TUNKHANNOCK — For a quintet of seniors, the ride finally came to an end Wednesday in Tunkhannock.
For the past four years, those Wyoming Area softball seniors led the team to new heights. It was all over following a quarterfinal game against the current Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 champions.
Tunkhannock scored two early runs, and held the Wyoming Area offensive attack at bay, in a 2-0 win in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association District 2 Class AAA quarterfinal game. The win moved the Tigers to the semifinals against Pittston Area, while the loss ended the Warriors’ season.
“We weren’t able to get anyone over and come up with the timely hits,” Wyoming Area coach John McNeil said. “Hats go off to (Tunkhannock pitcher Hope Jones). She was able to move the ball around so we couldn’t hit it.”
Wyoming Area’s Gwen Glatz took the tough loss in the circle and allowed just four hits to the Tigers. Two of those hits, however, led to Tunkhannock’s only runs.
Tunkhannock’s Kendra Schultz drove home Jones in the first inning for the first run. Jones added an RBI single that scored Sydney Faux in the second inning. That was it. And it was the third time Tunkhannock has knocked off the defending WVC champions this season.
Glatz, Bree Bednarski, Vicki Remley and Kristi Skok each had hits for the Warriors. Remley’s hit was a double.
The seniors are Bednarski, who will play field hockey at the University of Michigan; Sarah Coolbaugh, who will play softball at Penn State Hazleton; Grace Gober, who will play field hockey at Temple University; Heather Nametko and Remley.
In four years those seniors have made a big impact on Wyoming Area softball. Last season, the team won the Division 2 conference title for the first time since 2012. It was this group of seniors first championship, and numerous playoff wins occurred throughout their careers.
The Warriors needed a playoff and an extra-inning win over Nanticoke to beat the eventual District 2 Class AAA champions out of the division title last season. A 2-1, nine-inning loss to Berwick ended the season in the district semifinals last season.
This group of seniors has reached the semifinals of the District 2 championships twice and have won a total of six playoff games in that span. They’ve played in nine playoffs games.
“This year we struggled a little bit,” McNeil said. “Overall these girls have been the backbone of the team. We looked for their leadership and they accepted the younger players. We’re going to miss them.”
Wyoming Area finished the season 9-7, with three more wins coming in exhibition games. Leading the way at the dish this season was Glatz, a sophomore, who finished with a .435 batting average, had 13 doubles and drove in 19 runs. She also started 19 games this season and finished with a 1.64 ERA and six shutouts.
“She is dedicated to her career,” McNeil said. “She pitches all year around and she works hard. It’s a credit to her and she’s committed to getting better control and becoming more of a pitcher.”
Bednarski finished the season with a .394 average with 18 RBI, seven doubles, three triples and three home runs, including a grand slam.