Decew, Pen­nridge blank North Penn

North Penn Life - - SPORTS - By Kev Hunter khunter@jour­nal­reg­is­

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.”

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