PHS ousts Catty
Catasauqua entered the District 11 Class AA softball playoffs feeling good about its chances.
Despite the fact the Rough Riders appeared to be a big underdog against Palmerton based on seed and regular season results, they had a good reason to feel confident.
Less than two weeks prior to Thursday's quarterfinal round game, Catty had beaten the Bombers in the Colonial League playoffs.
But any momentum the seventh-seeded Rough Riders brought into the game was quickly neutralized.
Second-seeded Palmerton scored early and often and Bomber pitcher Reese Dugan blanked Catasauqua for the third time this season.
Palmerton's 7-0 victory eliminated the Rough Riders from the district playoffs and ended their 2015 campaign.
"Palmerton's a good team. They have a quality pitcher and did a nice job getting her an early lead," said Catasauqua coach Bob Thomas. "But we didn't come ready to play today. I think that was obvious very early.
"I really don't understand how that can happen in a playoff game. I really wish I knew why that happened."
Palmerton's Lauren Campbell drilled a three-run homer to right centerfield in the bottom of the first inning. The blast followed an error, and singles by Jordan Boyer and Janel Tracy. Boyer's hit plated Darion Jacoby with the first run before Campbell's blast made it 4-0.
"We haven't played a game since they beat us so it's been a pretty long layoff," said Palmerton coach Robert Hock. "We spent a lot of that time working hard on fundamentals and I think that paid off. I think we were solid in all areas pitching, hitting, fielding, baserunning. It was a good performance."
The Bombers added three more runs in the second with all the runs coming after two were out. The outburst knocked out Rough Rider starting pitcher Lexi Ayache.
Alexia Reichl relieved for Catasauqua and gave up a single to the first batter she faced and also had a couple of wild pitches that allowed runners to score. But Reichl settled into a nice grove and allowed just four hits and one run in four-and-a-third innings of relief.
"We still had a lot of time to come back after they jumped out to the big lead," said Thomas. "Alexia did a nice job of keeping them off the board the rest of the way, but we weren't able to take advantage of that.
"We were just never able to get anything going offensively."
The Rough Riders (13-10) had just two hits in the game, both of them bunt singles by Hannah Edwards.
"Although I'm disappointed with the result today, I'm pretty happy with the season on a whole," said Thomas. "There were some low points, but for the most part the girls did a nice job.
"We qualified for both the league and district playoffs, which were definitely the high points. I'm proud of what we accomplished, but it's a shame it had to end like this. It definitely wasn't what we hoped for coming into the game."