were low scoring games and Paupack left runners on base that could have made a difference in both outings.
“Our girls played well in both games, we just were short on luck,” said the Paupack skipper. “I think those games gave our younger players some confidence going into the North Pocono game and they really stepped up defensively.”
The Paupack gals are at West Scranton on April 22 and home against Scranton Prep on April 24. On April 30 they welcome Delaware Valley and then head to Honesdale on May 2.
They are away at Tunkhannock on April 5 and April 6 they are at North Pocono. Senior night is on May 9 versus Western Wayne and they stay home for battles against Pocono Mountain East on May 11 and Mountain View on May 17.