The pieces of the puzzle finally fell into place for Honesdale's offense Monday afternoon in Varden.
Coming into a Week Three Lackawanna League battle with Western Wayne, the Lady Hornets had been struggling to manufacture runs in Division Two action.
They had no such trouble against the Lady 'Cats.
Coach Dave Patrisso's team unleashed a barrage of hits and runs that ended in a 22-0 Mercy Rule rout.
"I've been preaching to the girls that we really need to crank up the bats if we're going to compete with the better teams in our division," he said.
"Hopefully a game like this one will kickstart the offense and generate a little bit of momentum as we move forward."
With this lopsided win, the Lady Hornets upped their overall record to 5-1 on the season. Honesdale is 2-1 in league play.
Weather permitting, the local lasses were scheduled to host archrival Paupack Tuesday evening. They'll be back on the diamond again Thursday, at home versus Delaware Valley.
The Red & Black wasted no time in going on the attack at Western Wayne.
Rachel Carmody earned the starting nod for the Lady 'Cats, but struggled right from the outset against a locked-in Honesdale line-up.
The sophomore righty lasted just two innings before handing the ball off to Hannah Robinson in the top of the third.
Mackenzie Dirlam and Stacey Hart paced the Lady Hornet assault.
Dirlam is a junior who's taken on the role of catcher this season. However, she didn't let these new defensive duties distract her from hitting on Monday.
Page 2 of 3 - Mackenzie ripped three hits, including a double, scored two runs and piled up a game-high six RBIs.
"Wow, Mackenzie really lit it up!" Coach Patrisso exclaimed. "She's just so dialed in at the plate right now. Mackenzie is a fierce competitor and she rarely lets a pitcher get the better of her."
Hart has been a model of consistency in the field and at bat so far this year.
Already a battle-tested veteran at shortstop although she's still only a sophomore, Stacey enjoyed a 3-for-4 day at the dish. She scored two runs and drove in four more.
"Stacey Hart is just red-hot right now," said Coach Patrisso. "She's a line drive hitter who isn't afraid to take the ball the other way. If a pitcher tries to stay on the outside corner against Stacey, she'll just slap it to right field."
Megan Benson and Jackie Gallik did their best to ignite Honesdale's offense on this particular day. These two fleet-footed outfielders combined to tally six runs at the top of the batting order.
Pitching & Defense
Faith Decker continues to develop into one of the best young pitchers in the entire Lackawanna League.
A hard-working junior, Decker worked three hitless innings against the Lady 'Cats. She issued just one walk and fanned three.
To date, Decker has surrendered only one earned run in divisional action.
"Faith has really been phenomenal on the mound," said Coach Patrisso. "The way she's pitching right now, Faith can keep us in any game and give us a real shot at winning."
Decker also dazzled with the bat in this one, going 2-for-3 with three RBIs and four runs scored.
Defensively, Honesdale's young mentor was quick to heap praise on two of his veteran infielders.
Page 3 of 3 - Nicole Cush is drawing rave reviews for her play at the Hot Corner.
A senior who also stars in field hockey, Cush made what Coach Patrisso calls the "Play of the Year" to this point in the season against Scranton.
"In all my years of coaching, I've never seen this happen in a high school softball game," he said.
"Nicole dove full out behind third base, got up and threw the girl out from her knees. I don't know that you'll ever see a better play at this level."
On the other side of the infield is first baseman Sydney Goyette.
Another multi-sport senior who plays basketball and field hockey, Goyette has overcome numerous injuries to make herself a Gold Glover.
"I can't say enough good things about Sydney," said Coach Patrisso. "She's worked incredibly hard and improved so much since last year. Sydney's made herself into one of the better first baseman around."
Score by Innings...
HON (2-1) 11 0 11 0 0 x x - 22
WW (0-3) 0 0 0 0 0 x x - 0