Going Out In Style
WILKES-BARRE — The fans showed up and Meyers softball gave them what they wanted.
The Mohawks played in front of 100-plus fans Monday at Miner Park, winning their final home game, 10-4, against MMI Prep in a highlight-filled performance led by pitcher Abbi Sattof, third baseman Dakota Zyskowski and center fielder Ashley Bruno.
“It’s a big deal and a big win for us. I’m really happy with it,” said Zyskowski, a senior who plans to continue playing softball at King’s College. “We worked hard and we haven’t had the greatest season. But since our last GAR game, we’ve definitely stepped up a lot more and the energy is up.”
After starting the season 1-9, Meyers (4-9, 4-8 WVC) has won three in a row against GAR, Northwest and MMI Prep.
“We’re definitely going in the right direction,” said head coach Nicole Hoskins. “Our momentum is definitely getting behind us. Today is a great day for the community to come together and support Ron Lloyd. Having the girls perform in front of a crowd, nothing gets better.”
Lloyd was the most distinguished guest, the man who — off the field — commanded more attention than anyone else in the crowd.
“It’s about the last game; it’s not about me,” Lloyd said. “But I guess being here 20 years, I had a little something to do with it.”
Lloyd took over as Meyers’ head coach in 1990 — the year when senior ace Kim Maguire pitched the Mohawks to a 15-0 regular season and WVC Class 2A championship — and Miner Park was his stomping grounds until his final season in 2010.
Lloyd is now undergoing treatment for cancer.
“He was diagnosed with Stage IV esophageal cancer with spots on his liver,” said Ron’s son, Curt Lloyd. “They actually cleared all of the tumors in his esophagus, so he’s free of cancer in his esophagus. Now, they’re focusing on the spots on his liver.”
Ron Lloyd coached Curt for four years in Little League. As Curt grew older, he spent eight years on his father’s coaching staff at Meyers.
“He inspires me. I look up to him. He is my hero,” Curt Lloyd said of his father. “This was really nice that a couple of the players put this together for him. It just shows what he’s meant to a number of his players.”
Ron Lloyd fought back tears, saying he gets well wishes and prayers sent his way from many people — but it’s really special when it comes from one of his past softball players.
Ron Lloyd enjoyed Monday’s ending, too, adding that a Meyers win “makes my heart feel good.”
After being tied at 1, Meyers broke the game open with a second-inning rally.
Five players reached base with two outs, scoring four runs highlighted by Bruno’s single that scored Bailey Smallcomb. Sattof followed with a two-run double, and then Lael Walker knocked an RBI triple to give Meyers a 5-1 lead.
Other key hits included Lyssa Rhodes’ inside-the-park home run that was misplayed in left field in the fourth, putting Meyers ahead 9-3. Sattof reached on a standup triple in the sixth inning and scored on a sacrifice fly for Meyers’ 10th and final run.
Defensively, Zyskowski made a run-saving and rally-killing catch of a grounder at third with the bases loaded in the fourth inning. Zyskowski threw to first for the final out, thwarting an MMI rally that cut into Meyers’ lead and made it 5-3.
Zyskowski followed that with a diving catch in foul territory in the fifth, which also featured Bruno’s sliding catch in shallow center field.
“It felt good because I felt like I had my defense to back me up,” said Sattof, the pitcher. “Just knowing that everyone could catch it and we could move on — it feels good.”
Barring a few highly unlikely upsets in the District 2 Class 3A playoffs, Monday’s game was Meyers’ last at Miner Park in South Wilkes-Barre. The Mohawks have two games left, both on the road.
Next season, Wilkes-Barre Area will combine its athletic programs from Coughlin, GAR and Meyers into one.
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