June 06, 2017
By: Erica Rose
The school year is winding down; but the state tournament for spring sports is just getting started for several local teams. Two of those squads: The Hurricanes of Liberty, who are having a record breaking year; and the Bangor Slaters who are looking to go even farther than last season.
Let’s do a quick recap on both teams who are now headed to the Quarterfinal round of states, after two very different wins Monday afternoon.
The Hurricanes seem to have completed the puzzle in their last three outings with their bats coming alive and at just the right moments. It took some time yesterday in the PIAA 6A first round, but Liberty stayed patient and got the timely hits when it mattered most. Their first hit would come in the fourth inning with the first run being scored in the next frame thanks to Jessica Watt’s RBI double. But it was the defense that continued to shine, especially FRESHMAN pitcher Paige Zigmund. Zigmund threw a 4-hitter with nine strikeouts (which is more than likely a personal best for her) and head coach Sam Corrodo couldn’t say enough about his ace, calling her a “Warrior on the mound”. The victory is the first state win for a Liberty softball team, who will play Spring-Ford from District 1 on Thursday.
Bangor made themselves work a little harder for their win. The Slaters put themselves in a 4-hole deficit after just 7 hitters, but they never had any doubt. I’m not going to lie; I thought the game was over after Wyoming Area had another chance to secure their lead early on. But give me a break, it was the first time I had seen the team play this season. The slaters are used to coming from behind, and let me tell you they made a believer out of me yesterday. But getting back on track. Head coach Rich Kessler knew he needed to make a change when senior pitcher Daniel Gannon gave up a 3 run homer on her third batter, so who did he turn to? He tabbed FRESHMAN Dani Hess. Talk about a nerve-wracking situation, which she admitted to, but didn’t want to let her seniors down.
And she didn’t. Hess came through for her team. She only allowed one more run in the first inning, but it also helped that her defense cleaned things up.
The offense would also come alive as well with 11 hits, lead by Kaitlin Caleen who would deliver 4 RBI’s on two doubles. After scoring 9 unanswered runs, Bangor advanced to the second round for the second straight year. The Slaters will face the 1 seed from District 1 in Upper Perkiomen, a win would make history for the Slaters.
Good luck to both teams on Thursday!