NEPA Sports Nation

Today in NEPA Sports Nation, 6/3

Three championship games that were postponed from Wednesday make up the schedule of Thursday games in District 2.

There is also a play-in game for the state tournament scheduled for the Berwick softball team.

Honesdale and Wyoming Area have scheduled their District 2 Class 4A baseball championship game for noon at Wyoming Area’s Atlas Field to give them a better chance of beating the possibility of more rain during the afternoon.

The two remaining District 2 softball championship games are scheduled to try again at 4:30 p.m.

West Scranton is at Abington Heights in what is technically a District 2-4 Class 5A Subregional championship game. Mid Valley is at Holy Redeemer in the District 2 Class 3A final.

Honesdale reached the 4A baseball final by upsetting top-seeded Dallas, 3-2, in the semifinals. The Hornets (9-13) first had to get past Tunkhannock, 8-1, in the quarterfinals. They have won three straight since a late-season, seven-game losing streak.

Wyoming Area (10-6) has put together an impressive, four-game winning streak. The Warriors won, 9-7, over a Wallenpaupack team that was 14-3 going in; defeated rival Pittston Area, 5-2, on its home field; shut out Hanover Area, 10-0, in the quarterfinals; then knocked off second-seeded Valley View, 9-4, to earn the right to host the final.

Honesdale’s Paul Meagher has been hit by 16 pitches, helping him to score 28 runs while batting .300. Zach Branning has a team-high .431 batting average.

Wyoming Area’s Evan Melberger, Jake Kelleher and J.J. Hood are all batting over .400. Hood has six pitching wins, a 1.83 earning run average and 88 strikeouts in 49 2/3 innings.

Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 champion Holy Redeemer (19-1) and Lackawanna League Division 3 champion Mid Valley (18-2) are ranked 1-2 among Small Schools in the Riverfront Sports Super Six Power Rankings of District 2 teams.

Both teams have strong pitchers who also lead their offenses.

Junior Jenna Santuk is 14-1 with a 1.42 earned run average for top-seeded Holy Redeemer. She has struck out 152 while giving up just 59 hits and 33 walks in 103 2/3 innings.

Santuk also leads the Lady Royals in batting average (.507), hits (34) and RBI (23) while sharing the lead in homers (3) and extra-base hits (14).

Sophomore Maranda Runco is 18-2 with an 0.99 ERA, three no-hitters and three one-hitters for Mid Valley. She has struck out 177 while giving up 56 hits and 25 walks in 120 innings.

Runco’s offensive numbers are even more impressive, including a stretch of nine straight games with home runs. She has 17 homers, 44 RBI and a .682 batting average along with 10 doubles and 35 runs scored.

Junior shortstop Akira Kopec is hitting .458 with 10 doubles and 3 homers for Holy Redeemer.

Mid Valley also has Kat Davis, Lindsey Jason and Chiara Zavislak batting .436 or better.

Abington Heights (17-1) and West Scranton (11-3) have met twice this season with Abington Heights winning 7-4 and 7-6 on the way to the Lackawanna League Division 1 title. The Comets are also the top-ranked Big School team in the Super Six.

Before 5A became a subregional this year, Abington Heights won District 2 Class 3A (in the previous four-class system) in 2016 and District 2 Class 5A in 2017, then lost in the final to Pittston Area in both 2018 and 2019. There were no spring sports in 2020 because of the pandemic.

Berwick has a play-in game against District 11 runner-up Northwestern Lehigh for a spot in the state Class 4A softball tournament that opens in full on Monday. They meet at 7 p.m. at Patriots Park in Allentown.

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