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WHS softball set to take on PME in final

Most of the season, Whitehall has managed to force its opponents to play their game. When you win 20 games, you would seem to have that factor in your favor.

In their recent 9-0 win over East Stroudsburg South in the opening round of the District 11 Class 5A playoffs, the Zephyrs once again watched everything fall in their favor.

With that win, they will play Pocono Mountain East for the Class 5A title at Pates’ Park Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.

Whitehall will be seeking its first district title since 2015.

“We played well,” said Zephyrs’ head coach Jeff Vivian about his team’s win over East Stroudsburg South. “We played a clean game and forced them to play at our level. We knew we could swing the bats, and create some offense.

“Defensively, we had to be clean.”

The top-seeded Zephyrs will meet third-seeded Pocono Mountain East, which edged second-seeded Bangor, 10-7, in the opening round of the playoffs.

The Cardinals (11-10) are led by Mikenna Price, who has a team-high .567 average, Karlie Jurasits (.436), and Olivia Handelon (.429) Ashley Carlson has handled the mound duties.

Vivian believes his team will need to rely on pitching and defense to earn a trip to the state tournament. Kassy Aquino has handled the bulk of the pitching duties. They did not meet during the regular season.

“Against Pocono Mountain East, we know we will have to pitch our way into the state playoff game,” he said. “They can swing the bats and generate offense.

“We have to be clean defensively, but we also will need to pitch to our strengths.”

Junior catcher Aubrey Steiner has enjoyed the experience along the way.

“This season has been one of my favorites,” she stated. “We have had a lot of fun overall. We really bond well with one another, which is always nice. I am excited to play for a title because we have been so close to getting one over the years.

“It would be a great thing to see all our hard work pay off.”

Vivan echoed her thoughts.

“The girls have worked hard all season,” he added. “We look to keep this going.”