While it was impressive to see the Emmaus offense erupt against Pocono Mountain West and score 15 runs in three innings for a 15-0 mercy rule win, it would have been nice to see the game go longer, because of another impressive performance that was cut short.
Senior Zach Schrader was cruising through the Pocono Mountain West lineup and was perfect through three innings, striking out four batters along the way.
Of the 36 pitches Schrader threw, 27 were for strikes. Panthers hitters didn’t manage to get a ball out of the infield in their nine at-bats.
Coming into its final five games of the 2016 softball season, Emmaus was right on the cusp of qualifying for districts, with a 5-6 record in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and a 7-7 overall record.
The Hornets’ final five games could make or break their season and all of them came against Skyline Division opponents, which was stacked as usual.
Emmaus lost to Northampton and then dropped a hard-fought 5-4 game to Nazareth before another loss to Parkland, which eliminated the Hornets from any postseason possibilities.
With March snowstorms in each of the past two years now, local baseball teams have gotten used to practicing indoors in gyms or anywhere they can find space.
If Emmaus’ first game is any indication, the Hornets might not have really missed having time on the field because of the snow, as they came out of the box with a 12-1 win over Reading.
This year’s team has a good crop of returning seniors to help give the team a lot of leadership, which could be one reason why it didn’t struggle despite not having played on a field for two weeks.
No matter what sport it is, opening day is special. For tennis, Emmaus played its opening match – a 7-0 win over Bethlehem Catholic – on the eve of the season’s biggest snow storm and hasn’t been able to get back on the courts since.
The revamped lineup that saw Emmaus lose all of its starting singles players and some of its doubles players as well, had little trouble against the Golden Hawks.
No. 1 singles player Marco Maricic won 8-3, as did No. 2 Austin Long. Number-three player Aman Malik picked up an 8-2 win in his match.
Looking over the results of the Emmaus swimmers at the PIAA Swimming Championships, which were held last weekend at Bucknell University, it’s easy to see the battle between the young girls swimmers and the upperclassmen boys swimmers. Much of the success on the boys side came from senior swimmers, while the sophomore class had big finishes on the girls side.
Coming off of their 10th straight District 11 Championship, Emmaus has four members of its boys swimming team competing in individual events at the upcoming PIAA Championships set for Friday and Saturday at Bucknell University. T
he girls team, which finished runner-up to Parkland in districts, is sending three swimmers in individual events.
After an undefeated season that led to an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Championship, the Emmaus boys came into the District 11 Swimming and Diving Championships confident of getting their 10th straight district championship and they didn’t leave disappointed.
The Hornet boys team picked up 401 points, easily outdistancing second-place Parkland, who finished with 308.5 points in the meet. The end result is that Emmaus will have six shots at gold in individual events and three more in relays at the PIAA Championship coming up March 17-18 at Bucknell University.
On the Monday following the District 11 Diving Championships, Emmaus swimming head coach Tim O’Connor had to deliver bad news to his girls swimming team. Rival Parkland had swept the top four spots in diving, leaving Emmaus 68 points behind heading into the swimming events at last weekend’s District 11 Championships. Instead of despair, his girls responded with “so there’s a chance.”
“I had to point out that 68 points behind is not good, but they just kept focused on having a chance to catch them and that’s what they set out to do,” said O’Connor.
As teammates on the Emmaus diving team, Andrew Vanim, Brendan McCourt and Drew Stenger are used to battling each other in competitions. On Saturday, they also had to battle the best divers in District 11 as they fought for spots in the PIAA Championships later this month at Bucknell University.
When nobody can remember exactly the last time a specific event took place, odds are it’s been a long time. Such is the case for people trying to remember the last time that Emmaus beat Parkland head-to-head in girls swimming.
While few people are completely sure of the year, it’s generally agreed that it’s been at least a decade, and most likely a couple of years longer since the Lady Hornets beat their Parkland counterparts.