It was Easter weekend when Chad Hess had his greatest golfing moment to date. The Old Dominion University senior stepped up to the tee on the 14th hole, a par three with the pin 196 yards away.
The venue was the Brook Valley Country Club in Greenville, N.C. The Monarchs were there to play in the East Carolina Intercollegiate Tournament. Monarch donors and alumni were around the club, kicking back, recalling the old days and checking out the new kids on the block. The pressure was on, but Hess is clutch. Pressure is one thing, golf is another.
In general, a softball team relies on the middle part of its lineup to produce the big hits. The hitters at the top of the order get on base to set the table for the bigger bats in the lineup to drive them in. Whatever you get out of the bottom portion of the order often determines how successful a team will be offensively.
For Parkland, the bottom of the lineup has played a crucial role in postseason success.
The Lehigh Carbon Community College softball team did something this season that no other Cougar team had accomplished in the program’s history.
Plenty of local softball players were at the center of the memorable campaign.
LCCC became the first team ever from Pennsylvania to win the Region XIX Championship. The Cougars also advanced to the Division III NJCAA National Championship Tournament for the first time and won a game before its season came to a close in mid-May.
Two Parkland High School graduates were part of that team in Shannon Jacobs and Madison Mohr.
The last time that the Parkland boys lacrosse team was on the field with Emmaus, it was on the brink of defeat in its regular season finale at home early in May. The Trojans scored twice in the last minute of regulation to force overtime, and then notched the game-winner 30 seconds into overtime for the one-goal victory.
But their latest meeting was a bit different.
The Parkland girls lacrosse team wanted to get the sour taste out of its mouth. Coming up on the short end against Easton, two weeks ago, the Trojans did not want to experience that feeling once again.
They had to battle back from down five goals to force overtime in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference final, but the Red Rovers used their All-Conference, do-it-all athlete Leanna Deegan to score the winner in overtime, and hand Parkland the silver medals.
Franco Perinotti took advantage of his first appearance at the PIAA Track and Field Championships last weekend at Shippensburg University. The Parkland senior had a top-10 finish in the pole vault, leading a group of 11 Parkland student-athletes at annual meet at Seth Grove Stadium.
Perinotti cleared a mark of 14-0 to place ninth in his first ever state competition, one place away from earning a medal.
Looking to make their fifth straight appearance in the District 11 championship game, Parkland wasn’t about to let a late comeback from Easton get in its way. After the Lady Rovers tied the game in sixth, Parkland plated two runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 4-2 win and face Nazareth for their fourth district crown in the last five years.
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.”
At the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference meet the week prior, the Parkland boys 4x100 relay team did not finish the way they wanted to. But the foursome made up for it in a big way last Thursday in the final day of the two-day District 11 track and field championships at Whitehall High School.
The 4x100 and 4x800 relay teams were the big winners for the Trojans boys program, both winning gold and advancing to the PIAA state meet at Shippensburg University this weekend.