Lady Hornets are jockeying for playoff position

When the 2019 season is finally in the books, local softball fans may regard a crushing loss as the most important game Honesdale played all spring.

The Lady Hornets traveled to Western Wayne last Wednesday, fully expecting to overpower a young Wildcat squad.
That’s not what happened, though, as the visitors cruised to a shocking 8-2 win.

“That was a bad loss,” Coach Dave Patrisso admitted. “Western Wayne isn’t a bad team, but that’s a game we need to win.”

Resilience

While Honesdale’s veteran skipper was disappointed, he wasn’t discouraged. He has high expectations for this team and one tough loss didn’t shake his faith.

“I fully expect these girls to challenge for a division title and then a district title,” he said. “So we needed to learn something from that game and move on.”

As fate would have it, that’s exactly what transpired. The Lady Hornets bounced right back with a huge win over first place North Pocono on Wednesday.

They hit the field again Thursday with their sights set on taking down Class 6A titan Scranton High School.

With a big boisterous crowd cheering them on, the Red & Black played arguably their most complete game of the year to date.

Marissa Gregory turned in a dominant performance in the circle, while Megan Rembish continued her torrid hitting. This combination, along with some Gold Glove defense, catapulted Honesdale to a 3-0 victory over the Knights.

“I’m very pleased with what I saw out there today,” Coach Patrisso said. “We pitched well, played good defense and put together some really solid at-bats. This was an excellent win for us.”

With the victory, Honesdale improved its record to 9-4. The Lady Hornets are now fourth in the Class 4A power rankings.

Weather permitting, the local lasses will play four games next week: Western Wayne (Monday), Blue Ridge (Tuesday), West Scranton (Wednesday) and Wallenpaupack Area (Thursday).

Masterpiece

As the season progresses, it becomes easy to forget that Gregory’s just a freshman.

Marissa is already the ace of the staff and she’s quickly carving out a spot for herself among the elite pitchers in the entire league.

Gregory proved that in no uncertain terms Thursday. The flame-throwing righty authored a complete game masterpiece, working seven shutout innings.

Marissa allowed just four hits, issued two walks and piled up 11 strikeouts.

“Scranton has a couple of big strong power hitters and Marissa kept them off balance all game long,” Coach Patrisso said. “She changed speeds, hit her spots and just did a fantastic job.”

Gregory was solid in every inning, but downright dominant at times. She struck out the side in the fifth, then closed out the seventh with two more Ks.

“Marissa’s rise-ball is quickly becoming one of her best pitches,” said Coach Patrisso. “She’s getting more comfortable and more confident out there every day.”

Scranton countered with Jianna Booth. The sophomore also went the distance, pitching six innings and allowing two earned runs on six hits.

Booth fanned three and walked one.

At the Plate

Thursday’s game was scoreless after two innings, but Honesdale broke through in the bottom of the third.

The Lady Hornets tallied twice in the frame and tacked on one more in the sixth.

Rembish was once again at the forefront of the offensive assault. Megan went 2-for-2 and also reached on an error. She scored one run and drove in another.

“Megan is just unbelievable,” Coach Patrisso said. “She is one of the most consistent hitters I’ve ever worked with. Megan always seems to come through with the big at-bat. She’s an outstanding clutch hitter.”

Rachel Daub also earned high marks from her mentor. A sophomore who began the season at catcher, Daub has quickly become a fixture at the Hot Corner.

Rachel singled and scored in the third, then contributed a key defensive play in the fourth.

“Rachel is such a good natural athlete that you can ask her to play any position in the field,” Coach Patrisso said. “She’s a smart, talented player who I think is already one of the better third basemen around.”

Kaitlyn Price turned in yet another stellar all around performance as well.
A Gold Glove caliber outfielder. Price covers an impressive amount of ground in center.

“Kaitlyn is an all-star out there,” said Coach Patrisso. “She catches anything close to her. Kaitlyn has been a terrific player here for three years now and she’s just a great kid.”

Gina Dell’Aquila, Brooke Gardas, Katie Grund and Olivia Canfield rounded out the Lady Hornet attack.
Dell’Aquila singled and scored a run in the third.

Gardas tomahawked a line single in the sixth.
Grund pinch hit in the sixth and beat out an infield single. Canfield then came in to run for her and eventually raced home when Gregory launched a sacrifice fly.

Over & Out

Baserunners were at a premium for Scranton on this particular night.

Juanita Wolak, Alivia Bloom, Mariah Portillo and Abigail Yevitz each slapped a single for the Knights, who pushed just one runner to third base in the entire afternoon.

“Hey, we’re only a game out of first place in our division and we’re right in the hunt for a top seed at districts,” Coach Patrisso said.

“If we keep working hard and improving the way we have been, I really like our chances.”