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