At the end of her junior year last season, Shannon Gallagher has 99 career hits.
A consistent hitter, Gallagher figured she would achieve the milestone of 100 hits in the opening moments of this season. She also was looking forward to her final season on the mound for the Roughies, as she and junior Alexia Reichl could form an effective pitching tandem for a team in transition.
However, Gallagher’s season came to screeching halt.
She dislocated her left ankle in preseason and the upcoming season already seemed over.
Catasauqua Connie Mack coach Jim Kober kept his expectations in check in reference to his 2017 team.
The Roughies began the year losing a number of players from a team that finished fifth in the state last season. On the surface, it was a team that was primarily comprised of eighth graders coupled with mostly freshmen.
Fortunately, the Roughies didn’t follow the format.
Through their first six games, Catasauqua had a 4-2 record in the Lehigh Valley Connie Mack (LVCM) League and was among the league leaders.
So far, it has been a fast maturation.
As far as she can remember in her earlier youth, Tyra Brown has liked to run.
When she entered Catasauqua High School three years ago, Brown was indecisive about her athletic career. Brown spent the spring running track and playing softball, but knew she would soon be playing one sport.
The following year, Brown dedicated herself to track and there haven’t been any regrets.
Catasauqua’s girls’ 400 relay team didn’t come home from the PIAA state championships in Shippensburg with any medals, but they did return with plenty of motivation for the future.
The Roughies posted one of their better times of the season in the event as they clocked 51.36 in a preliminary heat, but they failed to qualify for the latter rounds. However, they have elevated themselves into one of the elite teams in Catty history.
All season long, Catasauqua struggled with consistent hitting.
In a game where the Roughies needed it the most, their major flaw surfaced at the wrong time.
Catty saw its season come to an end as they were no-hit and shutout recently by host Tamaqua in the opening round of the PIAA District 11 Class 3A playoffs. The defeat left the Roughies with an overall 9-12 mark.
Tamaqua right-hander Brad Moyer struck out seven and walked four over 87 pitches. Rod Berger started the game for Catty and he left in the fifth when the Blue Raiders broke open a 2-0 game with five runs.
With a solid starting staff and the potential of firepower in their lineup, Catasauqua is optimistic about its chances returning to the PIAA District 11 Class 3A baseball playoffs for the first time in two years.
The Roughies will enter the postseason with an overall 9-11 record, ending the regular season dropping three of their final four games. However, they posted a 9-9 mark in the Colonial League that helped advance their cause.
When she entered high school, Kenzie Bradley knew she wasn’t going to play softball. Instead, she discovered a sport that has well suited her.
The quick transition from softball to track has been a smooth one.
“My dad wanted me to play softball,” said Bradley, a junior. “Once I realized it really wasn’t for me, I was done with it. I just wanted to try (track) and I thought I would be OK with it.
“But I have really fallen in love with the sport. It has been great so far.”
The results certainly have shown it.
After two seasons, Janae Matos realized that she had to take a more patient approach at the plate for the Moravian softball team.
“I knew I had to be a lot more calmer,” said the former Catasauqua standout. “I am finding and waiting on better pitches. During my first two years, I was swinging at everything in the strike zone.
“This year, I am seeing everything better. I’m waiting on pitches and I’m in a really good zone right now.”
Matos has posted the numbers to prove it.
Catasauqua’s track team headed to the PIAA District 11 meet this week with plenty of promise and opportunity.
The Roughies best chance of claiming a gold medal is with their girls’ 4 X 100 relay team of Tyra Brown, Kenzie Bradley, Hanasia Jenkins, and Amaiya Johnson, who combined to finish second behind Southern Lehigh in the Colonial League meet. The foursome was the defending league champions and they lost by a split second to Palisades at last year’s district meet.
After nearly two challenging years, the Roughies are back in the district playoffs.
The Roughies clinched a postseason berth when they captured a hard-fought, 2-1 victory over Northwestern in a home night game at Parkland on May 10. It gave them their first playoff game in two seasons.
In the game, Zach Bilder had another strong effort, as he hurled a 10-strikeout, two-hit gem. Bilder led off the bottom of the sixth and came home with the winning run when Cam Ritter drove him with the winning hit. Rod Berger scored Corey Raysley with a hit for the Roughies’ first run.