Sarah Stacey found herself in an unfamiliar situation for the Robert L. Dolbear Senior Girls All-Star Softball Game.
Stacey started the game on the bench, something she never did during her four-year career at Lake-Lehman.
“She was a starter since her freshman year and played every single inning of every game,” Lake-Lehman coach Wayne Oplinger said. “We’re naming an award after her, the Sarah Stacey Ironwoman Award.” Oplinger said the award will recognize a player annually for leadership and dedication to the team.
Stacey received the award, which includes a small scholarship, from the Lake-Lehman Softball Booster Club.
Stacey did her best to provide leadership to a struggling West team in the all-star game for recent graduates from Wyoming Valley Conference teams.
The East opened a 14-0 lead in the first 4 ½ innings of the nine-inning game, played June 21 at the W.W. Kubis Memorial Field in Dallas.
Stacey singled in the sixth inning and came around to score one of two West runs in the inning on the way to cutting the final East margin of victory to 15-4.
“I wasn’t used to it,” Stacey said of coming off the bench.
The West team kept battling in what could have turned into a discouraging game.
“The whole thing was fun,” Stacey said.
By the time the game ended, six players on the West team had produced at least one hit. Five of those players came from Lake-Lehman, Dallas or Tunkhannock.
Lake-Lehman had two of the game’s three starting outfielders.
Brandie Brennan, who was captain along with Stacey, was in left field. Vicky Cadwalder, who provided the game-winning double in extra innings for the team’s only win of the season, started in right field.
Cadwalder went 1-for-2.
“Vicky worked so hard to make herself a great player,” Oplinger said of Cadwalder, pointing out that she led the division in doubles as a junior and hit multiple home runs this year. “She worked hard to make herself a better all-around hitter.”
Brennan went 0-for-1.
Taylor Baker represented Dallas and was the starting pitcher for the West.
Baker went 1-for-2 and scored a run.
Tunkhannock had four players in the game, including Kristen Gilpin, who was selected as the West team’s Most Valuable Player.
“It was really unexpected,” Gilpin told The Times Leader after learning about the award in post-game public address announcements.
Gilpin singled to drive in the team’s first run and finished 1-for-2. She also pitched the last four innings, controlling the East offense, which had been overpowering early with 16 hits in five innings.
In the last four innings, Gilpin gave up just one run on two hits while striking out four and walking three.
Emily Forba, Alicia Spudis and Jess Brennan also played from Tunkhannock.
Forba went 1-for-2 and drove in a run. Spudis started as the West leadoff hitter and finished 0-for-3. Brennan was 0-for-2.