MOUNT CARMEL — With Shamokin softball already locked into a playoff spot next week, the Indians were able to tune up against Lourdes Regional, Thursday, 14-0.
The Indians scored 10 runs in the third inning with Mackenzie Glosek and Kaitlyn Merlino each driving in three runs.
Payton Whary tossed three no-hit frames and struck out five in the Shamokin win.
The senior talked about the difference in her game from last season to this season and what she is trying to work on entering the postseason.
“Last year was mainly location, but Kashner’s been working on different pitches with me, like rise ball and drop,” Whary explained.
“I’m focusing on trying to do better than what I did last year, mainly. Pitching-wise I’m not doing necessarily better so I’m trying to work on that. I’m also working on my hitting.”
Shamokin head coach Rick Kashner was proud of his team for putting together a strong campaign after expectations were not very high on their season.
“Our expectations are high now. We weren’t picked to have a 12-win season. The girls played great they exceeded expectations. I’m optimistic going into the playoffs. We can’t take anybody lightly. We didn’t take them (Lourdes) lightly coming in. Our players did a real good job,” Kashner said about his team heading into the playoffs next week.
During the Red Raiders’ senior day, starting pitcher Oceanhanna Haupt pitched all five innings and stayed poised despite the Indians batting around in the third.
The freshman kept Shamokin off the scoreboard in the second frame and left a pair of runners on base by getting Whary and Andrea Segura to fly out.
Lourdes Regional head coach Clay Funk thought losing players to injury dealt a big blow to his team, but was pleased with the growth and versatility his players demonstrated during the year.
“The goal at the beginning at the year wasn’t about wins and losses. It was about getting better as the season progressed, as an individual player, because if you become a better individual player then you become a better team player. I think we did progress from the first three weeks in the gym to the end of the regular season. The biggest thing that kept us back a little this year was we had three injuries,” Lourdes Regional head coach Clay Funk noted about his team’s challenging season.
“We were fortunate that we had girls that could move to different positions, but then we took a step backwards because they didn’t play that position all year. Even though the girls are getting better, they’re playing different positions, which makes it harder to get better.”
Haupt was happy with the bond she shared with her teammates and
“I think the big thing that made this team so special was the bond that we had. The way that we always hustled and tried our best on the field no matter what the outcome is,” Haupt said.
Lourdes finishes the season with a 2-15 record.
According to Kashner, Shamokin (12-8) will face Selinsgrove on Tuesday at a time and place to be determined.