ALLENTOWN - It is said that all great things must come to and end.
Unfortunately for the Palmerton softball team that is what exactly happened Thursday afternoon, as the Bombers' remarkable 2013 season finally concluded.
Bethlehem Catholic proved it was a better team by blanking Palmerton 9-0 in the District 11 AAA championship game at Pate's Park on Thursday. The Golden Hawks pounded out 13 hits while limiting the Bombers to just four singles en route to winning their seventh district title since 1999.
"I thought that we gave (Becca) two runs early with some mistakes," said Palmerton manager Glenn Reimer. "Considering they are pretty much senior laden, and we have a lot of freshman and sophomores, I thought that we did well.
"I honestly thought that we really had a chance to knock them off. I thought they might be too overconfident. I am disappointed in that fact that I think we gave them too many outs, but all-in-all I am very excited with the season we had."
Bethlehem starter Joelle Morey was tough to hit throughout the game. The hard-throwing right-hander allowed just two singles through the first six innings of play and only had two balls leave the infield in that time.
Morey would finish the game with seven strikeouts, but four Bombers at least went down swinging. Although the hits were hard to come by, Reimer thought his girls did a good job at the plate.
"We got out of school an hour early and went to the field," Reimer said. "I put the pitching machine at 38 feet at 70 miles-per-hour. So we were prepared for (Morey's) gas. I thought we put the ball in play pretty well. We had a few strikeouts but we put the ball in play for the most part. I was happy with our approach and the way we hit."
The Hawks scored one run in both the first and second innings before blowing things open in the fourth and fifth innings. They scored four runs in the fourth and three in the fifth on eight combined hits. The outburst made for a nine-run lead heading into the top of the seventh.
Still, Palmerton refused to go quietly. Janel Tracy and Abby Reimer led off the inning with consecutive singles to show some resiliency. Jordan Boyer put together a seven-pitch at-bat two batters later before succumbing to a pop-out. The Bombers did not end up scoring, but showed that they had some grit.
"This team doesn't give up," said Reimer. "They have a lot of heart, they believe in each other, and they fight until the very end. We could have rolled over and let them ten-run us but we didn't."
Palmerton ends its season with a 17-6 overall record and a silver District 11 medal around its neck. Of the 15 players on the roster, 13 will be back next year along with an expected transfer. Because of that, the future looks very bright for the Bombers.
"Looking back, I am happy," said Reimer. "If someone would have told me before the year that we would take second in districts I would have said, 'Oh my God.' But now that you are here you are disappointed.
"We worked so hard and I couldn't be more proud of the girls. But now we have two teams in the summer varsity league and the fall varsity league, so before you know it it will be spring again."
Palmerton 000 000 0 - 0 4 2
Beth. Cath. 110 430 x - 9 13 0
Pekurny and Campbell; Morey and Markovic. W - Morey, L - Pekurny.