Hempfield softball has extended trip home from State Capitol after bus breaks down

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Monday, March 18, 2019 | 7:49 PM


Stranded but still enjoying the ride, the state softball champions didn’t let a broken down bus dampen their trip to the state capitol.

Hempfield, the only three-peat state champions in the PIAA’s largest classification, were stuck on the Turnpike for just more than two hours Monday evening after their school bus conked out on the way home from Harrisburg.

Hempfield was honored for winning another PIAA title with a tour of the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex and had a meet and greet with senators and Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman.

The road trip to Harrisburg is becoming a regular thing for Hempfield. Longtime coach Bob Kalp, though, had not attended previous trips. He didn’t anticipate an extended pit stop.

“We didn’t expect to be stuck at a Bob Evans in Breezewood but it was a nice trip,” Kalp said. “We’ll get back eventually. I was really impressed with the capitol; the architecture in there is incredible. The girls had a good time. But it turned into a long day.”

Kalp, in his 23rd season as head coach, helped some players with their chemistry homework while the team waited for another bus to arrive from Hempfield.

Kalp was asked jokingly if he could fix the bus.

“They’re talking maybe transmission,” he said. “Someone else can worry about that. I have a hard enough time working this cell phone.”

Hempfield headed home around 7 p.m.

The Spartans went 24-3 last season and won their fourth straight WPIAL title and third consecutive PIAA championship.

The trip officially puts last season on the shelf and now allows this year’s group to start another title defense.

“The tour was very interesting and we all had a great time,” Hempfield sophomore catcher Emma Hoffner said. “Everyone there was so nice and made it a great experience. It’s great for team bonding.”

Hempfield began the season No. 1 in the Tribune-Review Class 6A rankings.

Kalp isn’t sure who is the favorite to win the next district championship, or state title, for that matter. But he knows Hempfield has to be considered one of the favorites.

“Nothing is guaranteed,” he said. “Well, there is one thing: Everyone wants to beat us. You’re the nice neighbor all these years and they’re still coming for you.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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