Bears rip PM West
nancy scholz/times news Jordan Meckes of Pleasant Valley connects with a pitch against Pocono Mountain West.
Thursday afternoon's Mountain Valley Conference softball match-up between Pocono Mountain West and Pleasant Valley pitted a program still trying to build a foundation against one that has been dominant for nearly a decade.
The difference between the two teams showed both on the field and on the scoreboard.
The Lady Bears scored 12 runs in the first inning and went on to run away from the Panthers, 16-0 in two-and-a-half innings of play. Three Pocono Mountain pitchers combined to walk 11 batters on the day and didn't receive much help for the defense behind them. All-in-all it was a short and easy day for Pleasant Valley.
"I thought we were able to adjust much better today than we have in the past," said Pleasant Valley manager Steve Caffrey. "We weren't able to adjust against East Stroudsburg North the other day and we looked pretty bad. As far as hitting the ball here I thought we adjusted well. When we did swing the bats we hit the ball."
Each of the first eight Pleasant Valley batters to step to the plate in the bottom of the first reached base via a walk or a single and eventually came around to score. Hailey Marini and Kelci Jones both recorded two-run singles in their first at-bat. Marini added another RBI later in the inning on a bases loaded walk. Katie Lenart and Mackenzie Caffrey each had RBI singles in the inning as well.
After the Bears' No. 9 hitter grounded into the first out of the inning, the locals went on to score four more runs thanks in large part to three Panther errors.
Pleasant Valley then scored four consecutive runs in the bottom of the second. Marini and Madison Shanberger picked up RBIs on walks while Jones and Kelsey Miczak tacked on RBIs through a fielder's choice and a single respectively.
Every Pleasant Valley player to step in the box scored at least one run. Jordan Meckes and Shanberger each scored three times. Tracey Deubler and Marini each scored twice.
Meanwhile, Kiersten Griesback took the mound for the Bears and was credited with a three-inning no-hitter. Her only blemish on the day was a two-out walk in the first inning. She ended the game with five strikeouts and did not allow a ball to leave the infield.
"We already have two decent pitchers (Marini and Rikki Correll)," said Caffrey. "Today, Kiersten got a shot and did very well," It was an opportunity for us to give her a chance to throw and I think it is only going to help us in the future. I would like to see her start again this year.
"We do have a couple of other pitchers that play other positions. We try and give as many kids the opportunity as possible."
Pleasant Valley moves to 3-4 with the win. At first glance the Bears' record might be surprising, but not when one takes into account the teams they have played so far this season. Caffrey is well aware of that and is keeping things positive as his team moves forward.
"I looked at the standings and the four losses that we have are to teams that are at the top of the district seedings at this point," Caffrey said. "Two of them, Northampton and Bethlehem Catholic, are No. 1 in AAAA and AAA.
"We are a little bit happier now than we were when we started, but we still have a lot of work to do. This next week coming up we have games against Lehighton, Pocono Mountain East, Stroudsburg and Easton. This will tell us a lot about ourselves and we will see where we are at the end of the week."
PM West 000 - 0 0 3
Pleasant Vy. (12)4x - 16 7 0
Keiper, Collado (1), Robson (2) and O'Connor; Griesback and Shanberger. W - Griesback, L - Keiper.