SOL Splits Pair in Carpenter Cup Softball Action

The SOL split its first two games in Carpenter Cup play on Tuesday, defeating Delaware North but falling to Delaware South. Play continues on Wednesday. (Photo provided by SOL Carpenter Cup squad.)

By Mary Jane Souder

PHILADELPHIA – Brianna Hughes – better known as Bean  – was smiling. Forget the fact that the SOL had just lost to Delaware South and settled for a split in Tuesday’s Carpenter Cup play. The Upper Moreland sophomore was just flat out having a good time.

“It’s so much fun,” Hughes said. “Being on a team with a whole bunch of girls I never talked to before, that I don’t go to school with and pretty much don’t even really notice when I played them, it’s so much fun.

“There’s the competitive aspect – it’s competitive, it’s showcase, and all the girls are amazing.”

Hughes was Upper Moreland’s lone representative on the SOL squad, a fact that may have worked in her favor.

“I think it’s more interesting that way,” she said. “Normally, if I would have had someone from my team, I would be with them more. Without having someone on my team, I have to branch out and talk to people.”

Hughes certainly made believers of her coaches and teammates on Tuesday, emerging as the undisputed offensive hero in the SOL’s come-from-behind 5-4 win over Delaware North in the team’s opener while also willingly stepping behind the plate for the catcher-short SOL squad.

“It was really stressful in the beginning because I just had to get used to everything again,” said Hughes, who has not caught since last year’s summer travel team. “My legs are a little shaky – I had to get used to the position again.”

Hughes’ natural positions are outfield and shortstop.

“She’s extraordinary,” said Upper Dublin coach Heather Boyer, the head coach of the SOL. “She’s a phenomenal shortstop and outfielder.

“We needed a catcher this year. No one on this roster is primarily a catcher, and I knew that coming in. It concerned me a little bit. She has stepped up willingly behind the plate and didn’t just fill the spot. She is excelling at it. It’s not in the scorebooks, but she earned mad respect even in this game (a 12-2 loss to Delaware South).

“They weren’t running on her in situations where they could be because they respect her arm and her ability. It tells me other coaches see her as a primary catcher, which speaks to her athleticism and her ability as a softball player. More importantly, that’s that piece you want to see in all kids who are willing and able to do whatever the team needs.”

Boyer also pointed to the selfless play of Quakertown junior Tori Caputo, who closed out both games.

“With the pitching here, you can’t pitch more than four innings a game,” the UD coach said. “The closer is as important as the starter is.

“I needed someone who was able to maintain composure, get out of a tight spot which she did in the first game. We had three errors in a row that allowed them to tie it up, but she maintained her composure and threw strikes, and we got out of it.”

Abington sophomore Sam Marasheski – who jokingly referred to herself as the ‘lone ranger’ - was the only representative from the SOL National Conference.

“It’s kind of scary when you’re the only one from your school to represent, but I think that actually makes it better because it’s easier to meet new people – I don’t have anyone to cling onto,” she said. “I have friends from other schools, but it’s really a good experience to meet people and play with people you’ve never played with because you’re always playing against them. It’s cool getting to play teams that you’ve never even seen before.”

North Penn had three representatives on the squad – juniors Elia Namey and Jamie Beer and sophomore Victoria Juckniewitz. All three are teammates on Towamencin Explosion on the travel circuit as well.

“They’re really just a fun, nice group of girls, and we all bond a lot,” Juckniewitz said of her new teammates. “We have a lot of jokes, and we laugh a lot. It’s never awkward. It’s fun.”

Hughes wasn’t the only player who found herself in a new spot defensively. Juckniewitz- North Penn’s third baseman – anchored the infield at shortstop. Jamie Beer, who plays shortstop for the Knights, found herself at second base.

“It’s hard, but we’re doing the best we can,” Beer said.

Central Bucks South sophomore Tara Tumasz, who played first base for the Titans, stole the spotlight defensively at third base in Tuesday’s loss to Delaware South – spearing a hard line drive in the third inning, an inning later fielding a sharp grounder and making it look easy and capping a stellar afternoon at the hot corner by somehow snagging a wicked line drive in the fifth that drew applause from even the SOL’s opponent.

“That second one was way harder than the first one – it even made her smile,” Boyer said. “That was a little bit of talent, a little bit of self defense – now she has an ESPN top three.”

Listening to Namey tell it, one of the best parts of competing in this year’s Carpenter Cup is getting to know Tumasz and CB South junior Alexa Ortman – archrivals during the season but now teammates and friends.

“The girls from South, especially – we really bonded with them too,” Namey said. “It’s kind of ironic that those are the girls we bonded with the most.”

While the players were clearly enjoying themselves, so were their coaches. CB West grad Jess D’Agostino – herself a veteran of Carpenter Cup play – returned to the sidelines as an assistant coach.

“That was my best softball experience easily,” D’Agostino said of her Carpenter Cup playing days.

“Erin Maher – same thing,” Boyer said of the North Penn graduate who went on to play at Thomas Jefferson University. “One of her favorite memories was Carpenter Cup.

“(CB South grad) Taylor Marinelli was still wearing her Carpenter Cup shirt when I saw CB South play Neshaminy in states.”

Also seeing action for the SOL were Gabby Gaskin (Springfield Township), Siani Paige-Miller (Wissahickon), Emma Carney (Plymouth Whitemarsh), Makenna Patterson (Pennridge) and Macey Segal (Wissahickon).

