Softball downs Emmaus in extra innings
After losing their season opener to Bethlehem Catholic, Parkland may have been looked at by other EPC teams as possibly being on a bit of a down season.
It’s been a couple weeks since that loss and teams are now realizing that the Lady Trojans were just taking a little longer than usual to get themselves settled in for the season.
Since the 2-0 opening day loss, Parkland has rattled off five straight wins and Kelly Dulaney has thrown three shutouts.
Dulaney also threw nine innings in a win over Emmaus that saw Parkland score four runs in the top of the ninth. Dulaney kept her cool when the Hornets battled to get two back in the bottom of the inning.
The two teams were scoreless through eight innings until Parkland put up a four-spot in the top of the ninth.
Mackenzie Wolfe singled to left and was bunted to second by Steph Herpel. A fly ball to left by Dulaney was dropped, but Emmaus was able to get an out when Wolfe attempted to move to third on the play. On the throw to third, Dulaney advanced to second and with two outs, Morgan McGuire singled to drive home Dulaney for the go-ahead run.
One batter later, Chelsea Morgan followed with a three-run home run to give Parkland what would prove to be too much of a lead for Emmaus to come back from.
Emmaus came back with two runs, but Dulaney and the rest of the team maintained their composure and held on for the 4-2 win.
“I just trust the defense and I know everybody in the outfield and the infield and Ashley behind the plate, all have my back. That makes it easier to pitch,” said Dulaney. “We knew they’re a great team and their coaches are great. W
“We all came together as a team and played well defensively and the offense came through big.”
Dulaney went on to shutout Wilson West Lawn Saturday and Spring-Ford on Monday. Parkland also downed Northampton 5-4 on Tuesday.
Hailey Druckenmiller has come on this season to provide solid relief work late in games, giving Dulaney a bit of a breather with five games in six days.
Against Wilson, Dulaney also delivered an RBI triple that she legged out on a close play at third base. She appeared to be losing some speed between second and third but was able to get in ahead of the throw.
“I was just following the coach, but initially, I was thinking it was a double until I saw him waving me over,” said the junior pitcher, with a bit of a laugh about her sprint on the basepaths.
Herpel delivered a key hit, a bases-loaded triple, to help beat Wilson. She also had a double in the game.
The memory of the loss to Beca is just that, a memory. Now, Parkland is focused on its newfound success and working its way through the schedule. For Herpel, she believes the team just needed a little time to work up some chemistry, which they’ve been able to do.
“I think so,” said Herpel of having put the loss to Beca behind them. “I think we’re all really capable and we work together well as a team. Everybody contributes and I think we’re really coming together well.”
Dulaney looks back on the loss to Bethlehem Catholic as just a tough loss to a tough team and says she never doubted that the team would rally around each other to turn things around quickly. She also believes that the best is yet to come.
“We’re coming together,” reported Dulaney. “That loss was tough, but Beca is a good team and we knew we could come back from that. You can see that with every practice and every game, we’re getting better.”