Arner, Cup team take fourth
Although Lehigh Valley’s Carpenter Cup softball team placed fourth in its tournament last week at FDR Park in Philadelphia, Whitehall High School second baseman Rachel Arner became an even better player as a result of playing on the Lehigh Valley team.
“I really don’t know how, but this past weekend on my tournament team, I was 5 for 5 with a walk, I beat out the throws, I bunted, and I was doing things on my own, and getting better at slapping,” Arner said.
Lehigh Valley coach Blake Morgan specifically mentioned Arner as having had a great Carpenter Cup tournament. It was her first year on the Carpenter Cup softball team, which placed fourth in the double-elimination tournament.
Last Wednesday, Lehigh Valley defeated Philadelphia Catholic League 2-1 and Suburban One/Bicentennial Athletic 15-0 after one win and one loss the previous Monday.
Arner scored the second run in the Philadelphia Catholic League game after a double steal made by Becahi’s Jess Indelicato and herself, and singles by Southern Lehigh’s Danielle Barnes and Emmaus’s Maddy Clark.
“I was on first, and Jess was on second, but I didn’t see the coach give the steal sign, so when she went, I went,” said Arner. “It was very cool.”
The following day, Lehigh Valley defeated Delaware County West 14-0 in a game that was continued from the day before because of rain. At the time, Lehigh Valley led 4-0. Arner had an RBI double in the fifth inning.
“It was a low line drive past third base to left field,” Arner said. “The lead helped because we did have trouble getting our hits together.”
Lehigh Valley lost its second game of the tournament to Delaware County North 8-7 last Thursday afternoon.
“That team, we could have beaten. They were just stringing hits together, and we should have called a timeout and regrouped,” said Arner.
Lehigh Valley had a 5-0 lead, but Delaware County North scored eight runs in the sixth inning.
“That inning, when everything went wrong, a lot of teams would have folded up their tents, but we hit hard and never gave up,” said Coach Morgan.
In the seventh inning, Becahi’s Alexa Pannucio got on base and scored on a triple by Northampton’s Heather Alich. When the ball hit Alich’s back as she dove into third base, Alich was awarded home. Emmaus’s Hannah Palinkas hit a double but was left on base, and the game ended.
“They played so hard the right way. It’s college connections, but sometimes they have to just go play and that’s what they did,” Morgan said. “If I could sum it up, they were awesome.”
Since Arner just completed her sophomore year, she will have an opportunity to play on the Lehigh Valley team again next year.
“I’m definitely glad I did it. I bonded with the other players a lot better throughout. I did really well hitting and getting on base and moving the runners. It’s the best I’ve done. I felt like that [Lehigh Valley] team could be a really good team,” Arner said.