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Last updated: April 17. 2013 11:46PM - 1805 Views
By - jerzar@timesleader.com - (570) 991-6394



AIMEE DILGER/THE TIMES LEADERHazleton Area's Mackenzie Yori slides into home plate during a high school softball game against Lake-Lehman on Wednesday afternoon. Hazleton Area won,15-8.
AIMEE DILGER/THE TIMES LEADERHazleton Area's Mackenzie Yori slides into home plate during a high school softball game against Lake-Lehman on Wednesday afternoon. Hazleton Area won,15-8.
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LEHMAN TWP. — The beginning and end were fine for unbeaten Hazleton Area on Wednesday. The middle was precarious.


The Cougars, though, were able to overcome a Lake-Lehman rally with one of their own to post a 15-8 victory in a Wyoming Valley Conference softball interdivisional game.


Hazleton Area (6-0 Div. 1) scored at least two runs in innings four through seven. That helped the Cougars overcome a 7-6 deficit created by a five-run third inning by Lehman (0-4 Div. 2). Vickey Cadwalader had the key hit in the inning for the Black Knights, a massive three-run homer to dead center field.


But while Lehman landed some big punches early — including a two-run homer by Sarah Stacey in the first — Hazleton Area kept connecting on jabs late. Maria Trivelpiece hit a one-out triple, her first of two, in the fourth. She scored on Mackenzie Yori’s single. Yori made it to third on the hit due to an error and scored on a fielder’s choice.


Just like that, a 7-6 Lehman lead turned into an 8-7 Hazleton Area advantage. The Cougars built gradually on the lead, getting RBI singles from Samantha Varela and Lexi Wolk and an RBI double from Wolk along the way.


“If we were boxers, we’d win rounds. We just don’t win games,” said Lehman coach Wayne Oplinger, whose team was coming off an 11-inning loss to Dallas. “If we were in boxing, we might have a few championship belts. We’ve got to start winning innings.”


Oddly, Lehman’s best success came against Hazleton Area starter Becky Demko, who is considered one of the WVC’s top pitchers. Demko had allowed just five runs (three earned) in her previous 29 1/3 innings. Lehman tagged her for seven (three earned) before she departed in the third.


“Becky is a little under the weather and we didn’t play the best behind her,” Hazleton Area coach Vince Trivelpiece said. “I used to pitch 50 games a summer and there would be two or three nights where I’d get the heck beat out of me. I don’t know why.”


Nor could Lehman figure why the bats abruptly went silent against Varela, who pitched the final 4 1/3 innings. The Black Knights had some mild threats, but scored only once on Sara Schuler’s single in the fifth. Schuler finished 3-for-3 with a walk. Stacey was 3-for-4.


Oplinger took an optimistic view of the outcome.


“I’m glad they came back,” said Oplinger, whose team fell behind 5-0 before coming to bat. “They’re resilient, they never get down.”


Hazleton Area`AB`R`H`BI`2B`3B`HR


Maria Trivelpiece ss`5`3`2`0`0`2`0


Mackenzie Yori 3b`5`4`4`1`1`0`0`0


Abby Sachse rf`5`2`2`1`0`1`0


Lexi Wolk cf`5`1`3`3`1`0`0


Becky Demko p`5`2`1`0`0`0`0


Justine Rossi c`3`2`2`0`1`0`0


Samantha Varela lf`4`0`2`2`0`0`0


Celine Podlesney dp`4`0`1`2`0`0`0


Jolene Browdy 1b`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


Hailey Kendall lf`3`1`1`0`0`0`0


Mikaela Browdy 2b`0`0`0`0`0`0`0


Totals`40`15`18`9`3`3`0


Lake-Lehman`AB`R`H`BI`2B`3B`HR


Lexi Oplinger ss`3`2`1`0`0`0`0


Sarah Stacey 3b`4`2`3`2`0`0`1


Lacey Miller 2b`4`1`0`0`0`0`0


Korri Wandell 1b`3`0`1`0`0`0`0


Michelle Ash rf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


Britney Meeker c`4`1`0`0`0`0`0


Jordan Hodle p`4`1`1`1`0`0`0


Vickey Cadwalader lf`4`1`1`3`0`0`1


Sara Schuler cf`3`0`3`1`0`0`0


Brandie Brennan dp`4`0`0`0`0`0`0


Kirsten Cope rf`0`0`0`0`0`0`0


Totals 34`8`10`7`0`0`2


Hazleton Area`510`223`2 — 15


Lake-Lehman`205`010`0 — 8


Hazleton Area`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO


Demko`2.2`6`7`3`1`1


Varela (W, 1-0)`4.1`4`1`0`1`4


Lake-Lehman`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO


Hodle (L, 0-3)`7`18`15`9`1`2


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