After a pair of deflating losses in Games 3 and 4 of their Blue Mountain League semifinals matchup against Northampton, Limeport co-manager Mike Cudwadie knew two things: The Bulls needed a quick start and their bats needed to come alive in Game 5.
Limeport scored 15 runs in Games 1 and 2 of that series to take a 2-0 lead. But the bats seemed to disappear after Northampton evened the series at two games apiece and held the Bulls to just one run.
It's hard not to take notice of Sabrina Mertz's and Sarah Segan's relationship.
The two spent nearly every high school sports season competing with one another, by each other's side. The 2013 track and field season was the exception, as Segan didn't take on the sport until 2014. But for all four years, it was soccer in the spring and basketball in the winter, with Mertz and Segan side by side. The two even grew up playing on similar youth teams.
Just a week ago, it looked as if the road to another championship appearance in the Blue Mountain League would be easy for Limeport.
The Bulls, who finished the regular season with the No. 1 seed in the playoffs at 25-11, quickly built a 2-0 series lead against the Northampton Giants. A pitching spectacle from ace Adam Maini in Game 1 led to an 8-0 win. A 7-5 victory the next day brought the Bulls within one win of their fourth championship appearance in six years.
Coming into the summer, Northwestern head coach Nate Hunsicker had high expectations for the Tiger boys soccer team.
And why wouldn't he? Northwestern lost just three conferences games in the Colonial League last season and finished as district runner-up. Before that, the Tigers had a successful summer in the Lehigh Valley Summer Soccer League. But the biggest sign of optimism is that the Tigers graduated just two senior starters from last year-Brandon Herb and Cody Gangaware.
In its seven years of existence, the Northern Valley Connie Mack baseball team has certainly had its share of memorable campaigns. But few seasons have produced a better record than this year's squad. In fact, only one Chargers team had a longer run in states.
Northwestern's lacrosse team doesn't have the reputation of other schools like Parkland, Emmaus and Southern Lehigh, but that didn't stop two Tigers from making a name for themselves across the Lehigh Valley youth lacrosse landscape.
Cole Norman and Zach Anderson, who both play for the Northwestern Youth Athletic Association (NYAA) U-15 boys lacrosse team, were recently named to the Lehigh Valley Keystone Games all-star squad that competed at Penn State.
Norman and Anderson were two of 21 selections out of the 45 kids that tried out at Southern Lehigh High School.
Incoming-junior Robbie Seyfried can be looked at as the wildcard for the Northwestern boys basketball team.
While Parker Jones and Brady Mengel are the only two returning Tigers that saw significant varsity court time last year, head coach Billy Hallman expects a lot out of his underclassmen heading into this year, but maybe no one more than Seyfried.
While a championship in the summer would be nice, the main goal of the Northwestern coaching staff is improving its girls' basketball team throughout the offseason.
So, when the Tigers are paired up with Class AAAA schools from the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference they don't mind it one bit. In fact, the Tigers prefer that challenge as they face schools of that stature regular season nonleague games.
During last week's SportsFest A-Town Throwdown Tournament at Allentown's Cedar Beach Park, the Tigers experienced plenty of that competition firsthand.
There figures to be a period of transition as the dog days of summer start to appear.
Many high school basketball teams are in the middle of a rebuild process, and play in the summer only helps speed up that process for the upcoming winter season. So naturally, teams will experience both ups and downs when working out their chemistry on the court.
Millions of people watched the Women's FIFA World Cup from their own homes.
Thousands of others had the opportunity to watch the games from celebratory events in the Lehigh Valley, such as the Soccerfest and Viewing Party at Bethlehem's SteelStacks.
But only a select few had the chance to watch a game from that tournament live in the host country of Canada.