Hamburg ends season with district loss to Donegal

The Hamburg Area High School softball team softball team ended its season on May 19 when the Lady Hawks took on Donegal in the first round of the District 3-AAA tournament. A five-run second and seven-run fifth was more then Donegal needed to defeat Hamburg, 15-5.

“The girls will tell you they had a bad day,’ said head coach Clark Zimmerman. “When you make the playoffs good teams will take advantage of your mistakes, and Donegal surely did that. But I don’t want to take away from Donegal’s win. They hit the ball and applied pressure to our defense forcing us to make plays. They are a good team and we were not up to par.’

It was Hamburg that got the jump in the game, scoring a run in the top of the first. But Donegal came back with five run in the second, two in the third and one more in the fifth before the Hawks got back in it with a four-run fifth. But Donegal came back with a seven-run bottom of the fifth inning to end the game due to the mercy rule.

Erika Lutz led the Hamburg offense with two hits, two RBIs and one run scored. Paige Lesher was the losing pitcher.

The team finished the season at 5-5 in the Berks League and 11-10 overall, then losing in the first round of the playoffs. Although the Lady Hawks did qualify for the district playoffs, the team had high expectations for the season.

“I believe we did not achieve the goals we set for ourselves from the beginning of the season,’ said Zimmerman. “We did not believe this year would consist of 11 wins and a short trip to a district playoffs. We surely had opportunities to get the team into the BCIAA playoffs, possibly make a deep run into districts, but we came up way short of what we wanted to accomplish as a team.

“I know some of the players were disappointed, as well as the coaching staff, especially how poorly we performed in districts. Ending the season the way we did was extremely frustrating for me as a coach. You play the regular season to get to the playoffs. And then to perform the way we did as a team was tough. On the positive side, there are a number of players who don’t want to go through this type of season again and plan on working harder on the offseason to assure themselves, and the team, a better season next year.’

There were some very good individual performances this spring for the Lady Hawks. Erica Lutz and Rebecca Blatt were both selected to the All-County team. It was the first selection for Lutz and the second for Blatt. Paige Lesher was named to the All-Division team for the second time and Darlene Ruiz also made the All-Division team.

Zimmerman was pleased with the pitching on the team this year, mostly from Paige Lutz.

“With Paige on the mound, it allowed us to be competitive in every game,’ said Zimmerman.

The good news is that this was a very young team and most of the players will have another shot next season. Darlene Ruiz was the only senior on the team so the Hawks will be back as a much more experienced team next year, including six starting juniors this season that will be back for their senior season next spring.

“I am optimistic that they can lead us to a greater, more rewarding season next year,’ said Zimmerman. “The sophomores class, led by Erica Lutz, provide the team with depth, but I don’t want to get too excited because the returning members of this year’s team, as well as incoming freshman, will have to work in the offseason to get better and more consistent. Like life, if you want success, you will have to put forth the effort and work hard at your craft.’

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply