The Pleasant Valley softball team is back in a familiar place.
The top-seeded Lady Bears defeated East Stroudsburg South 12-0 in the Mountain Valley Conference semifinals on Wednesday and will play in the conference championship on Friday. It will be the 10th consecutive time Pleasant Valley has made it to the finals, having won eight of the previous nine titles.
"We are pretty pleased with the way things went today," said Pleasant Valley manager Steve Caffrey. "We had a rough practice (Tuesday) and the girls really pulled it together today. We played a pretty good game all the way around."
Pleasant Valley (14-7) scored at least two runs in every inning and kept the pressure on the Cavaliers all game long. The Bears sent at least six batters to the plate during each at-bat and got a handful of two-out hits. Of the 12 runs the Lady Bears scored on the day, seven came with two outs already recorded.
Meanwhile, senior Rikki Correll pitched well. Although she didn't have dominant stuff, she limited the Cavs to two hits and a walk while striking out three.
"Today I was really proud of my team with the way that they played," said the southpaw. "I wasn't completely on my game today, but I was grateful to have a team like this to back me up.
"I feel really confident heading into Friday. I am just going to work really hard at practice and give it 110 percent. Whatever happens, happens."
Correll will be the starter on Friday in the championship game against Stroudsburg. Wednesday was the first time the left-hander pitched in a week, but Caffrey believes it was a good start as he and his team head into the weekend.
"Rikki hasn't pitched in over a week," said Caffrey. "She had a foot injury so we were trying to give her some time off. I thought she did decent with everything considering she had a week and a half off. She threw good pitches and hit the glove where we were asking her to.
"She is a great pitcher and has been for the last few years. We feel confident with her on the mound. If we can continue to make the plays behind her then we should be all right."
All but one of Pleasant Valley's starters had at least one RBI in the game. Kelsey Miczak (2-for-2) and Madison Shaneberger (2-for-3) each drove in two runs to lead the team. Tracey Deubler also had two hits.
Jordan Meckes, Kiersten Griesback, Kelci Jones, Mackenzie Caffrey, Deubler and Correll each collected a RBI on the day. Katie Lenart, along with Griesback, Miczak, Deubler and Jones, scored twice.
Pleasant Valley will be going for a ninth MVC title in 10 years on Friday, as well as its third straight since losing to Stroudsburg in 2010. The two teams are very familiar with one another and should make for another classic. The game will be played at 5 p.m. at Pocono Mountain East.
"I can see it being a tough game," Caffrey said. "Both teams know each other. Coach (Maynard Frantz) and I know each other real well. We coached together before and it is like playing against your friends. We know each other inside and out and hopefully we can walk away with the win."
ES South 000 00 - 0 2 2
Pleasant Vy. 342 3x - 12 10 0
Snyder and Fryer; Correll and Caffrey. W - Correll. L - Snyder.