Pates end Trojan softball streak
When it comes to dominating their league in softball, nobody knows how to do that better than the Lady Trojans. Coming into Tuesday, they had won 33 straight regular season games against conference opponents, whether in the Lehigh Valley Conference or Eastern Pennsylvania Conference. They also hadn’t lost to a team from the Lehigh Valley since a loss to Northampton in districts three years ago.
Now, it’s time for the Trojans to start a new streak, after Freedom came away with a 5-4 win over Parkland Tuesday at Parkland High School.
Parkland ran into Shayla Peterson, one of the hottest pitchers in the EPC, who beat Northampton and Central Catholic last week, allowing just one run and four hits combined in the two games. It didn’t look like Parkland was going to fall victim to Peterson when it scored twice in the top of the first. Kyleigh Staudt delivered a two-run double and the Lady Trojans seemed to be on their way.
The problem is that Freedom isn’t just a team with good pitching and the Patriots showed that when they came right back to score twice in the top of the second and add another run in the third against Parkland’s standout pitcher, Aubree Fritzinger.
Then, it was Parkland’s turn to show more offense when Jenna Lehr put her team back in front with a two-run single in the bottom of the third, giving Parkland a 4-3 lead. The offense looked to keep chipping away at Peterson, but weren’t able to push any more runs across, while the Patriots put together a two-run fifth inning to get the win.
Fritzinger has continued to dazzle in her junior season. In the season opener, she had herself in some jams, but constantly took command of the game and kept Easton off the board for a 1-0 win. Next up was a much easier 13-0 win over Dieruff. Fritzinger has struck out 10 batters in her three starts this season and is now 2-1 on the year.
“Aubree isn’t bothered by pressure,” said Parkland head coach Barry Search after his team’s win over Easton. “She handles herself very well and she’s always in control out there, no matter what’s going on around her, she doesn’t show much emotion either way.”
Perhaps the early season loss will rekindle a fire for the Parkland team that Search says is looking to establish its own identity after winning a state championship last season.
“This isn’t the same team as last year and we have to remember that,” said Search. “Every season is different and you have to let the girls figure out just who they are and fit into the roles that we have on the team. That’s always one of the things that they just have to figure out on their own.”
Parkland has games against division foes Northampton (1-3) and Central Catholic (1-1) this week before a game against rival Emmaus (1-2) next Tuesday at home.