Decew, Pennridge blank North Penn
With a solid defense behind her and her screwball getting trickier and trickier to hit as the game wore on, Pennridge pitcher Paige DeCew kept battling out of jams.
Time and time again, the senior righthander got the out she needed, forcing North Penn to leave eight runners stranded as the Rams held on for a 1- 0 victory Friday afternoon.
“It feels great,” DeCew said after going the distance on a windy afternoon at North Penn. “Once people got on base, I just knew I had to step up.”
The Maidens got their leadoff batter on in the third, fourth DnG fiIWK LnnLnJs. 7KHy KDG runners at second and third with two outs in the third, but DeCew got Megan Curley to JHW unGHrnHDWK RnH DnG fly RuW to right to end the inning.
In the fourth, Alexa Gable and Becky Christoffers each walked to start the inning, and that is where DeCew had to bear down the hardest.
“Paige was pretty frustrated - the umpire’s zone was really tight,” Rams coach Paul Koehler said. “I said to her, ‘hey, you’re the best.’ YRu MusW nHHG WR finG WKH sSRW DnG wH’rH JRLnJ WR finG it and we’ll work through it. She gutted it out, overcame that little moment and got through it.”
DeCew retired the next three batters and the threat was ended.
,n WKH fiIWK, WKH 0DLGHns’ gackie Bilotti, who got North Penn’s only two hits, led off the inning with a single to rLJKW. (rLn 0DKHr’s sDFrLfiFH bunt moved Bilotti over to second and then Michelle Holweger reached on an errRr WR SuW runnHrs DW firsW DnG second with one out.
But again, DeCew and the Rams defense prevented the Maidens from reaching home. A force-out at second provided the second out and then shortstop Haley Taylor nabbed a hard-hit ball by AlHxD GDEOH DnG WKrHw WR firsW for out number three.
“We made a couple of FKDnJHs Ln WKH LnfiHOG DnG JRW a couple of experienced players back in spots,” Koehler said of the defensive effort on Friday. “We’ve really come together defensively. We’ve been strong all year, but today we felt like we were doing the right things.”
DeCew retired the Maidens in order in the sixth and sHvHnWK WR finLsK WKLnJs RII Ln commanding fashion.
It was DeCew who helped provide the game’s only run, as she led off the second with Dn LnfiHOG sLnJOH DnG WKHn KHr courtesy runner, Lisa Bahmueller, later scored on an error.
Other than that, Bilotti kept the Rams scoreless, alORwLnJ MusW fivH sLnJOHs RvHr her seven innings of work.
“gackie pitched well and the defense, for the most part, played a good game,” Maidens coach Rick Torresani said. “We just couldn’t get the clutch hit. The girls are going to have to start stepping up or we’re going to be sitting home (for the playoffs).”
The Maidens dropped to 5-4 overall and 3-4 in the SOL Continental.
Pennridge raised its overall record to 7-3 and now sits at 4-3 in the conference.
“, WKLnN LW GHfinLWHOy EuLOGs Rur FRnfiGHnFH,” DHCHw said of Friday’s win. “We still have to work hard to get back to where the other teams are, but this could be a big boost for us.”
“The three games we lost, we could have won all three,” Koehler said. “We haven’t been in a game yet where it was like ‘I’m glad this is over with’ and we go home. Now we start the second time around the conference, beginning with South. WH JRW WKHP WKH firsW WLPH and they’re going to be after us the second time. I think we’ll take some momentum from this and build on it.”