East Penn Press

Friday, September 20, 2019
PRESS PHOTO BY LINDA ROTHROCKPeyton Sisonick slides into base during a recent win over Whitehall. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_ PRESS PHOTO BY LINDA ROTHROCKPeyton Sisonick slides into base during a recent win over Whitehall. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_
PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERB Emmaus' Madison Bruns looks to make a play in the infield. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_ PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERB Emmaus' Madison Bruns looks to make a play in the infield. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_
PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERB Emmaus' Hannah Palinkas delivers a pitch during a recent softball game. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_ PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERB Emmaus' Hannah Palinkas delivers a pitch during a recent softball game. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_

Lady Hornets enjoy the game

Friday, April 19, 2019 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

The chemistry on a team can make a big difference in how it performs on the field. Players who don’t get along well tend to look over their shoulder and are worried about the reaction of their teammates.

A team that is on the same page picks up a player who makes a mistake and players have fun going about their business. That’s not to say that they don’t care about outcomes, it’s just that they go about things in a different way.

Exhibit A is the Emmaus softball team (5-3 overall, 4-2 EPC). To watch them you may think that it’s just a lot of fun – which it is – and that the Hornets aren’t taking things seriously, when in fact they are taking things seriously and the players all believe that every game is winnable.

That fun and camaraderie showed itself after a 4-1 win over Bethlehem Catholic (3-6, 2-5). One of the players was presented with an on-field “promposal” by a young man following the win. The move brought tears to another member of the team, Tatum Kresley.

“I watched her grow up,” said Kresley, laughing through tears as her teammates cheered the proposal and laughed at Kresley’s reaction after watching the young man’s pitch, which was accepted.

“I have a funny group,” said Hornet head coach Brittany D’Agostino through a laugh. “I love this group. They’re funny, they keep it light, but they work hard, so it makes my job easy. They feed off of each other and their energy is high the entire time.”

D’Agostino revamped her lineup prior to the Beca game, moving Peyton Sisonick from the bottom of the lineup to the number-two spot.

Kresley, who is the team’s leadoff hitter, combined with Sisonick to pick up back-to-back bunt singles in the first inning. The singles, combined with a stolen base by Kresley and a Beca error, produced the game’s first run. In the following inning, an infield single by Carly Anderson and a sacrifice bunt by Lily Trexler led to two runs as the team played some small ball to gain an early 3-0 lead.

“It depends where we’re at in the lineup,” said D’Agostino of the early small-ball approach. “I think this is the part of the season where you start assessing a little bit and playing small ball worked really well for us today.”

Kresley had four hits on the day and scored two runs. She combined her speed with instincts to take extra bases on two separate occasions in the game.

On one play, she recognized that nobody had covered third and went from first to third on an error. She later took second on an infield single when the fielder made an ill-advised throw.

“I love using my speed on the field and I never think just one base ahead, it’s always two or even three if the ball’s in the outfield,” said Kresley. “I saw she was coming in late in left field and I knew I was going to third on that one,” said Kresley, who actually coached some of the freshmen and sophomores on the team in the past. The ones that she didn’t coach, she probably played tournament ball with, so even though it’s her first season with the team, she has fit in well.

“I love softball and I love playing with this team,” said Kresley. “They give me a lot of energy and I love bringing the energy for them. I love leading off and we just changed our lineup and I feel like it really paid off. We need to score more runs as a team, so I was glad that I contributed today.”

The true bond among the players and the instincts and abilities of the players are something new for D’Agostino in her second season at the helm of the Green Hornets.

“Last year we didn’t have much base running, but this year I have a lot more speed and they’re being very aggressive with base running,” said D’Agostino. “They pay attention and take advantage of things and [Kresley] really has the instincts and looks for things.

“That last time, she saw that there wasn’t anybody at third and she took off.”

Emmaus is at Liberty (6-3, 5-3) Wednesday afternoon before hosting a nonconference meeting with Pottsville (2-5, 1-2 Schuylkill League) on Monday and traveling to East Stroudsburg North (0-8, 0-7) for a game on Tuesday.