The Palmerton softball team entered its Colonial League playoff game with Catasauqua riding the momentum of a 10-game winning streak. That streak included a shutout victory over the Rough Riders.
But the momentum and confidence that was created by the streak and the victory came to a crashing halt on Tuesday night.
Catasauqua made sure of that as it downed the Lady Bombers 15-4 in five innings. The Rough Riders will move on to play Pen Argyl in the Colonial League championship game on Thursday.
"(Catty) hit the heck out of the ball," Palmerton coach Glen Reimer said. "There were a couple bad calls, I thought, and we just didn't have it tonight."
A pivotal fourth frame saw the winners send 14 batters to the plate and reel off 10 runs on eight hits. Palmerton's bleeding seemed unstoppable, as the Rough Riders could do no wrong. Time after time, the ball was laced to gaps and players crossed home plate, continuously adding to the onslaught.
"Going into the game, we thought this would be a 4-2 or 3-1 kind of game," Catasauqua coach Robert Thomas admitted. "(Palmerton pitcher Kendra) Pekurny threw really well against us the last time we played them and we expected the same kind of result tonight."
The Rough Riders had one out with runners on first and second at the start of that key inning before a two-run double by Paige Kogelman opened the floodgates. Janae Matos followed with another double and things got worse for Palmerton from there.
"If you would have told me that we were going to score four runs tonight and lose the game, I would have thought, 'No way," Reimer said. "I'm just disappointed in our performance."
The game started evenly as both teams scored a pair of runs in the first, before a scoreless second frame followed.
In the third, a two-run double by Shea O'Brien was followed by an RBI single by winning pitcher Alexis Ayache.
But the Lady Bombers chipped away when Sam Doherty scored on a Steph Buck ground out in the bottom half of the inning.
The fourth frame followed and was just too much for the blue and white.
"I can't say enough about our effort tonight," Thomas continued. "We just got on a roll. The first girl got a hit, then another and another. We did such a good job on offense."
Despite the end of the 10-game winning streak, Palmerton still remains in good position for the upcoming District 11 tournament.
Reimer is hoping for the beginning of another streak.
"We're going to come right back," he said. "We have a great opportunity ahead of us and if I know these girls, we'll bounce right back."
For the game, Catasauqua was led offensively by Kogelman, who finished 4-for-4 with two doubles and six RBIs. Ayache, O'Brien and Hannah Edwards all had two hits for the Lady Roughies.
For Palmerton, Sam Doherty had a RBI double and a single. Janel Tracy added a double while Abby Reimer and Pekurny had RBIs.
Catasauqua 203 (10)0 - 15 14 3
Palmerton 201 10 - 4 4 5
Ayache and Matos; Pekurny, Dugan (4) and Campbell. W – Ayache. L – Pekurny.