S. ABINGTON TWP. — An eight-run inning carried Abington Heights to a 13-3, six-inning win over fifth-seeded North Pocono in a District 2-11 Class 5A softball semifinal game May 26.
The top-seeded Lady Comets (12-2) will play seventh-seeded Pittston Area (8-7) for the subregional championship and a trip to the state playoffs at 7 p.m. May 30 at Scranton High School. Abington Heights defeated Pittston, 5-0, in the Class 3A title game last season.
“Our seniors went on a roll last year, so they know what it’s like,” Abington Heights head coach John Kelly said. “If we get pitching and play good defense, we can go a long way.”
Abington Heights right fielder Lauren Olevnik drove in third baseman Kaylee DeMatteo, who singled, with a double in the bottom of the second and second baseman Naudia Solan singled and scored on an error during the inning.
Lady Comets pitcher Meghan McGinley padded the lead in the bottom of the third with an RBI single following a walk by DeMatteo and double by Solan.
Shortstop Cassidy Bartkowski drove in designated player Mara Hamm with a double to stretch Abington Heights’ lead to 4-0 after four innings.
North Pocono (9-6) struck for three runs in the top of the fifth.
Pinch-hitter Nicole Zasada hit a home run, right fielder Jamie Hawley delivered an RBI groundout and courtesy runner Kaili Brooks scored on an error.
“She had one bad pitch and the girl took advantage of it,” Kelly said of McGinley’s outing. “After that, she buckled down and threw strikes.”
An eight-run bottom of the fifth swung the momentum right back in Abington Heights’ favor.
Catcher Catherine Anne Kupinski had two hits, including a 3-run home run, during the inning.
“As soon as I hit it, it was one of the best hits I’ve ever felt off the bat,” Kupinski said.
McGinley lined a 2-run single, Hamm drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and and first baseman Nina Kozar ripped a 2-run single.
“We were a little down after the top of the inning and our confidence was boosted back up,” McGinley said.
After some trouble in the fifth, McGinley retired the Lady Trojans in order in the sixth.
“I really just had to focus on throwing fastballs and hitting my spots,” McGinley said.
Center fielder Alison Kane clinched the win in the sixth inning with a single, scoring Solan who had three hits.
“It’s all a team (effort),” Solan said. “Everyone has done something to contribute to our success.”
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.