Bears win on homer
Pleasant Valley's Dianne Klapatch was only trying to hit a fly ball to the outfield.
As it turns out, she got a little extra.
With teammate Kasey Meckes on third base with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning of a tie game, Klapatch knew a sacrifice fly would chase home the winning run in Thursday's District 11 Class AAAA quartefinal game against Emmaus.
The Bears' No. 3 hitter got her fly ball and then some. Klapatch's shot to left cleared the fence to give PV a 5-3 walkoff win and a berth in Tuesday's semifinals.
The top-seeded Bears (17-5) will meet Northampton in the semis at Pates Park at 7 p.m.
"I'm very happy," said Klapatch moments after her dramatic blast. "I was so excited when I saw the ball go. I knew Kasey would score when I hit the fly ball but I wasn't sure it would be over. I'm still pumped from it.
"I was just trying to get a ball out of the infield in hopes she could score from third."
Meckes got the game-winning rally started with a double to right. After Nicole Kregeloh sacrificed her to third, the Hornets brought the infield in against Klapatch.
"Kasey sets the table for us," said PV head coach Steve Caffrey. "She's getting on base and scoring a lot of runs for us. She's giving us opportunities.
"And then Dianne's homer was huge. It doesn't get any bigger than that."
Meckes and Klapatch were also part of a big third-inning rally that quickly erased a deficit.
A three-run homer by Sami Ashley in the top of the inning gave Emmaus a 3-0 advantage.
But Meckes, as she's known to do, got something going in the bottom half. The Bears' leadoff hitter stroked a double to right to start the comeback. One out later, Klapatch reached on an infield single to the shortstop hole.
Megan Hardy's base hit plated Meckes to make it 3-1, and after an out at the plate on a fielder's choice, Alsion Heckman delivered a two-run single to tie the contest.
"The first thing I told the team after the game was that all year long when they got behind they stuck together and never put the heads down," said Caffrey. "We did what we needed to do there and came back."
"I'm thrilled with the win, especially with coming back from being down 3-0," said Meckes. "My mentality (when I came up in the third) was I have to get on base no matter what. I was thinking the same thing in the seventh. I knew my teammates would take over from there."
One teammate who took over and did her job was Rikki Correll. The left-handed hurler relieved Hayli Marini to start the fourth inning and tossed four shutout innings.
After the first batter she faced reached on an error, the sophomore retired 10 straight batters. She did run into some trouble in the top of the seventh when the Hornets loaded the bases with three singles. But a grounder to third ended the uprising.
"I knew I'd be going in some time," said Correll. "It was exciting after we tied the game. Everything seemed to be working for me, my curve, change up and fastball. I knew I could get out of the inning. I was pretty confident about that."
"I talked to both (pitchers) at practice and told them there was a good chance both were going to pitch," said Caffrey. "I said they should be ready the whole game. I told Hayli if she got us through a few innings, Rikki could come in and finish up. Rikki came in and did a good job and everything worked out well for us."
Emmaus 003 000 0 - 3 5 1
Pleasant Vy. 003 000 2 - 5 9 2
Brown and Natiello; Marini, Correll (4) and Klingel. W - Correll. L - Brown. HR: Emmaus - Ashley (3rd, two on); Pleasant Vy. - Klapatch (7th, one on).