North Parkland (12-4) put together an impressive run late in the season and heads into the Lehigh Valley Legion playoffs as one of the hottest teams in the league.
Since dropping their rivalry matchup against South Parkland (15-0), the Buffaloes have gone 4-0, outscoring opponents 42-6 in those four games.
The numbers are skewed by a 21-1 pasting of Coplay (5-9-1) in a game shortened to four innings by the 15-run rule. Another game against Coplay was played just five days earlier and saw the Buffaloes pick up a 7-0 win.
After making it through the regular season undefeated, South Parkland (15-0) comes into the Lehigh Valley Legion playoffs as the favorite, holding the top-seed. The Trojans take on Emmaus (5-11) in a first-round game and with a win would face either Lower Macungie or Northern Valley in the second-round game.
In the first meeting between the North and South Parkland Lehigh Valley Legion baseball teams, South Parkland prevailed with a 9-1 win back on June 15. The win put the Trojans at 7-0 on the season and since then they had put together two more wins to reach 9-0 coming into the showdown with North Parkland last week.
For their part, the Buffaloes followed up their earlier loss to South Parkland with a loss to Lower Macungie, but then put together an impressive 11-2 win over Emmaus, leaving them ready for their counterparts from the south.
Like any high school baseball team, the Parkland Trojans spend much of the year hanging out together, putting in time in the indoor batting cages during the offseason and then banding together for a long high school season.
Unlike many of the local high school teams, though, the group is split in two for the Lehigh Valley Legion baseball season. The one, tight-knit team is divided between North Parkland and South Parkland. Twice each LVL season, and often in the playoffs, they go up against each other.
The South Parkland offense has done pretty well for itself this season, putting up 55 runs in eight games coming into Tuesday’s game against the Carbon Monarchs (4-4).
The Trojans added six more runs against Carbon, but all six were set up by errors and were unearned runs. The result was a ninth straight conquest for the Trojans in a 6-4 win over Carbon.
The North Parkland Buffaloes (8-3) aren’t used to seeing what they saw on Monday when Lower Macungie scored three first-inning runs and didn’t look back in a 14-0 win. The good news is that the Buffaloes were able to get right back on the field Tuesday and things returned to normal with an 11-2 win over Emmaus.
Against Lower Macungie (4-6), an error led to three unearned runs in the first inning.
In the end, the Parkland softball season came down to one bad inning.
It was the second inning of its PIAA quarterfinal game against Spring-Ford. The inning saw the Rams score four times and bang out five of their seven hits in the game en route to a 4-1 win, which ended Parkland’s season at 25-3.
The inning came down to three key hits, an RBI double, a lined single and a bloop single that did most of the damage, bringing home two runs in the inning.
It’s hard to blame the Parkland softball team for the early-season hitting slump that they encountered this year.
The Trojans went to play in the warm sunshine of Florida and returned to cold, windy conditions at home and their offense shivered in the cold weather.
The season opened with a 2-0 loss to Northampton, which would prove to be one of the tougher teams in the East Penn Conference throughout the season.
Another game, another postseason victory for the Parkland Trojans.
With a first-round matchup close to home at Patriots Park, Parkland took on Conestoga, the fifth-place team out of District 1, and fought its way to an 8-0 win over the Pioneers. The win moves Parkland into the quarterfinal round against Spring-Ford, also out of District 1.
Throughout the game, Parkland took advantage of miscues by the Pioneers and turned them into big advantages.
Like most top-tier high school sports programs, Parkland’s baseball team seems to reload every season. No matter how many great players graduate, there seem to be more waiting in the wings.
Next season the Trojans will have to replace nearly a dozen players, however the few they have returning will provide a solid foundation.