Pekurny leads Bombers to win
rich george/special to the times news Palmerton's Jordan Boyer slides into third base and is tagged out by Northwestern's Nicole Metzger.
Palmerton starter Kendra Pekurny has been dealing from the circle all season long.
Wednesday afternoon was no exception.
Pekurny tossed a complete-game one-hit shutout for the Lady Bombers and helped her team to a 7-0 victory over Colonial League foe Northwestern Lehigh. Meanwhile, Janel Tracy powered the offense once again and helped make for a rather easy day for Palmerton.
"(Kendra) is phenomenal," said Palmerton manager Glenn Reimer. "She is a freshman and has probably had three or four one-hitters so far this year. For a freshman to have the poise that she has in remarkable.
"She has been the bottom line for us. She is exceeding my expectations. I knew she was a good one because she pitches for my tournament team, but to come into the league and do what she is doing is unbelievable."
Pekurny was actually one out away from throwing a no-hitter, but surrendered a blooper down the right field line to the Tigers' Stephanie Papp. She did not allow a Northwestern runner past second base and finished the day with seven strikeouts and three walks.
Right fielder Steph Buck made a great sliding catch in the seventh to help keep the no-no in tact, but didn't have a chance to get to Papp's hit two batters later.
"I just felt confident out there," said Pekurny. "I knew that my team would back me up and that is a great feeling. It allows me to pitch like I can and I love my team for that.
"I didn't know I was even pitching a no-hitter until afterward, but I am just happy to help my team get the win."
Palmerton's offense had no problem getting going in the second inning. The Bombers plated two runs behind RBI singles from Buck and Pekurny to get things rolling.
Palmerton added two more runs in the third thanks to RBI singles from Tracy and Abby Reimer. Tracy then delivered with a two-run single in the fourth to blow things open. She scored her second run of the game on an error one batter later to give the Bombers a seven-run lead.
"We knew (Northwestern's Lydia Danner) was a good pitcher and we practiced all week for her," said Tracy, who finished the day 3-for-4. "We were all ready for her and knew what we had to do up there.
"In the off-season we were always working in tournaments, so we basically built the team chemistry there and brought it over into this season. I think it is showing that we are going to have a good team for a couple of years to come."
Reimer, Pekurny and lead-off batter Sam Doherty all had two hits in the game. Doherty also scored two runs.
Palmerton improves to 11-4 overall and 9-4 in CL play. Not many thought a record like that would be possible with a roster that consists of two seniors, one junior, eight sophomores and four freshmen. Now that the Bombers are doing better than even they expected, they want to accomplish more than they originally set out to.
"We came into this year thinking we would be around .500 and would maybe make districts," admitted Reimer. "But right now we are right in the thick of the league playoffs and are fighting for first place.
"We start four sophomores, three freshmen and two seniors. The middle of my lineup Abby, Janel and Megan (Peck) are hitting the ball very well right now. They, along with Kendra, are leading this team. We aren't going to accept anything less than the league playoffs and we control our own destiny. If we can beat Bangor, Pen Argyl and Northern Lehigh then we are definitely in."
Northwestern 000 000 0 - 0 1 3
Palmerton 022 300 x - 7 13 1
Danner and Greenberg; Pekurny and Campbell. W-Pekurny, L-Danner.