OREFIELD - Palmerton's girls softball team hadn't played a game since Catasauqua embarrassed it in the Colonial League semifinals two weeks ago.
There was no rust showing on the Lady Bombers, however, as they shut out Southern Lehigh by a 3-0 score in the District 11 Class AAA semifinal at Parkland on Wednesday afternoon.
Palmerton will now face Bethlehem Catholic, a 7-0 winner over Wilson in the other semifinal, this afternoon at 5 o'clock at Pate's Park in Allentown for the championship and a right to move on to next week's PIAA playoffs. The Blue Bombers lone district softball title came back in 1989.
"I don't know what it is," said Reimer afterwards. "We have to go around the lineup once before we hit the ball. I think it's just to give Coach Glenn an ulcer.
"All kidding aside, when Kendra (Pekurny) hits her corners and she's on, she's very difficult to hit.
Pekurny, the Bombers' freshman hurler, was on the money as she struck out seven, walked three (one intentional), hit a batter and allowed just three hits on the afternoon.
"I'm just so proud of this," Pekurny said. "We worked hard for this all year. "I guessed right on a fastball for the winning hit. She was throwing strikes so I knew I had to go up there and just hit it."
The win avenged a 4-3 loss that the Bombers suffered against the Spartans during the regular season.
The Bombers scored all three of their runs in the bottom of the fifth after surviving a scare in the top of the inning.
Southern Lehigh's Nicole Siffel led off the inning when she was hit by a pitch. Courtney Herr sacrificed her to second and she moved to third on a base hit by Olivia Byrne. Hannah Docalovich popped out to catcher Laura Campbell and then the Bombers gambled. They intentionally walked leadoff batter Alyssa Herr and Pekurny got Shelby Drissel out on strikes to end the inning.
Then the Bombers bats went to work.
Stephanie Buck, who got fooled on a Alyssa Herr change up the first time she stepped to the plate, zeroed in on one this time and drove it into left field for a leadoff single. Megan Peck sacrificed her to second. With two outs, it looked like the Bombers would have their chance go by the wayside, but three straight hits off of Herr was all they would need to get things done.
Pinch-hitter Jordan Boyer reached on an infield single and then Pekurny smashed her second hit of the game to right field to drive home Buck. Trisha Sterling came on as a courtesy runner for Pekurny and scored along with Boyer when Sam Doherty crushed a line drive in the gap for a two-run triple.The Spartans had a couple of runners on in the top of the seventh, but Pekurny got Alyssa Herr to line back to the mound and she quickly threw the ball to Abby Reimer at first to double up Docalovich for the game-ender.
"Steph waited on that change up and then Kendra comes through with the winning RBI," Reimer said. "And then she (Kendra) makes the double play to end the game. That's awesome.
"I'll tell you what, nobody thinks we have a prayer against Becahi, but we think we can beat them. They're going to be tough, but if Kendra throws like she did today and we put the bat on the ball, we should be at the least respectable. It's really fun to coach these kids because they have so much heart."
So. Lehigh 000 000 0 - 0 3 0
Palmerton 000 030 x - 3 7 2
A. Herr and Siffel; Pekurny and Campbell. W - Pekurny.