Jenna Lipowski’s last game for the Nanticoke softball team demonstrate just how feared a hitter she was.
First trip to the batter’s box ended in an intentional walk. So did the next three.
Then, with Wyoming Area ahead 5-2 with two outs in the ninth inning, the decision was made to pitch to her.
Lipowski crushed a two-run homer to left. Nanticoke tied the game, only to lose 6-5 in the ninth. The District 2 Class 4A semifinal loss ended Lipowski’s high school career, but certainly not her legacy.
For the second time in three years, Lipowski was named the Times Leader Player of the Year in softball. The slugging third baseman received the honor as a sophomore and was a Times Leader all-star the past three years.
“In reflection, she’s somebody who had pride in her game, who wants to win and takes the game seriously,” Nanticoke coach Ryan Stetz said. “And she had pride in her school. She loved playing for Nanticoke and in this day and age sometimes you don’t see that too much.”
Lipowski, who will play at Kutztown University, hit .676 with seven homers and 22 RBI and 21 runs scored in 13 Wyoming Valley Conference games as the Trojanettes finished undefeated and won the Division 2 championship. Her on-base percentage (.755), slugging percentage (1.378) and on-base-plus slugging (2.133) were off the charts.
Those numbers are more amazing considering Lipowski rarely saw good pitches every trip to the plate. Some of her 12 walks weren’t intentional, but the pitches were so far out of the strike zone that she had little opportunity to swing.
“It’s a little hard, but you have to help your teammates out and get on base,” Lipowski said. “Getting walked, you just have to toughen up and take them. Then we have Miranda Bohn right behind me who is reliable.”
Lipowski noticed in junior high she was developing as a power hitter. So softball became her prime focus.
“In eighth grade I quit basketball and started concentrating on softball than any other sport,” Lipowski said.
Lipowski also excels at volleyball and was a Times Leader all-star in that sport in the fall. However, softball will be where her best memories will be.
“Playing with this team for four years honestly was amazing,” Lipowski said. “We had great girls and I’m going to miss playing with them. Coach Stetz, he’s a very good coach. He played me as a freshman, which he didn’t have to and giving me a chance to make a mark on Nanticoke.”
Most of those marks landed on the other side of the outfield fence.