Bean Hughes steals spotlight in win over Delco
Hughes had herself a day in the SOL’s opener, collecting three hits – including a double – and driving in three runs. The UM sophomore put the finishing touches on a memorable Carpenter Cup debut when she lined a single to right in the seventh inning, plating Tumasz and giving the SOL the dramatic walk-off win.
Tumasz drew a walk to open the inning, and Namey followed with a single to left, setting the stage for Hughes’ game winner.
Earlier, Delaware North appeared to be in command after plating three runs in the top of the first, but the SOL got one of those back in the second when Hughes, who singled to lead off the frame, scored on an error on Marasheski’s grounder to the infield. In the third, Juckniewitz drew a leadoff walk but was still on first with two out when Hughes stepped to the plate and delivered an RBI double to right to make it a 3-2 game.
The SOL took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth. Namey tripled to left to plate a run, and she scored on a groundout to first by Hughes. Delaware North knotted the score in the top of the sixth, and the SOL won it in the bottom of the seventh.
Hughes was 3-for-4 with a double, three RBIs and run scored while Namey was 2-for-4 with a triple, RBI and run scored.
Caputo earned the win in the circle, allowing one hit and one run (unearned) while walking two and striking out one in three innings. Pennridge junior Makenna Patterson threw the first three innings.

SOL 5, Delaware North 4

Delaware North (4) – Breanna Bryant 3-1-2-1, Annie Penrod 4-1-1-0, Mallory Weir 4-1-1-2, Clare Henry 4-0-2-0, C. Paolantonio 4-0-0-0, Autumn Gentry 3-1-0-1, C.Paolantonio 3-0-0-0, Savannah Sheats 2-0-0-0, Charlotte Rose 1-0-0-0, Jenna McDermott 2-0-0-0, Rebecca Sterling 1-0-0-0, TOTALS 31-4-6-4.
SOL (5) – Alexa Ortman 4-0-1-0, Victoria Juckniewitz 3-2-0-0, Tara Tumasz 3-1-0-0, Elia Namey 4-1-2-1, Brianna Hughes 4-1-3-3, Jamie Beer 2-0-0-0, Sam Marasheski 2-0-1-0, Emma Carney 1-0-0-0, Makenna Patterson 1-0-0-0, Gabby Gaskin 1-0-0-0, Tori Caputo 1-0-0-0, Macy Segal 1-0-0-0, Taylor Avery 2-0-1-0, TOTALS 29-5-8-4.
2B-Mallory Weir, Brianna Hughes. 3B-Elia Namey. LOB-Del North 8, SOL 7.
Delaware North    300 001 0   4-6-4
SOL                    011 020 1   5-8-4
                                  IP        H         R          ER       BB       SO
Delaware North
Savannah Sheats        4.0       4          2          1          0          4
Autumn Gentry (L)     2.0       4          3          1          1          1
Makenna Patterson    4.0       5          3          3          2          1
Tori Caputo (W)        3.0       1          1          0          0          0

SOL falls to Delaware South
Delaware South – after plating a single run in the first – scored three in the bottom of the second to take a lead it would not lose.
The SOL managed just two hits but made things interesting with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth to make it a 4-2 game. With one out, Upper Dublin sophomore Taylor Avery was hit by a pitch, and she scored when Ortman roped an RBI triple to left center. Ortman crossed the plate when Juckniewitz reached first on an error. That would be the extent of the SOL’s offense.
“I think we’re a really good hitting team, but I don’t think we were on today,” Juckniewitz said. “Tomorrow if we’re on, no one can stop us really.”

“There’s a lot going on, on defense, so once we get that under control it’s going to be fun,” Namey said.
“We can definitely come back from this,” Marasheski said.
The SOL will face Olympic Colonial in an elimination game Wednesday at 9 a.m. Olympic Colonial defeated the Philadelphia Catholic League 8-6 but then fell to the Inter-Ac 11-1.
“Most teams coming back (Wednesday) will have one loss on their schedule,” Boyer said. “There’s only going to be two teams at the end of the day today that are 3-0.”

Delaware South 12, SOL 2
SOL (2) – Alexa Ortman 3-1-1-1, Victoria Juckniewitz 2-0-0-0, Tara Tumasz 3-0-0-0, Gabriella Gaskin 0-0-0-0, Elia Namey 3-0-0-0, Brianna Hughes 2-0-0-0, Siani Paige-Miller 0-0-0-0, Jamie Beer 3-0-1-0, Emma Carney 1-0-0-0, Sam Marasheski 2-0-0-0, Makenna Patterson 0-0-0-0, Tori Caputo 1-0-0-0, Macey Segal 1-0-0-0, Taylor Avery 0-1-0-0, TOTALS 21-2-2-2.
Delaware South (12) – Ryleigh Elliot 4-1-2-1, Hannah Davis 4-3-3-3, Sierra Livingston 2-0-1-1, Mya Kemp 2-1-1-0, Corrin Farris 4-2-3-1, Jordyn DiFava 4-2-1-1, Ashlyn Stonebreaker 2-0-0-0, Emily Williams 2-0-1-2, Jordan Moore 2-2-2-1, Taylor Wroten 3-0-0-0, Abigail O’Shields 1-0-0-0, Zoe Wilcox 2-1-1-2, TOTALS 32-12-15-12
2B-Corrin Farris, Sierra Livingston, Zoe Wilcox, Emily Williams, 3B-Alexa Ortman. HR-Hannah Davis. LOB-SOL 5, Del South 4.

                                            IP       H         R         ER       BB       SO
Makenna Patterson (L)          3.0       5         4          4          1          2
Tori Caputo                         2.1       10        8          6          0          0
Delaware South
Abigail O’Shields (W)           4.0       1          0          0          2          3
Taylor Wroten                     2.0       1          2          1          0          3