Parkland admittedly got a little help from a porous Liberty defense in the District 11 semifinal, but the Trojans took advantage of every little thing that the Hurricanes gave them on their way to a 7-5 win and a spot in the District 11 championship. The semifinal win also reserves a spot for Parkland in the PIAA tournament, which begins next week.
Liberty, the defending District 11 Class 6A champions, committed four errors in the game, three of them by shortstop Marcus Nales, and Parkland used each of the errors to add to its run tally.
The Parkland softball team can beat teams in many ways. In the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference semifinal, the Trojans took a 1-0 win over Easton in a pitcher’s duel. When it came time to play for their fifth straight conference championship, though, they put their bats to work and made quick work of Liberty in an 11-0 win.
“I was just so happy for them because we’ve been struggling with the bats here of late,” said Parkland head coach Barry Search. “They just came out and hit the ball and did a fantastic job.”
Parkland High School recently celebrated six student athletes who have made their college choice and received financial assistance to attend various schools. This group of students will have majors ranging from the medical profession to business, engineering and education.
After putting up a 17-run outburst against Emmaus, the Parkland offense has continued to swing the bats better than expected this season. They put up six runs in a win over Northampton and then scored 13 against North Penn in a wild 13-12 non-conference win.
Those 12 runs combined with eight given up to Liberty the game before seemingly had the pitching staff on the ropes.
On Tuesday, Adam Smith delivered a big blow in the form of a no-hitter, that will likely reset the pitching staff, which is one of the deeper staffs in area baseball.
Everyone – fans, players, coaches – stood around thinking ‘this can’t be right.’ It’s mid-April and two rival high school tennis teams, both among the better teams in District 11 and the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, were just trying to play a simple tennis match.
But it was cold, bitterly cold. It was windy enough to misdirect not only volleys but serves. And oh yeah, it was snowing. Snowing!
“I don’t ever remember an inning like this,” said Parkland coach Kurt Weber about his team’s 14-run fifth inning in a 17-0 win over Emmaus. In that fifth inning, Parkland sent 20 batters to the plate and the first 13 all reached base safely.
The Trojans pounded out 13 hits, drew three walks, took advantage of an Emmaus error, had eight different players drive in runs and finished the inning with the bases loaded. They also went through three different Emmaus pitchers.
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.
Parkland softball coach Barry Search has a young, inexperienced team that he knows is going to take some time to pull everything together. If you talk to him about his team, the term “work in progress” is going to come up often. Search was faced with what every coach of a young team dreads: a tough early schedule. In this case, Bethlehem Catholic, Emmaus, Northampton and Liberty comprised much of the early schedule for the Lady Trojans.
For years now, the Parkland baseball team has just rolled out one pitcher after another and never had questions about who was going to be in their starting rotation. The Trojans would combine those quality arms with an emphasis on defense and would easily cover any deficiencies they may have had offensively.
For the first time since Kurt Weber took over as the head coach in 2016, the pitching machine has had a hiccup. Parkland returns just one pitcher starter from last year’s team and has a help wanted sign out to fill out the rotation.
At the District 11 Swimming Championships, Megan Sicinski and Matt Ceh were named the women’s and men’s swimmers of the meet and were given the Dennis A. McGinley Award for their accomplishments. They capped that off with medals at the PIAA Swimming and Diving Championships last week at Bucknell University in Lewisburg.
Megan Sicinski finished fifth in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:03.37. She also competed in the 200 IM, reaching the consolation finals and finishing 15th with a time of 2:06.16 at Bucknell.