Red & Black look back on a solid diamond season
On the heels of an electrifying win, the likes of which hadn't been seen on the Maple City diamond in many years, Honesdale's varsity softball team closed out its 2018 campaign with a tough loss in the District Two quarterfinals.
The Lady Hornets powered their way to an impressive 10-0 win over Crestwood in front of a big, enthusiastic home crowd.
Unfortunately, the local lasses weren't able to keep that momentum going and dropped a 4-0 decision at top-ranked Tunkhannock just 24 hours later.
This loss brought down the curtain on a rollercoaster season that saw the Red & Black celebrate some dizzying highs, but also suffer some devastating lows.
Like many other teams in Northeastern PA this spring, Honesdale battled Mother Nature during the early stages of the season.
The Lady Hornets saw extremely limited practice time, but made the best of the circumstances and were ready to roll once Opening Day of the Lackawanna League campaign arrived.
Coach Dave Patrisso's girls opened with a hard-luck 10-8 loss at Scranton High School. However, the local lasses rebounded with a thrilling 7-6 win over Western Wayne.
Right from the start, it became apparent that this team would receive solid leadership from a talented trio of seniors.
Jami Lesek, Brianna Potter and Corinne Wolhmaker each brought an unique skill set to the table for Honesdale.
“They're just great girls,” Coach Patrisso said. “Jami, Brianna and Corinne are the kind of players who will do whatever it takes to help the team. They work hard on and off the field and set a great example for all of our younger kids.”
For anyone who follows Lady Hornet softball, Lesek needs no introduction.
A pitcher who's been the Red & Black ace for four seasons now, Jami has evolved into one of the area's top twirlers. In fact, she will continue her softball career at King's College in the fall.
Lesek finished out her senior season among the Division II leaders in wins (5), strikeouts (78) and ERA (4.17). She also helped her own cause by delivering big basehits in several key situations.
“Softball is definitely Jami's passion,” said Coach Patrisso. “She's been the face of our team for a few years now and we're really going to miss her. Jami has improved each year and I really believe she's going to do well at the next level.”
Potter is a three-year member of the varsity squad who saw most of her starting time at first base.
“Brianna is our most vocal leader,” said Coach Patrisso. “She's kind of the glue that holds this team together. Brianna picks us up when we're down and keeps us in check when things are going well. She's a great kid.”
Wohlmaker brought an element of toughness to the squad, a trait she acquired as a member of the wrestling team. This was Corinne's first year playing varsity softball and she made key contributions in several areas.
“I honestly didn't know what to expect when she told us she was coming out for the team,” said Coach Patrisso.
“Corinne is the fastest girl we have, so she had an impact as a pinch runner and courtesy runner. She led the team in stolen bases and runs scored. The girls really fed off her toughness and tenacity.”
Over & Out
Honesdale's final game of the 2018 season was a bit of an anti-climax coming so soon after that huge win against Crestwood.
The 10-0 Mercy Rule triumph over the Comet propelled the Lady Hornets into a Class 4A quarterfinal clash with Tunkhannock.
Alas for hometown fans, the Red & Black simply didn't have enough left in the tank to overcome the bracket's top-rated team.
Tunkhannock entered the tournament with a 10-3 record in Wyoming Valley Conference action. And, the Tigers have been nothing less than dynamite in these playoffs, winning three straight and not allowing a single run along the way.
Honesdale managed just one basehit in what became a 4-0 loss. Megan Rembish cracked a clean single in the top of the seventh, but that was all the Lady Hornets could muster off a pair of Tiger twirlers.
Meanwhile, Lesek was busy turning in yet another stellar effort. Jami allowed only three hits and two earned runs across seven innings. She struck out five and walked one.