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  • January 12, 2024
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As head coach Mike Trocki took his team into the 1992 season, expectations were higher than they had been in a while. The Lady Tornadoes were coming off a 13-8 season that saw them enter District playoffs for the first time since 1989. Add 8 returning starters to that mix and anyone would feel good about their prospects. No one could have imagined what was about to take place as the Tornadoes would go on to post a terrific 17-4 record on their way to the first – and only – District XI Softball Championship in school history.

The season started out inauspiciously as 1-1 after being shut out and no hit by Pottsville’s Andrea Smith. The girls would go on to win 11 consecutive games over the next five weeks, making local softball enthusiasts to take a serious look at the Tornadoes. The Tornadoes would post 7 shutouts during the season, while scoring 129 runs and surrendering only 49. One of the highlights would come in week nine in the match-up with the Crimson Tide. The girls would not only defeat Pottsville by a 2-1 margin, but would stop Smith’s scoreless inning streak ay 55. She had not given up a run in her 8 previous starts to start the season and had established a Schuylkill County record at the time. It also marked the first loss over 57 games and 5 years in Division I of the Schuylkill League for the Crimson Tide. The Tornadoes were paced by their own “ace” Liz Griscavage as she threw a 3 hitter. Griscavage would post a 15-3 record, 1.22 ERA, and have 18 complete games. Lesley Gilotti went 2-1 with a 1.24 ERA. The Tornadoes were paced by Kelly Klusman with a .435 average, Tara Kimsal ay .417 and Jill Gonzalo with a .333. Klusman would lead the team in hits wirh 30, followed by Kimsal with 25 and Gilotti and Amy Kalbarchick with 8. Kristi Tocyloski would lead the team in stolen bases with 10, while Kalbarchick would knock in 21 runs and Heidi Bressi 19. The team would hit .300 with 173 hits and would have a defensive average of .935, lead by Kalbarchick with 1.000 – no errors behind the plate.

The post season would present a few obstacles as the Tornadoes defeated Weatherly by a 7-0 score and would be taken to the limit by Pine Grove in a 11-10 win. The Tornadoes next game would be with District XI’s top seeded North Lehigh. NL’s coach, Dennis Hock openly stated in an interview “I’m that confident about our next game, that I’m thinking about Minersville. That’s how much confidence I have about this club, ince I was around our 1988 state championship team, and this team has much the same qualities.” The Tornadoes would make him pay as they came from behind to defeat the Bulldogs on Heidi Bressi’s game-winning single. That moved the Tornadoes into the District final with Minersville. The Battlin Miners were the 2-time defending District Champions and had 9 District Championships under their belt. Griscavage would pitch a 2-hit shutout in the 4-0 win for the Lady Tornadoes’ first-ever Softball District Championship. In the State quarter final, the Tornadoes would lokse a 2-1, 10-inning ballgame with Birdsboro’s Daniel Boone. The loss would not take away from the accomplishment of the ‘92 team and making them the best girl’s softball team in school history with the banner to prove it. The line-up with defensive specialist Stacy Trocki in right and Natalie Mychal as the DH was loaded from top to bottom. Following the season, Klusman, Kalbarchick, Griscavage and Kimsal would be named Schuylkill League All Stars, while Trocki was anmed the 1992 Schuylkill League Coach of the Year.

Categories: 2012 Hall of Fame