Softball to play for EPC championship
After going undefeated through the regular season, the Parkland softball team continued to roll as the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference playoffs got underway last week.
The Trojans earned the top seed and cruised past Northampton last Friday, 9-1 in a quarterfinal game. They followed that with a win over Bethlehem Catholic Monday, 4-1.
After the win over Northampton, Parkland third baseman Chelsea Morgan said there’s no added pressure protecting an unblemished record in the postseason. The team just tries to win each inning and plays game by game.
“There’s always pressure,” said Morgan, “But you’ve just got to take it one game at a time. Right now, every team going into playoffs is 0-0.”
Parkland (21-0) jumped in front of Northampton in the first inning when Alyssa Oakley and Morgan scored on Steph Herpel’s single for a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Morgan, who went 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored against Northampton, drove in a run to start the scoring in a four-run second inning for Parkland. Shauna Frank drove in two more in the second before Herpel cleared the bases with a home run over the right fielder’s head that made it 7-0.
“We prepared really hard,” Herpel said. “We knew they were going to be a good team. We came to play.
“We worked on some things at practice. Our goal is to win each inning.”
Third-inning singles by Morgan and Herpel knocked in Madison Holub and Oakley, who scored three runs in the game, to give Parkland a 9-0 lead.
Northampton brought in Kaitlyn Perl to relieve starting pitcher Taylor Keeney and Parkland started pinch hitting for many of its starters. The Kids kept the game from going to the mercy rule before scoring a run in the top of the seventh on a Parkland error, their only miscue of the afternoon.
“I thought they came out to play the game,” Parkland head coach Barry Search said of his team. “They were hungry. They played us tough last time. It was a 2-1 game. Our kids prepared yesterday and they came out hungry.”
Parkland managed 11 hits against Northampton after being held to just five hits in their 2-1 win over the Kids on May 8.
“We struggled last time against her,” said Search. “We didn’t want to struggle this time. They came out and hit the ball.”
The Trojans followed that with a 4-1 win over Bethlehem Catholic in Monday’s semifinals. They move on to face Emmaus in Thursday’s league title game at Pates Park.