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Softball picks up win vs. Hazleton

Last Saturday, the Northampton softball team played their first game since March 25, a span of 12 days. The weather was cold and showery, but thankfully the precipitation was limited enough that another postponement was not required.

The K-Kids showed no rust from their unexpected layoff as they took out last year’s District 2 champion and state 6A quarterfinalist Hazleton 12-1 in 5 innings.

Head coach Kristy Henritzy described how the team utilized the down time, “It gave us an opportunity to work on some of the small things that you normally wouldn’t get to. It was frustrating and hard to keep everyone engaged, but I think the work we put in showed today. Even though I hate having that many practices in a row, we focused on what mattered.”

Despite getting Mercy Ruled, the Cougars drew first blood scoring in the top of the first inning. The second batter was hit by a pitch and a double by the ensuing batter set off a wild sequence. The runner tried to score from first but was thrown out at the plate. However, the throw to get the batter at third went into the outfield allowing an unearned run.

Northampton responded in the bottom of the first. Ava Cascario drew a leadoff walk. Kylie Eberts followed with a single and cleanup hitter Hannah Duerr drove them both in with a double. Ro Echevarria then drove in pinch runner Kirsten Wolfe with a sacrifice fly to make the score 3-0.

The rest of the scoring came in the third inning as the K-Kids sent 12 hitters to the plate and scored 9 runs. Duerr and Echevarria picked up RBIs and Hailey Makovsky hit a 2-run double out of the 8 hole. The final three runs of the game came courtesy of Avery Deibert’s first varsity home run.

Deibert thought she had drawn a walk on the previous pitch but when it was ruled a strike, she capitalized on the opportunity by smashing the next offering over the right field fence. Deibert described the moment, “She threw 7 balls in a row, so when she finally threw a strike, I was like, ‘I gotta get it.’ I wasn’t looking for a walk. It was just my pitch, inside. I drove it and I felt it right off the bat.”

In the circle, Mikell Kulp shut down Hazleton, allowing only 2 hits, a walk and a HBP over 5 innings. She struck out six.

Northampton is 5-1 on the season with the result of Wednesday’s contest against Whitehall occurring after this writing. The Kids have a pretty favorable stretch of games coming up with the next 4 teams on their schedule sporting a combined 5-18 record.