Trojans played waiting game before final
It wasn’t until two hours or so before the District 11 Class 6A softball final that Parkland knew who it would be facing.
Three days worth of unsettled weather caused postponements and continuations for both softball and baseball teams in the area, so it was a toss up between Northampton and Whitehall.
The Konkrete Kids and Zephyrs finished their semifinal prior to the district final as it had been stopped in the fifth inning the day before.
“All throughout the school day, we were so excited,” said Parkland pitcher Kelly Dulaney. “Regardless of who we play, we knew we were going to play a great team, but we’re really solid right now.”
Based on past history, Parkland shortstop Nicole Klass was hoping for a Whitehall match up.
“We were at Parkland warming up so we were watching it on GameChanger,” Klass said. “I thought it was going to be Northampton just because we battled with them so many times before, and I really didn’t want to play them for a fourth time.”
Northampton was the team that handed Parkland its first loss of the season, 2-0, on March 26. In league playoffs, Parkland beat Whitehall, but only by a one-run margin, 2-1.
“It’s always exciting knowing you’re coming into such a big game and having all the kids at school ask you about it,” said Klass. “I was hoping it was going to be Whitehall. Either way, it was going to be a good game.”
Overall, the Trojans only had two losses on the season. Their second was to Emmaus, 3-1.
“Teams want to beat us more because we’re like the big dogs to them now, so teams are coming in with more aggression,” said Parkland third baseman Morgan Fenstermaker. “We just have fun together. We relax, we have fun before the game, and we just go in there and take it one step at a time.”
Even with the uncertainty last Friday, the Trojans warmed up like they always do.
“We keep the same routine pretty much for every game because it works for us. We stick to what we know,” Fenstermaker said.
It wasn’t as if Parkland could breathe a huge sigh of relief, however, as Whitehall led off the first inning by getting two runners on base quickly, but Parkland got out of the inning unscathed.
Dulaney’s home run in the bottom of the second inning gave the Trojans the momentum both teams craved.
“Honestly, after we scored those first couple runs, after Kelly’s home run, that was when we knew we were in it,” said Fenstermaker. “When we get up, that’s when we’re all confident at the plate. It’s awesome. We worked for this all season so it makes all those long hours of practice worth it. This is the best part.”