LADY BUL­LETS WIN BERKS CHAM­PI­ONSHIP

The Kutztown Area Patriot - - FRONT PAGE - By Jeff De­wees For Digital First Media

LYONS >> Ex­eter came into Thurs­day night’s BCIAA cham­pi­onship soft­ball game at Lyons Field un­beaten in 20 games.

The tenac­ity of Brandy­wine Heights put an end to that.

The Bul­lets (21-2) scored three late runs to take the lead, coughed it up, then won the Berks League ti­tle in dra­matic fash­ion, 7-3, in eight in­nings, led by a pair of home runs on con­sec­u­tive pitches.

Tay­lor Sweigert and Jess David­heiser hit solo home runs on con­sec­u­tive pitches to lead off the top of the eighth in­ning, snap­ping a 3-all dead­lock. The Bul­lets scored two more runs for added in­surance.

“It’s the way we play,” Brandy­wine Heights head coach Don Roach said. “They never stop. That’s the re­al­ity. They flush all the bad stuff. … They turn the key and keep the en­gine run­ning, keep all of the parts work­ing to­gether.”

The Bul­lets also ended the un­beaten streaks of Hazel­ton and Min­ersville ear­lier this sea­son.

The Berks Sec­tion 3 cham­pi­ons dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son, Brandy­wine Heights had been held to one base hit through five in­nings by Ex­eter ace Sarah Mus­sel­man, the en­gine driv­ing the un­de­feated Berks 1 champs (20-1).

The Bul­lets’ tenac­ity was cap­sulized in starter David­heiser, who not only helped her cause in ex­tras, but re­cov­ered from a two-run Ex­eter third to hold the po­tent Ea­gles off the score­board on four hits the rest of the way.

“It feels amaz­ing,” David­heiser said, shiny gold medal hang­ing around her neck. “This is ev­ery­thing we’ve worked for. We never gave up.”

The come­back was sud­den and ma­te­ri­al­ized seem­ingly from nowhere, as Mus­sel­man had fairly si­lenced Brandy­wine bats through five.

Down 2-0, Re­nee Wall and Hay­ley Hert­zog each quickly de­posited sin­gles into left field. Sweigert

walked on five pitches to load the bases with no outs. David­heiser then hit an in­field sin­gle to short­stop to plate the first run. Nora Har­ri­son fol­lowed with a rope to left to score the ty­ing and go-ahead runs.

Stunned but de­ter­mined, Ex­eter clawed back in the bot­tom half to score the ty­ing run. Zoe Barna clocked a dou­ble to cen­ter­field to bring around Jor­dan De­nun­zio, who had sin­gled to lead off the at-bat and was sac­ri­ficed to sec­ond base.

The club scored in the sev­enth, set­ting the stage for the eighth-in­ning hero­ics from the Bul­lets.

“They are a very good club,” Ex­eter head coach Dave Han­gen said of Brandy­wine Heights. “Sarah was pretty good. The girls were to­tal bat­tlers.”

Ex­eter took a 2-0 lead in bot­tom of the third. The Ea­gles sent eight bat­ters to the plate and had a se­quence where the bases were loaded for four con­sec­u­tive plate ap­pear­ances.

The club pushed across two runs on con­sec­u­tive RBI sin­gles from De­nun­zio and Karysa Karas with one out, but David­heiser bore down and got the fi­nal two outs of the frame on a bases­loaded force at home and a strike­out.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - DEN­NIS KRUMANOCKER

The Brandy­wine Heights soft­ball team cap­tains cel­e­brate with the Berks County In­ter­scholas­tic Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion tro­phy af­ter win­ning the soft­ball cham­pi­onship over Ex­eter at Lyons Field on May 18.

SARAH PIETROWSKI - FOR DIGITAL FIRST MEDIA

The Brandy­wine Heights soft­ball team cel­e­brates with the BCIAA tro­phy af­ter win­ning the soft­ball cham­pi­onship over Ex­eter on May 18.

DEN­NIS KRUMANOCKER - FOR DIGITAL FIRST MEDIA

Brandy­wine Height’s Tay­lor Sweigart hits the go-ahead home run in the eighth in­ning of the county fi­nal against Ex­eter on May 18.

DEN­NIS KRUMANOCKER - FOR DIGITAL FIRST MEDIA

Brandy­wine Heights player wait at home plate for Jess David­heiser af­ter her home run in the eighth in­ning of the county fi­nal against Ex­eter on May 18.

SARAH PIETROWSKI - FOR DIGITAL FIRST MEDIA

Brandy­wine Heights pitcher Jess David­heiser de­liv­ers to the plate dur­ing the county fi­nal against Ex­eter on May 18.

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