LEHMAN TWP. – After some recent setbacks, first-year Lake-Lehman softball coach Nicole Chipego could sense her team was ready to turn things around in Tuesday’s Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 home game with rival Dallas.
“I knew after (Monday) night’s practice that these girls were ready to win,” Chipego said after a much-needed 4-1 victory.
Lake-Lehman had won three straight non-league games by a total margin of 33-13 before dropping its first three WVC games by a total of 37-9, including an April 8 loss to Tunkhannock in five innings on the 10-run rule.
The Black Knights had also lost all six meetings with the Mountaineers since the teams were placed back in the same division in 2012.
“These girls needed this win,” Chipego said. “We didn’t play so hot against Tunkhannock.”
Abbey Hogan and Miranda Parry led the way in getting Lake-Lehman its first WVC win of the season.
Hogan struck out five in the first three innings, was perfect through four and went on to throw a four-hitter. She walked one and struck out seven.
“In our non-league games, Abbey pitched equally well,” Chipego said. “She’s a confident pitcher and she’s going to throw strikes.”
Hogan threw 74 of 112 pitches for strikes.
Parry finished 3-for-3 with singles in the second, fourth and sixth inning. Her speed was a key factor in a two-run fourth inning that broke the scoreless tie.
Cassie Konopki singled to start the fourth.
Parry followed by beating out a bunt single and drawing a wild throw that allowed Konopki to take third.
Dallas could not get an out on Savannah Purdy’s sacrifice bunt, loading the bases.
Hunter Kline broke the shutout with a sacrifice fly.
Parry scored on a Jill Ambrose groundout right in front of the plate, breaking for home on the throw down to first.
Dallas got a run in the fifth inning before Hogan could work out of a bases-loaded jam.
Lake-Lehman then scored two runs in the sixth. Chloe VanGorder doubled in Ambrose after the first run scored on an error.
“This is a big confidence-builder for these girls,” Chipego said.
Samantha Kern had two of the four Dallas hits.
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