Coaches like to say they’re never looking ahead. Never looking past that next opponent.
On many occasions, those statements need to be taken with a nod and a wink no matter what the sport.
Softball, though, has been the exception this season, especially in Division 1 and Division 2. When coaches in those divisions says they can’t take anyone lightly, it’s true.
Here’s some quick facts through the first few weeks:
– There have been 33 games in the two divisions, including crossovers. Nearly 25 percent of them – eight in all – have been decided by one run.
– Hazleton Area (7-0) is the only unbeaten among the 11 teams. The Cougars, though, needed to rally to edge Wyoming Valley West 4-3 and overcome Lake-Lehman 15-8. They also slipped past Nanticoke 2-1 and had a tougher-than-expected time with Coughlin before winning 3-0.
– Lake-Lehman (0-6) is the only winless team. As mentioned, the Black Knights had a lead on Hazleton Area midway through the game. They lost in 11 innings to Dallas and lost only 2-0 to Tunkhannock. The 14-1 loss to Berwick looks bad only because Berwick scored 10 times in the seventh inning.
– Dallas (3-3) started with three wins, all close games. The Mountaineers have since dropped their last three.
– Valley West (2-3) lost all three games by one run. The Spartans also played at Berwick last week, but since the game was never reported – a problem that is cropping up with Berwick home games – there’s no knowing what happened.
No matter, there’s enough evidence thus far to believe the coaches … finally.
Northwest’s Olivia McCorkel did it again last week, hitting two home runs in a game. McCorkel hit a pair of dingers in a 9-5 victory over GAR last Wednesday. She also had two homers in an 11-0 win over Meyers on April 9 and leads the entire WVC in that department.
The request for season’s batting statistics was met with a tepid response. But we’ll run what we have and if your team is not here remind the coach to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org by 6 p.m. Saturday.
Remember, they must be cumulative and include only WVC games.
Coughlin: Marissa Ross is leading the Crusaders in batting average, hitting .500 (10-of-20), and in RBI with eight. Liz Ellsworth is hitting .316 (6-of-19) with four RBI. Katie Colleran is hitting .313 (5-of-16) with two RBI.
Hazleton Area: Mackenzie Yori is off to an incredible start. She is hitting .591 (13-of-22) with 11 runs and 10 stolen bases. All three stats lead the Cougars.
Maria Trivelpiece is hitting .462 (12-of-26) with a pair of triples. Celine Podlesney is batting .444 (8-of-12). Abby Sachse is hitting .435 (10-of-23) with a team-leading nine RBI. Lexi Wolk is second with eight RBI while batting .429 (9-of-21).
Nanticoke: Allie Matulewski is pacing the team in hitting with a .471 average (8-of-17) and RBI with seven. Kayley Schinski leads Nanticoke with three doubles and three stolen bases while hitting .368 (7-of-19).
Rachel Roccograndi (.421, 8-of-19), Kara Voyton (.375, 6-of-16) and Baylee Steininger (.357, 5-of-14) have also made the most of their time in the batter’s box.
Tunkhannock: Taylor Hegedty leads the Tigers with a .467 average (7-of-15). Emily Forba (.444, 8-of-18) and Erin Smith (.400, 6-of-15) are next followed by Molly Hampsey (.389, 7-of-18) and Jess Brennan (.357, 5-of-14). Hegedty and Forba lead the team with five RBI each.
The amazing stat for those five players is they’ve combined to strike out just five times in 91 plate appearances.
A RIDE ON THE CYCLE
Holy Redeemer’s Chelsea Skrepenak became the first player to hit for the cycle. The sophomore had a homer, triple, double and single in a 17-7 victory over Wyoming Seminary on Thursday. What was more impressive was the game lasted only five innings due to the 10-run rule. She finished the week with nine RBI.
Skrepenak also dismisses the myth that catcher’s aren’t fleet of foot. She can really motor around the bases. Two days earlier, teammate Kaya Swanek was a triple short of the cycle.
A day after Skrepenak hit for the cycle, Meyers’ Sarah McCann nearly did the same against GAR.
McCann got the three hardest parts of the cycle assembled, but couldn’t get that elusive single. She finished 3-for-4.
Three victories in a season don’t seem like much, but for GAR it’s a big accomplishment.
The Grenadiers posted their third win Friday, a 12-8 victory over Meyers. Over the past two seasons, the Grenadiers have been a combined 3-23. Over the past four, they were 8-46.
The last time GAR didn’t have a losing record was 2008 when it finished 7-7.
Crestwood coach Bob Bertoni was frustrated two weeks ago. His Comets probably were as well as they stranded 10 runners – eight in scoring position – in a 4-1 loss to Nanticoke.
Crestwood had scored only seven runs through its first four games, but broke out with a 9-0 victory over Pittston Area and a 4-2 win over Dallas.