The Emmaus Hornets are a very young softball team.
Last week, they got to experience championship varsity softball for the first time when they faced Parkland with the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Championship on the line. Parkland (23-0) used a senior and a sophomore to pull out a 1-0 win in a closely-contested game at Allentown’s Patriots Park.
Back on April 28, many inside the Whitehall High School gymnasium thought that the two best teams in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference were on that court. The atmosphere and high level of play during that midseason game showed signs of things to come. And three weeks later, Emmaus and Whitehall met again, this time for the league title.
Katrina Durrwachter has been to league track and field championships for all four of high school. And the Emmaus senior had success in all of those meets.
But heading into her final league meet last week there was one small void. She hadn’t come away with a gold medal in any of her three previous trips to leagues.
That changed last week as Durrwachter and teammates Sophie Pickering, Abby Heilenman and Abby Dalton won the 3200-meter relay at the Eastern Pennsylvania Track and Field Championships at East Stroudsburg South High School.
The Emmaus boys volleyball team took its undefeated record into this week’s Eastern Pennsylvania Conference volleyball tournament and earned a trip to the league championship match.
The Hornets came in as the No. 1 seed and beat Nazareth 3-0 in Monday’s first round. They were slated to take on Whitehall in the league title game Wednesday. See next week’s Press for coverage of that game.
Emmaus pitcher Matt Lanzone had to suffer through a strange and controversial first inning that resulted in three runs for Freedom, but he settled in well and kept his team in position for seventh-inning heroics and a 4-3 win over the Patriots in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference quarterfinals at Emmaus Community Park Monday night.
For 18 seasons now, John Eyer has led the Emmaus High School softball program through a lot of successful seasons. In 2000, Eyer took the team to its only state championship and he’s guided it through ups and downs in every season since.
The ups have well outweighed the downs, to the point where Eyer recently celebrated his 250th win as the Emmaus coach.
The team is experiencing a resurgence this season as it plays in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference playoffs, looking for its first conference championship since 2001.
The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Track and Field Championships were held Tuesday-Wednesday, May 9-10 at East Stroudsburg South High School
The following results include the top four finishers in each event as well as all Emmaus competitors that finished events.
EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA CONFERENCE
TRACK AND FIELD
Tuesday, May 9
3200 – 1. Seth Slavin (PV) 9:38.02, 2. Ryan Murphy (PV) 9:43.52, 3. Gabe Sullivan (PV) 9:47.03, 4. Del Vierling (Emm) 9:48.60, 13. Mason Brown (Emm) 10:18.04.
Emmaus girls lacrosse head coach Roxann Betz understood how big of a challenge it would be to take down No. 2 seeded Easton last Thursday in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference semifinals.
Not only did the Hornets suffer one of their two league losses to the Red Rovers last month, Emmaus was playing without two of its top players this time around.
Maybe it’s Tina The Turtle, or maybe it’s something else. Tina, a stuffed turtle who can generally be found watching Emmaus softball games from atop the water dispenser, has become a good luck charm for Emmaus softball. As proud as Tina may be of her role, the players are using more than luck to produce wins, as they’ve advanced to the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference title game with wins over Stroudsburg and Liberty.
The East Penn Conference softball playoffs will look to beat the rain and get under way Friday afternoon.
By virtue of a perfect mark, the Parkland Trojans are this year’s number-one seed. They will face off against Northampton, which sneaks in as the number-eight seed. The two, of course, are very familiar Skyline Division opponents.
Liberty will take the second seed after finishing 14-2 in the EPC. They will take on seven-seed Whitehall, which is coming off a 9-8 shootout loss to Easton on Thursday afternoon in a game that featured seeding implications.