Emmaus falls to Kids in EPC softball semifinal
There’s just something about Northampton softball pitcher Kaira Zamadics that Emmaus hitters have had a hard time figuring out this season.
Zamadics allowed just four hits and shutout Emmaus 2-0 in late April and the Hornets ran into her again in the East Penn Conference semifinals.
Zamadics worked her magic in beating Emmaus by an identical 2-0 score in that league playoff game. The win was Northampton’s third in three meetings with the Hornets this season.
In each of the last two games, Hannah Palinkas pitched well for the Hornets, allowing just five hits and no walks in the EPC semifinal game last week.
Zamedics allowed two hits and one walk in seven innings, while striking out 11 batters.
Neither team was able to put together anything resembling a threat until the top of the fourth inning when Jordan Geroulo singled to center with one out and then moved to second on a groundout by Madison Fraley. Hannah Boggs quickly followed by hitting a hard ground ball up the middle that brought Geroulo home from second for a 1-0 lead.
Palinkas allowed one more hit in the inning, but got the third out without any further damage.
The Hornets threatened in the fifth when Jordyn Bruckler smacked a leadoff double to center. Carly Anderson came on as a pinch-runner and moved to third on a ground out by Summer Lenhart. Zamedics again buckled down and got the next two batters to strike out, leaving Lenhart stranded at third.
Both pitchers continued their duel until the top of the seventh when Northampton looked to add an insurance run. The inning opened with Palinkas getting her fourth strikeout of the game. Maddie Biechy and Emily Stuhldreher picked up back-to-back singles and an error pushed a run across and left runners on first and third. Palinkas struck out the next two batters to minimize the damage, leaving the Hornets with a 2-0 deficit to overcome in the bottom of the seventh.
Zamedics didn’t allow any drama in the final inning as she quickly collected three outs to give Northampton the win and a spot in the EPC championship game. Northampton fell to Parkland 4-0 in the finals, with the Lady Trojans earning their sixth straight league championship.
Emmaus used a 4-0 win against Easton in the quarterfinals to reach the conference semifinal game. In that game, Palinkas recorded 13 strikeouts and finished with a single and a double to drive in two runs at the plate. Marah Sisonick and Abby Bartels also drove in a run, with Sisonick recording two hits, including a triple.
The Lady Hornets still have games to play with the start of the District 11 playoffs this week. Emmaus had a first-round bye and was scheduled face Freedom Tuesday in the quarterfinals. That game was played after Press deadline.