Tamaqua rolls past Lehighton
Tamaqua’s Jane Kupchinsky slides safely into third base as Lehighton’s Heidi Greene waits for the throw. For a photo gallery visit www.tnonline.com. BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS
Tamaqua’s bats swung early and often in Thursday’s 22-4 Schuylkill League softball victory over Lehighton.
The Blue Raiders put up 12 runs in the first two innings and were never challenged as they improved their record to 5-4 in league play and 8-6 overall.
“I’m just proud we showed up and started scoring in the first inning,” Tamaqua head coach Jillian Barron said. “Usually, we don’t start hitting until late in the game like the fifth or sixth inning.
“It was nice for us to actually start teeing off right from the first batter on. I think we almost batted around in the first inning, so it was nice to finally see the bats come alive.”
Tamaqua is on the bubble of the District 11 playoffs, and Thursday’s win puts them one step closer to making it in.
Barron said that finding some consistency will be important for the Raiders down the stretch.
“Just finding the rotation that’s going to work for us will be a key. I don’t think I’ve gone with the same lineup in back-to-back games yet this year,” Barron said . “I know these next couple of games are very important. This puts us at eight wins, so we still have to get a couple more to get into the playoffs.”
Errors were the story on the Lehighton side of things. The Indians played their third game in the last three days after the Tamaqua matchup got moved up a day due to the threat of rain today.
“We need to catch the ball better,” Lehighton coach David Yob said. “By far, our worst defensive performance. It gets very disappointing.
“Tuesday, we play a clean game against Blue Mountain and end up losing 3-0 and neither team had an error. Wednesday at Northern Lehigh, we had some errors, and it just snowballed today. We need a day of practice, and we’ll probably be inside (Friday) — and we won’t be getting any defense done inside.”
While Tamaqua is closing in on a postseason berth, it’s different for the Indians.
“We’re 4-9 ... that’s not what I expected to be,” Yob said. “I was expecting to have a legitimate shot of at least making districts, but we’ve got to turn things around in a hurry for that to happen.”
Lehighton will have a chance with a busy schedule next week that has it playing four games in five days.
SWING BATTER, BATTER … Jen Frederickson had four hits for Tamaqua. Miranda Chinchar had three hits, including a home run, and four RBIs. Jane Kupchinsky (two runs scored, three RBIs); Maxine Beers (two runs scored, two RBIs); Bryn Clifford (two runs scored, two RBIs); and Ella McLaughlin (two runs scored, two RBIs) all had three hits. Alexandra Frederick had two hits, three runs scored and four RBIs.
TOP INDIAN … Heidi Greene had a two run-single in the third inning to put the Indians on the board.
SCHELLHAMER’S PITCHING … Tamaqua’s Jada Schellhammer tossed a five-hitter and struck out five to pick up the victory.
Tamaqua 570 37 - 22 23 4
Lehighton 002 20 - 4 5 8
Schellhammer and Frederick; Gruber, Kunkle (2) and Serfass W - Schellhammer. L - Gruber HR: Tamaqua - Chinchar.