The Lady Hornets put up a valiant struggle, but fell to North Pocono
Even though field conditions were less than ideal, a big enthusiastic crowd turned out Monday to witness Honesdale's varsity softball team battle North Pocono in a crucial Lackawanna League contest.
Heaven Houck, Jaclyn Martin and Michaela Stephens were honored in an emotional pre-game ceremony. However, the Lady Hornets simply couldn't deliver a Senior Day victory.
The visiting Trojans erupted for seven early runs, then cruised to a 7-3 decision. With this win, North Pocono locked up a spot in the District Two Class 5A tournament.
Despite a disappointing loss that dropped their record to 1-11, the Red & Black remain eligible for districts as the 4A tourney is open formatted.
First round action in both of these brackets begin on Tuesday, May 23.
Early & Often
North Pocono erupted for seven runs in the opening three frames, then cruised to a 7-3 triumph.
Honesdale skipper Dave Patrisso entered the fray with a very specific game plan, one his girls tried hard to execute.
"I want us to go out there and battle every pitch," he said. "I want us to limit our mistakes, just keep fighting and never quit."
Jami Lesek drew the starting assignment in the circle. The junior righty went on to notch a complete game, working seven innings and allowing four earned runs.
Lesek scattered 11 hits, walked two and fanned two.
North Pocono head coach Michael LaFave countered with Nicole Zasada. The sophomore sensation also twirled a complete game, going seven innings and surrendering only two earned runs.
Zasada was nicked for 10 hits, but piled up 11 Ks.
Offensively, the Trojans were paced by Olivia Gentile. The senior outfielder went 2-for-3 with a run scored and three RBIs.
Senior shortstop Chloe Pehanick also enjoyed a banner day, ripping three hits including an RBI double.
Dayle Smith and Delilah Owen each contributed two hits to the cause, while Jamie Hawley chipped in with a pair of RBIs.
For Honesdale, Brooke Gardas continued her torrid pace at the plate. The sophomore second sacker went 3-for-4 on the day including an RBI single.
Brianna Potter and Natalee West also plated a run apiece.
Houck, Kaitlin Price, Alexa Jones, Stephens, Megan Rembish and Lesek rounded out Honesdale's attack with one hit each.
Family, friends and fans gathered just before Monday's first pitch to honor three seniors who've been a big part of the Lady Hornet program these past four years.
Jaclyn Martin, Heaven Houck and Michaela Stephens each earned high marks from Coach Patrisso.
"They're great kids," he said. "Jaclyn, Heaven and Michaela are all team captains. They set a good example for our younger players and we're definitely going to miss them."
Jaclyn is the daughter of Chris & Gwen Martin. She's a four-year starter at the varsity level and is one of this season's captains.
“Jackie has been a huge part of the program for a long time now,” said Coach Patrisso. “She's so athletic and versatile. Jackie can play just about any position on the field well.”
Heaven is the daughter of Kevin & Rachael Ellis. She has been involved with the softball program for five years and is serving as a team captain this season.
“We didn't have Heaven last year because she was living out of the area, but boy are we happy to have her back for her senior season,” Coach Patrisso said. “Heaven is one of our best hitters. She's batting well over .300 and playing really well in the outfield.”
Michaela is the daughter of the late Maureen Stephens. She has been with the Lady Hornet softball program for six years and is a team captain.
“Michaela just lives and breathes the sport,” Coach Patrisso said. “She always has a smile on her face whenever softball is on the agenda. Michaela is a great teammate and one of the most committed kids I've ever coached.”
Score by Innings...
NP (9-5) 0 5 2 0 0 0 0 - 7
HN (1-11) 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 - 3