North Penn slugs past Pennridge
North Penn’s 7-7 record is more indicative of the talent in the Suburban One Continental Conference rather than the Maidens’ own ability. Despite going up against an 8-4 Pennridge team, North Penn showed that it is just as dangerous as any team in the league and should be watched for in districts.
“North Penn is a much better team than their record shows,” Pennridge coach Paul Kohler said. “I told the girls that this conference is really tough and if you give any of these teams an extra few outs, your going to pay for it.”
Although they blew an early lead, the Maidens IRuJKW EDFN DnG usHG D fiYHrun sixth to bury Pennridge 11-5 and take a crucial step toward districts. Led by Michelle Holweger’s six-RBI performance that included a three-run homer, North Penn used momentum when it needed to and powered past their league opponents.
“This might be the second time I’ve had my full starting lineup out there and they came ready to hit,” North Penn coach Rick Torresani said. “Both teams hit, but we came back when we were down and took control. We are now ready for the playRIIs. 7KHy KDYH WKH FRnfidence they need now.”
In the early going, it appeared that North Penn starter gackie Bilotti had her best stuff. While her team scratched out a run in each of WKH fiUsW WwR LnnLnJs, BLORWWL did not allow a hit through three. The Maidens weren’t exactly swatting, either; WKHLU fiUsW WwR Uuns FDPH Rn D HROwHJHU sDFULfiFH fly DnG Bilotti’s RBI single in the second, but they only had fiYH KLWs Ln IRuU LnnLnJs.
Pennridge starter Paige DeCew, who had a solid fiUsW IRuU LnnLnJs RI wRUN, then tied the game with a two-run homer in the home half of the fourth. The Maidens were not to be outdone, however, as Holweger blasted a three-run shot in the top RI WKH fiIWK WR JLYH KHU WHDP D 5-2 lead.
The see-saw again tilted in the Rams favor the very next inning. This time, Rams’ leadoff hitter Emily Mayhew clubbed a two-run bomb to put Pennridge within one DnG 0RUJDn LDEs’ 5B, fiHOGer’s choice knotted the game at 5-5. All of a sudden, the momentum switched in the home team’s favor and you had to wonder where BilotWL’s FRnfiGHnFH wDs DW DIWHU starting so strong.
“I’m really proud of the way the kids battled,” Kohler said. “There is no TuLW Ln WKLs WHDP. 7KHy fiJKW until the last out. Truth be told, this was better than either of our games last week. If we limit the mistakes and leave the ball out of the zone a little better, we’ll be in good shape.”
Luckily for Bilotti, her teammates got her back in a big way.
After the North Penn half of the six started with two errors, Meghan Curley gave the Maidens a lead ZLWK Dn 5B, VDFrLfiFH fly. Holweger then added to her big day with a two-RBI base hit. However, the big blow came from the bat of Vicky Tumasz, who drilled a two-run homer to center. North Penn had doubled up Pennridge, leading 10-5, before the Rams knew what happened.
“The power was huge,” Torresani said. “They did this against a very good pitcher in Paige. The bats finDOOy FDPH RuW; ZH KDYH been waiting for the bats to come around and they did tonight.”
The Pennridge offense could not come back from the big inning. Bilotti allowed just one hit over the next two innings and the Rams never truly threatened. Bilotti added an RBI single to further pad North Penn’s lead in the seventh, which just provided the Rams with PRrH DnJVW. BLORWWL finLVKHG her complete game after alORZLnJ D GRuEOH Ln WKH finDO inning, but it was DeCew’s FRnfiGHnFH WKDW KDG WR EH Ln question. Kohler believes in his ace.
“3DLJH fiJKWV DnG EDWWOHV for us,” Kohler said. “No one works harder than she does. We’ve talked about it and she realizes that she just needs to keep the ball out of the middle of the plate a bit more. You can’t let Holweger get her arms extended, otherwise the ball is going to be gone.”
1RrWK 3Hnn, nRZ FRnfident of their district tournament prospects, will take this win and use it as proof that they can play with anyone.
“It was definitely a confidence- building win, especially in this atmosphere on the road,” Torresani said. “We are going to go right into districts and see what happens. We have everything we need to do well.”