Portledge Varsity Softball team captures PSAA Championship

Jonah Hirschwerk '20 & Athletic Department
After defeating Martin Luther 9-1 in the PSAA semifinal on Thursday May 10th, the Portledge Panthers Varsity Softball team looked to repeat this result in the PSAA Championship Game. A rainy Monday morning gave way to a beautiful afternoon at Portledge School, where pitcher and playoff MVP Carly Kleinwaks ‘18 and her fellow Lady Panthers looked to capture the PSAA Championship for the second year in a row. Portledge faced off against the 1 seed, Solomon Schechter. The Panthers were victorious, ultimately defeating Schechter 14-2, after scoring 9 runs in the 3rd inning.
The girls were led by an outstanding performance on the mound from Kleinwaks, and a fire powered lineup which featured home runs from both Kleinwaks and Marissa Stanco ‘18. After blowing the game open in the third with hits up and down the lineup, Coach Anthony Bruno was asked after the game about the girls’ approach at the plate. Coach Bruno’s response was, “You know, the message all year was to be aggressive up at the plate, especially today. I told the girls to keep going, keep going. I wanted them to swing early and often and the results would come.” Well those results did come. With three hits from Alyssa Genzel ‘20, Kamilah Roberts ‘18, Brooke Hubert ‘20, Kleinwaks and four from Grace Dima ‘18, this offense was unstoppable.

In the circle, Kleinwaks pitched a complete game gem. When asked about Carly’s mentality, Coach Bruno spoke about Carly’s overall impact on the team saying, “ Carly was our rock, she got the girls focused and to practice on time, she led by example all year, and she will clearly be missed.”

This is a bittersweet ending for the team as all seniors must move on, especially for this team as their seniors have been their central unit and the majority of impact players. When asked about plans for next year Coach Bruno said, “Yeah, we are going to be super young. Losing both starting pitchers is never a good thing: we are also losing a rock behind the plate. I don’t think our hitting will be a problem, but we will certainly have to mix and match a little bit.”

Well for now we can focus on the positives, which is that the Portledge Varsity Softball team has brought home a second-consecutive championship. The final from Portledge School, Portledge 14, Solomon Schechter 2. The Panthers are Champions again!

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