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Softball off to hot start

The Whitehall softball team is off to a strong start, winning its first three games in decisive fashion.

The Zephyrs have scored a combined 29 runs in those three wins, putting up 10 against Allentown Central Catholic in the opener; followed that with eight runs in a victory against Hazelton on Saturday, and then plated 11 against North Pocono on Monday.

They’ve also banged out 34 hits in those first three games. And Meghan Hutter, their leadoff hitter, owns seven of those hits. The senior isn’t just getting on base to set up their lineup; no sir, she’s been a run-producing machine. It’s no understatement to say that Hutter’s been certifiably on fire at the dish, knocking in eight runs with a pair of homers, a triple, and four singles. She’s also scored eight runs.

Someone say Player of the Week?

Head coach Blake Morgan said that Hutter is disciplined at the plate, hitting the ball where it’s pitched. He said she’s also a talented player who puts in a lot of work, and has a plan when she steps into the box. While players experience ups and downs throughout the course of a season, Blake said that those aspects of her game have all aligned at the beginning of the season.

“Things are falling in line right now,” said Morgan.

She’s far from the only one who’s made a big impact so far this season. Morgan said everyone’s contributing and that’s been the key to their hot start. Whether it’s Madison Cunningham in the circle getting Ks, or Abby Reese, Lindsey Gawrys, Kendra Fox and Madison Lasko getting extra base hits and knocking in runs, the whole team has helped keep the line moving at the plate.

“Everybody’s doing a good job getting quality at-bats,” said Morgan.

Morgan also attributes their success to playing solid defense and doing the little things right. It also helps that they’ve been mashing at the plate. Reese exemplified that in their 11-3 win on Monday, blasting her second triple of the season and knocking in five runs. Gawrys was also in beast mode, cracking a two-run double in her first plate appearance against the Trojans. She also walked three times.

Their pitching has also been a big plus for them out of the gate. Cunningham owns three wins with a big assist from both Fox and Lennon Dreisbach who’ve made strong appearances in relief for the Zephs. Cunningham has struck out 18 batters over 14 innings of work.

Morgan said that they’ve all been picking one another up, and that’s another area where the vets can make a difference.

“They just take the ball and go,” said Morgan.

Morgan also said that Cunningham has her repertoire working, and that’s led to her impressive numbers.

“She’s throwing the ball well,” he said.

While the numbers may tell the story, Morgan knows that a team relies on other factors as well to be successful. Foremost, they’ve been playing unselfish ball, and that’s trickled down the entire roster. That attitude affects everyone, he said.

“They’ve all done something that helps the team win,” Morgan said.

He said it’s been a whole team effort and believes that while it may be Hutter and Reese one day, it will be a different sets of players the next. It’ll be somebody different every game.

“You’re going to need that throughout the year,” he said.

It’s a reflection of who they are, said Morgan.

“They’re just all plying well together,” said Morgan. “They believe in each other and that’s a big thing.”

Press photo by Linda Rothrock Abigail Reece and the Zephs are off to a good start this softball season.