Maidens fall to Neshaminy in semifinal matchup
It took 13 innings of postseason softball before North 3HQQ fiQDOOy gRW WR 1HsKDPLny pitcher Lauren nuense.
The run output, however, came up short of sending the Maidens to State College.
North Penn used a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth to cut Neshaminy’s advantage to one, but nuense was able to hold off the comeback bid as the Redskins edged the Maidens 3-2 in the PIAA Class AAAA sHPLfiQDOs -uQH 11 at William Tennent High School.
“:H EDWWOHG IrRP WKH firsW inning and I guess our best wasn’t good enough. We fell short, but we battled from the very start,” North Penn sophomore catcher Becky Christoffers said. “And we didn’t even think we would be here, so it was a great opportunity to be here.”
Christoffers was 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Alexa Gable went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored for the Maidens, who had nine hits off nuense after the Neshaminy ace shut them out in WKH DLsWrLFW 2QH sHPLfiQDOs. But North Penn (18-10) has trouble capitalizing on its offense, leaving nine runners on base.
“We had our chances. It was always with two outs,” North Penn coach Rick Torresani said. “Morgan [Wiernusz] came up with a clutch hit, and we just couldn’t get it done when we needed it. And it’s a shame, cause these kids played hard, gave everything they had.”
Sam Offenback was 2-for-2 with a pair of RBIs for Neshaminy, driving in the game-winning run in the sixth with a single as the Redskins (23-2) advance to WKHLr firsW sWDWH fiQDO sLQFH winning the PIAA Class AAA title in 2003. Sarah 6QLGHr-LHRQKDusHr fiQLsKHG 2-for-3 with a double and had Neshaminy’s other RBI.
The Redskins were set to face District Seven champ Canon-McMillan — which defeated Pennsbury 3-1 in WKH RWKHr sHPLfiQDO DW CDrOisle High School — for the championship at 12:30 p.m. -uQH 14 DW 3HQQ 6WDWH’s 1LWtany Lion Softball Park.
“It’s awesome. We worked
for this all year and even WhRuJh WhHrH’s EHHQ REsWDcles in our way, we overFDPH WhHP,” QuHQsH sDLG. “ThLs Ls WhH ODsW RQH.”
North Penn was looking WR PDNH LWs firsW 3,AA fiQDO since winning the 3A crown LQ 1985. ThH sHPLfiQDO DSpearance was the farthest the program had advance in the state playoffs since then.
“,’P rHDOOy SrRuG RI HYHryRQH RQ WhH WHDP,” ChrLsWoffers said. “We all came out ready to play this year, even though in the beginning of the season we kind of were ready and we kind of were nervous. We just shook it off and came out ready to play LQ GLsWrLFWs DQG sWDWHs.”
nuense gave up two earned runs on nine hits and collected the complete-game win in the circle. She struck RuW fiYH, wDONHG RQH. QuHQse had allowed the Maidens MusW WwR hLWs LQ WhH RHGsNLQs’ 2-0 win over North Penn in WhH GLsWrLFW sHPLfiQDOs, whLFh was also held at William Tennent.
“WhHQ wH firsW sDw hHr, wH sDw hHr rLsH DQG wH wHrHQ’W usHG WR WhDW,” ChrLsWRIIHrs sDLG. “WH GLGQ’W sHH D JRRG SLWFhHr uQWLO hHr. AQG LW’s MusW the second time seeing her, I guess, you realize what she throws and what she can do DQG whDW shH FDQ’W GR.”
North Penn starter Jackie Bilotti took the loss, giving up three earned runs on six hits in seven innings — walking three and striking out two.
“-DFNLH GLG JrHDW,” TRrrHsDQL sDLG. “ShH’s QRW DQ RYHrSRwHrLQJ SLWFhHr, sR shH’s got to mix her speeds up and shHs’s hDs WR hLW hHr sSRWs. And for a majority of the JDPH, WhDW’s whDW shH GLG.”
Neither team had given up D ruQ LQ WhH firsW WwR rRuQGs of the PIAA Tournament, EuW WhH 0DLGHQs’ shuWRuW streak came to a quick end as Neshaminy plated two in WhH WRS RI WhH firsW.
With one out, nuense hit a single with Julia McGovern being hit by a pitch to put two on for Snider-Leonhauser, who doubled to right to score the opening run. OfIHQEDFN’s sLQJOH WhrRuJh WhH OHIW sLGH RI WhH LQfiHOG RQ WhH next at-bat made it 2-0 Redskins.
“I think we got a little down after the two runs were sFRrHG,” ChrLsWRIIHrs sDLG. “AQG WhHQ wH rHDOLzHG LW’s the beginning of the game, wH FDQ FRPH EDFN.”
Erin Maher led off the 0DLGHQs’ hDOI RI WhH firsW wLWh a double, while Bilotti was hit by a pitch to put two on with no outs. But nuense was able to work out of the jam unscathed — Maher was forced RuW DW WhLrG RQ D fiHOGHr’s choice, while nuense ended the inning with a strikeout and groundout to second.
The Maidens again threatened in the fourth, loading the bases with two outs on a Melissa Fasick single, Gable double and Wiernusz walk. Yet Neshaminy maintained its two-run lead as Gable was forced out at third despite a little trouble from third baseman Selina Alicea LQ fiHOGLQJ WhH JrRuQGHr hLW to her.
“That girl bobbles the EDOO DW WhLrG — LI wH’rH sDIH at third, we get a run, who knows what happens from WhHrH,” TRrrHsDQL sDLG. “-usW Rur ERuQFHs GLGQ’W JR Rur wDy, wH GLGQ’W hDYH WhH OuFN WRGDy.”
The Redskins went ahead 3-0 with two outs in top RI WhH fiIWh, Ds 0FGRYHrQ walked and Snider-Leonhauser singled before Offenback plated another run with her RBI single.
North Penn pulled to within one in the bottom of the sixth. Megan Curley singled with one out, while Gable collected a two-out base hit two batters later. Wiernusz then singled in Curley. ChrLsWRIIHrs’ fly EDOO IRuQG a way to drop into shallow rLJhW fiHOG IRr D sLQJOH, sFRring Gable to make it 3-2. Maher was close to tying the FRQWHsW, EuW hHr flDrH WR OHIW was caught by a diving Carly Coleman.
“Erin had a chance, the girl made a great catch in OHIW fiHOG WR GHSrLYH us D ruQ WhHrH,” TRrrHsDQL sDLG.
Michelle Holweger kept North Penn alive in the seventh with a two-out single, but nuense seal NeshamiQy’s YLFWRry Ey JHWWLQJ D ground out to her on the next at-bat.
North Penn’s Vicky Tumasz wipes away tears as the Neshaminy team celebrate its victory over the Maidens in the PIAA Class AAAA semifinal June 11.