KINGSTON — The victory wasn’t as crisp as the previous 10, but it served its purpose.
Holy Redeemer is the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 3 softball champion.
Despite some uncharacteristic fielding mistakes and an offense that went quiet after three innings, the Royals defeated Northwest 8-5 Tuesday to lock up the title.
Redeemer (11-0) will finish its regular season today at MMI Prep. Regardless of that outcome, the Royals will be the top seed in next week’s District 2 Class 2A tournament as they will have the best winning percentage among 16 2A teams. That means home games throughout and a title game, if they get that far, in the Wilkes-Barre area.
“It’s always good to be home and have a home-field advantage,” Redeemer coach Mark Senchak said.
The Royals defeated Northwest 13-0 back on April 24. Tuesday’s game looked like it would play out similarly as the Royals took a 7-0 lead after three innings. Alexis Shemanski had a two-run double and Kaitlyn Kaluzny had an RBI single in the first for a 3-0 lead. Shemanski added an RBI double and Julie Kosik had an RBI single as part of a four-run third.
Things changed abruptly in the fifth. Redeemer pitcher Kaya Swanek, who pitched a four-inning perfect game her last time to the circle, was cruising at that point. But a couple errors and an infield single by Jaden Perrillo allowed Northwest to move within 7-3.
Even after Redeemer’s Chelsea Skrepenak swatted her WVC-leading eighth homer in the sixth, Northwest (8-4) didn’t fold. The Rangers came back with two runs in the seventh, one on a throwing error and another on an RBI single by Olivia McCorkel. Swanek, though, got a popout with runners on first and second to end the game.
“I had a gut feeling today we were going to face some adversity,” Senchak said. “We did and we responded like I felt we would respond to it.”
The late-inning offensive surge, along with the pitching of first-time starter Molly Hasay, left Northwest coach Karen May pleased. The Rangers will also be in the D2-2A playoffs and will land somewhere in the top-eight seeds, giving them a home game in the first round.
“I’m feeling better after today,” May said. “We were in a slump. Hanover handed us a big loss (Monday). It was very disappointing. We had a lot of errors. This team needed a game like today. I think it was a tone setter going into districts and I have a real good feeling that I didn’t have before today.”
Emily Buerger cf4100000
Jaden Perrillo ss3111000
Liz Gurzynski pr0000000
Maggie Murphy 3b4010000
Olivia McCorkel c4011000
Sara Gleco 1b4010000
Hailey Chapin lf3000000
Kate Agnello rf2000000
Kristen Bomboy dp2110000
Molly Hasay p3000000
Tori Reinhart pr0100000
Sue Mendegro 2b0100000
Chelsea Skrepenak c4221001
Jen Ringsdorf rf4100000
Sydney Kotch ss3100000
Alexis Shemanski 3b3233300
Kaya Swanek p3001000
Kaitlyn Kaluzny 2b3110000
Kasey Miller 1b3100000
Biz Eaton cf3010000
Julie Kosik lf3011000
Northwest0000302 — 5
Holy Redeemer304001x — 8
Hasay (L, 0-1)678520
Swanek (W, 8-0)755033
Lake-Lehman 5, Tunkhannock 4 (10 in.)
Vickey Cadwalader hit an RBI double with one out in the bottom of the 10th, completing Lake-Lehman’s three-run rally as the Black Knights posted their first victory of the season.
After Tunkhannock (9-5) scored twice in the top of the 10th, Lehman (1-13) started the bottom of the frame with Sara Schuler on second per the international tiebreaker rule. She scored when Korri Wandel led off with a triple. Brit Meeker followed with a single, scoring Wandel to tie the score 4-4. Cadwalader then hit the walk-off double.
Jess Brennan and Ryleigh Fitch each had a triple for Tunkhannock.
Tunkhannock0002000002 — 4
Lake-Lehman0000110003 — 5
WP — Jordan Hodle (1-11) 10 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 1 K. LP — Erin Smith (5-3) 9.1 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 7 K.
2B —Vickey Cadwalader (LL) 2. 3B — Jess Brennan (T), Ryleigh Fitch (T), Korri Wandel (LL).
Top hitters — TUN, Brennan 2-4. LL, Sara Schuler 2-5; Cadwalader 2-5, 2 RBI.