The Pleasant Valley softball team picked a bad time to suffer its first loss to a Lehigh Valley team.
Emmaus' Kayla Kresley and Pleasant Valley's Meagan Fitzgerald dueled one another on the mound Thursday afternoon, as the two combined to give up just one run and ten hits. Unfortunately for the Bears, the one run belonged to the Hornets - who knocked off the locals 1-0 in their District 11 AAAA quarterfinal match-up.
"Emmaus was able to execute the fundamental plays," said Pleasant Valley head coach Steve Caffrey. "They moved runners over with bunts and things like that. They got the key hit when they needed it and that was one of the things we were unable to do.
"We had runners on and we couldn't bunt them over. Then when we did get someone in scoring position, we weren't able to come up with the big hit in order to get them in."
Due to some great pitching from Kresley, the Bears only had two good chances to score a run. Alison Heckman doubled with one out in the third, however was stranded on second after a fly out and a strikeout ended the inning.
Then in the fifth, Diane Klaypatch was able to lead off the inning with a single. After freshman Ashley Anewalt came on to pinch-run, teammate Katie Kenny stepped to the plate with intentions of sacrificing Anewalt to second. Kenny ended up popping the bunt into the air and forced Anewalt to freeze at first.
Emmaus catcher Alycia Solarek quickly grabbed the spinning bunt and threw to first for the force out. The second baseman (who was covering first) then fired to second and got Anewalt on the tag. From there Kresley went on to retire the next seven batters to end the game.
The loss is Pleasant Valley's first against a LVC opponent this year (8-1). It is also the first time this season that the Bears have been shut out. While it seemed like his team ran into some bad luck on Thursday, Caffrey wasn't about to offer excuses.
"I guess you can say that," said Caffrey. "It is going to go that way if you have a runner on first base with no outs and can't get the bunt down to move them over. We try to preach the fundamentals, but when we are at practice it just seems like something we don't want to work at. And then it shows up in the game when you don't score runs."
Emmaus' run came three batters into the game. Following a double by Sami Ashley to start things off, Brianna Howells singled her in two batters later.
That would be all the run support Kresley would need. The sophomore never allowed more than one hit in any inning and never allowed a Bear to get past second base. She ended up with six strikeouts for the game.
"I felt really confident coming into today," said Kresley. "Everyone was up and ready to go. Our defense was amazing.
"Scoring early helped my confidence as well. It feels good to be up in the beginning and work with a lead."
The loss puts an abrupt end to Pleasant Valley's season. While the Bears end the season with an 18-5 record and had one of the best years in the program's history, they will have no championships to show for it.
"I think it was two different seasons for us and for the first two-thirds of the year we kind of overachieved to be honest with you," admitted Caffrey. "We replaced seven starters, but the girls still played well. Then from that point on we haven't played well at all.
"For the last five or six games I think we really underachieved. We weren't able to execute. It just seemed like everything we did at the beginning of the year worked for us. Then toward the end it here - it didn't."
Emmaus 100 000 0 - 1 6 0
Pleasant Vy. 000 000 0 - 0 4 1
Kresley and Solarek; Fitzgerald and Borger. W - Kresley. L - Fitzgerald.