May 24, 2023

Riding Balanced Batting Attack, Kobryn’s Pitching, Hun Softball Tops Pingry to Repeat as Prep A Champs

ENCORE PERFORMANCE: Members of the Hun School softball team enjoy the moment after they defeated Pingry 10-0 in the Prep A state title game last Thursday.The Raiders, who won their second straight Prep A crown, finished the spring with an 18-2 record. (Photo by Jamie McKee/The Hun School)

By Bill Alden

Kathy Quirk was expecting a tense contest when her Hun School softball team hosted the Pingry School in the Prep A state title game last Thursday.

“We knew what Pingry was like, I thought it was going to be a close game; it was 4-1 (on April 17) the first time we played them,” said Hun head coach Quirk whose squad was seeded first as it went after its second straight Prep A crown while Pingry was the No. 3 seed. “In the sixth inning they took their No. 1 pitcher out because they had a county game the next day.”

Instead, the title game turned into a laugher as Hun scored 10 unanswered runs with three runs in the bottom of the third inning, six more in the fifth, and one in the sixth as the contest ended there on the 10-run rule with Raiders up 10-0. Hun finished the spring at 18-2 as it won another Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) title to go along with its Prep A repeat.

“We just hit the hell out of the ball, the hitting became contagious,” said Quirk, who had five players with at least two hits in the victory as Sam Jolly went 3-for-4 with one run and one RBI with Lexi Kobryn going 2-for-3 with two runs, Anna Murphy going 2 for 2 with two runs, and Rowan Lacy and Emma Eisenberg each going 2 for 4 with one run and two RBIs.

“The spirit in the dugout was unbelievable and I think these girls just wanted it. At the beginning of each season, we talk about team goals and two of our team goals were to repeat our MAPL and Prep A state championships. They knew what they had to do.”

Junior star pitcher Kobryn took care of business in the circle in the final, striking out nine and giving up just two hits in earning the shutout.

“Lexi knew she couldn’t do it herself, she had to depend on her teammates to get it done,” said Quirk. “She had another good game pitching, she
has been so consistent.”

Quirk credited freshman infielder Jolly with being a catalyst against Pingry and over the course of the spring.

“Jolly is just such a smart player; she is a left-handed slapper but she will look at where the girls are and will place the ball over the third basemen’s head or will hit a power hit,” said Quirk of Jolly who batted .672 in her debut campaign with team-highs in hits (43) and runs (32). “She just knows what to do to get on base. I can’t say enough about her as a freshman and what she contributed to the team.”

Hun’s title repeat was a total team effort. “It is a great accomplishment,” said Quirk. “They work together, they have fun, and they believe
in each other. They just
supported each other.”

The squad’s senior group — Sammy Kandel, Kat Xiong, Nina Amodio, and Amelia Zucatti — helped the Raiders come together.

“They are going to be tough to replace, they have come through the system,” said Quirk. “Sammy and Kat have been four-year starters. Nina finally worked her way into the starting lineup this year. Kat’s energy is like a bag of Mexican jumping beans, she never stops. She is going to be missed and I hope she does well up at Colby.”

In Quirk’s view, the program has the foundation in place to keep doing very well going forward.

“It is a great group coming back with the pitcher (Kobryn), the catcher (Eisenberg), Jamie [Staub] at first, Jolly at second and Brianna [Riviello] at third,” said Quirk.

“It is a great infield, not too many balls are hit to the outfield so our infield has to be really solid. I will probably move [Anna] Murphy over to center field. Rowan [Lacy] really turned the corner on the Lawrenceville game when we put her in as a pinch hitter and she drove  in the go-ahead run. Emma hit the ball really well in the final; she is such a driven player. She works hard in practice, she is going to have a big impact next year.”