North Penn top­ples Ben­salem

North Penn Life - - Sports - For Mont­gomery Me­dia

By Ben Reese

If you can say that a pitcher strug­gled while giv­ing uS fivH KLWs DnG WwR runs Ln weather that ranged from bright sun­shine to snow and sleet, then Jackie Bilotti strug­gled.

But then that is sub­jec­tive. She did pitch North Penn’s soft­ball team to a 4-2 win over Ben­salem on Wed­nes­day.

She also went the en­tire seven in­nings, strik­ing out two and walking two. And a win is a win.

“It was cold and I thought it would be warmer,” Bilotti sDLG. “,n WKH firsW LnnLnJ, LW was a lit­tle tough get­ting started.

“I think I got bet­ter as I went on. When it started snow­ing or hail­ing or what­ever it started to do, I got a lit­tle cold and a lit­tle stiff. Af­ter that, I started to get a lit­tle more used to it.”

,n WKH firsW LnnLnJ, BLORWWL rHWLrHG WKH firsW EDWWHr Rn D ground ball back to her. But it was the sec­ond bat­ter who caused some prob­lems.

Ben­salem fresh­man catcher Lau­ren Morell lifted Bilotti’s third pitch to­ward left fiHOG. ,W JRW uS LnWR D sWrRnJ wind and went over the left­fiHOG wDOO IRr D KRPH run.

How­ever, Bilotti ral­lied. She didn’t al­low an­other hit un­til the sixth in­ning.

North Penn coach oick Tor­re­sani knew what BilotWL’s GLI­fiFuOWLHs wHrH.

“She hasn’t been pitch­ing much be­cause she was play­ing bas­ket­ball,” Tor­re­sani said. “We played Abing­ton (in a scrim­mage) and she pitched well there. She came out to­day and she did lK.

“She just needs more reps. The more we can give her, the bet­ter she will be. She just needs to go out there and pitch.”

It was ob­vi­ous, at least to Tor­re­sani, that Bilotti wasn’t as sharp as she was last year when she pitched the Maidens to the aistrict lne cham­pi­onship and into the PIAA play­offs.

“A lot of her pitches were up high where last year they weren’t” he said. “She didn’t spot (her pitches) as well as she did in other games like last year, but that will come.

“It just takes time. She just needs a lit­tle more work.”

lnce Bilotti got go­ing, she looked like her old self. AfWHr WKH firsW LnnLnJ, Ln wKLFK sKH IDFHG fivH EDWWHrs, sKH went through the next four in­nings fac­ing only three in each frame.

In all, she faced 2T bat­ters in the seven in­nings and threw T9 pitches, an av­er­age of slightly more than 11 per in­ning.

How­ever, the Maidens made sure that, even with Bilotti a lit­tle off, they wouldn’t lose the game.

Af­ter be­ing re­tired in the first in­ning, North Penn came back in the sec­ond to score their first run. Melissa Fasick took care of that all by her­self. She took a pitch from lwls hurler Jackie Morell over the left- field fence for a home run to tie the game at 1- 1.

lne in­ning later, in the third, Becky Christof­fers, who took over for the grad­u­ated Jess Mower at catcher, drew a walk, Erin Ma­her slapped a sin­gle to right and Michelle Hol-

Alexa dable promptly un­loaded them. She sin­gled to plate both Christof­fers and Ma­her, giv­ing the Maidens a P-1 lead.

North Penn added to its lead in the sixth. Ma­her hit an­other sin­gle but was erased when Hol­weger hit into a fielder’s choice.

dable again took charge. She blasted a triple to score HoOwHJHr IroP firVW wiWK WKH fourth run.

Ben­salem demon­strated that it wasn’t go­ing to go quiHWOy. TKH OwOV JoW WKHir fi­naO run in the sev­enth as sic­to­ria Hall dou­bled and scored on Kelly Nolan’s dou­ble.

Tor­re­sani was pleased with the vic­tory.

“We got the big hit from Fasick, the home run, and then we were able to bunch a cou­ple of runs there,” he said. “It’s early.

“A win is a win and you move on. It’s a good win; any win is a good win. We’ll just keep mov­ing on.”

He also liked what he saw from Ben­salem.

“They’re not a bad team and not a bad pitcher,” he said. “They came out ready to play.”

But North Penn was just a lit­tle more ready.

For Mont­gomery Me­dia / MARK C. PSORAS

North Penn’s Vicky Tu­masz at­tempts to pull in a foul ball dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s non­league game against Ben­salem.

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