Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mirenda, Hayward lead Berks Catholic softball to narrow victory over Hamburg

With Berks Catholic and Hamburg knotted in a scoreless game, Saints center fielder Giana Mirenda stepped to the plate with two runners on base and one goal.

“I knew I had to do something,” Mirenda said. “Hamburg is a team that every team would want to beat, because they are a very good team.”

Mirenda delivered in a big way, hitting a three-run home run in the third inning to lift Berks Catholic to the eventual 3-2 win over the Hawks in a Berks Softball League Division III game on Tuesday at Forino Sports Complex.

“She threw me a changeup and I saw it,” Mirenda said. “I just waited on it, and it felt so good off my bat.”

Berks Catholic's Giana Mirenda celebrates with coach John Gleason following her three-run home run in the bottom of the third inning in the Saints' 3-2 victory on Tuesday over Hamburg at the Forino Sports Complex. (BILL UHRICH - READING EAGLE)
Berks Catholic’s Giana Mirenda celebrates with coach John Gleason following her three-run home run in the bottom of the third inning in the Saints’ 3-2 victory on Tuesday over Hamburg at the Forino Sports Complex. (BILL UHRICH – READING EAGLE)

The home run, which allowed pitcher Dani Hayward and left fielder Isabella Thomas to score, proved to be enough in a game that featured two dominant pitchers and little offense. Hayward tossed seven innings, stifling the Hawks’ offense to pick up the win.

“As I was running around first base, I was just so happy because I knew I helped out my team and Dani (Hayward), because she was working really hard for us,” Mirenda said.

The Saints’ three-run lead was protected by Hayward, who was in control from start to finish. The senior allowed just two runs and five hits while striking out 11 batters.

“She’s amazing,” Mirenda said about Hayward. “She’s a great player, all-around, and she’s always there for her teammates.”

Berks Catholic's Dani Hayward pitches the Saints to a 3-2 victory over Hamburg at the Forino Sports Complex. (BILL UHRICH - READING EAGLE)
Berks Catholic’s Dani Hayward pitches the Saints to a 3-2 victory over Hamburg at the Forino Sports Complex. (BILL UHRICH – READING EAGLE)

After Berks Catholic (9-2, 13-5) took the lead, the Hawks (10-1, 17-3) got on the board in the top of the fourth with a sacrifice fly from catcher Shayna Morales, which allowed second baseman Hailie Edwards to score.

Hamburg's Hailie Edwards scores the Hawks' first run ahead of the throw on a sacrifice fly against Berks Catholic during the Saints' 3-2 victory over Hamburg at the Forino Sports Complex. (BILL UHRICH - READING EAGLE)
Hamburg’s Hailie Edwards scores the Hawks’ first run ahead of the throw on a sacrifice fly against Berks Catholic during the Saints’ 3-2 victory over Hamburg at the Forino Sports Complex. (BILL UHRICH – READING EAGLE)

Hamburg cut the Saints’ lead to 3-2 in the top of the sixth, as shortstop Norah Davey scored on an RBI single from first baseman Molly Krick. The sophomore finished 1-for-2 with the RBI and a walk.

With the Hawks threatening to score in the seventh, Hayward sealed the deal, striking out Hamburg pitcher Hailey Strunk with runners on second and third base and two outs to end the game. In the circle, Strunk allowed three runs on four hits and was tabbed with the loss.

“She found another gear,” Berks Catholic coach John Gleason said about Hayward. “That last inning, she was just lights-out.”

The victory over Hamburg, the Berks III champion, is a pivotal one for the Saints, who fell to the Hawks earlier in the season. After starting the year 8-1, Berks Catholic entered Tuesday’s matchup just 4-4 in its last eight games.

“It’s big going into counties, especially (since) we’ve lost the last couple games,” Hayward said. “It’s just a confidence booster for us.”

The defending Berks champions, the Saints will conclude the regular season on Wednesday with a non-league game at Lampeter-Strasburg. They will then prepare for the county playoffs, which begin with the quarterfinals on Saturday.

“Today was just huge,” Gleason said. “We knew we wanted to dig in, we knew we wanted to come away with a win.”

Nearly one year after they defeated Hamburg in a Berks semifinal before going on to win the county title, the Saints are hopeful Tuesday’s win over the Hawks can serve as another launching pad for postseason success.

“We’re very excited,” Mirenda said. “We want to go as far as we did last year, and I think we can.”


Source: Berkshire mont

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply