SOL/BAL Softball Enjoying Carpenter Cup

The SOL/BAL split its two games in Carpenter Cup play on Tuesday, winning the first by forfeit and falling to Tri-Cape in the second.

Renee Reynolds celebrated her birthday at FDR Park in Philadelphia on Tuesday, and the Abington junior – despite the Suburban One/Bicentennial Athletic League’s loss in its second game - was enjoying every minute of it.

“Everything about this is fun,” said Reynolds. “A lot of these players aren’t in my conference, so it’s great to get to know them.

“Just playing, moving around and playing different positions – it’s just my sport. Today’s my birthday, so it’s a fun day overall.”

Reynolds played third base on Tuesday. For her travel team, the Montgomery Twisters 18U, she plays second base, and she played second base and shortstop for the Ghosts this spring.

“It’s tough, but it’s also fun to learn new things,” Reynolds said. 

Playing new positions was a recurring theme for the squad, and according to Upper Dublin coach Heather Boyer, the head coach of the SOL/BAL squad, sometimes it’s out of necessity and other times it’s simply to give players an opportunity to try new positions.

“It’s just trying to find that combination of what’s going to work,” Boyer said. “The majority of these kids either are the leadoff hitter or their three-four hitter or their starting shortstop or center fielder.

“Now we can’t have every kid at shortstop or in center field. We have to spread them around a little bit. Not everybody can be a leadoff hitter, not everybody can be the cleanup hitter, so you have to find the combo that works best.”

The SOL/BAL won its first game against Mid-Penn via forfeit (7-0) due to a player registration violation, but the two teams opted to play each other. In their loss to Tri-Cape, they struggled to generate offense and spent the game playing catch-up after Tri-Cape plated five runs in the second inning.

All told, the SOL/BAL managed just five hits with North Penn junior Emily Groarke – affectionately called the ‘Big Bopper’ by Abington coach Ellie White - collecting two of those. Groarke earned the nickname in North Penn’s District One 6A playoff game against Council Rock North when – with White, an assistant coach for the SOL/BAL, in attendance – she went 3-for-4.

It was Groarke collecting the SOL/BAL’s lone RBI in the fifth inning when she lined a single to left. For the junior transfer, this was her second year playing in the Carpenter Cup. Last year, she represented Dock Mennonite Academy.

“We were talking today – at Dock, we would see Bristol as our enemy, and talking to one of the girls from the Bristol team (Cara Fabiano) – they’re all so nice,” Groarke said. “Just experiencing this and talking about how we play against each other – it’s just cool to see their perspective and for them to see my perspective and just play together.”

Groarke – who played right field for North Penn – found herself behind the plate.

“I like playing every position because I can see the field from a different perspective,” she said. “Being a pitcher, I know how hard it is to hit your spots and everything, so I feel I can just help pick up my pitchers when they’re down and just make good plays for them so they can keep doing their thing.”

Groarke, who pitched last year at Dock, also threw a one-two-three seventh in relief.

“I pitched all my life,” she said.

Central Bucks West junior Angelina Sherba had a good day for the SOL/BAL. She not only collected a pair of hits, she also threw four strong innings in relief, allowing just four hits and two runs (one earned) while walking none and fanning seven.

“There’s nothing to lose here, so I try and go out and put my heart out there,” Sherba said. “Whatever happens happens. Even if it wasn’t a good outcome, I had a good game. I was happy with it.”

This is Sherba’s first year on the squad.

“I wasn’t able to do it last year due to tournaments, but my coaches kept talking about it, so I decided why not go and see what it’s about, so I just decided to do it for fun,” said Sherba, who plays travel softball for Virginia Glory. “

Upper Dublin junior Brianna Parker also was on the squad for the first time.

“Just the opportunity – I was really proud to make the team,” she said. “I thought it was a great opportunity to play in front of so many people.

“It’s just fun. It’s fun getting to know people from all the different schools that I never thought I would talk to, and it’s fun to see everyone’s level of skill because everyone is so good here.”

The SOL/BAL will return to action on Wednesday when they will face Chester County in an elimination game at 9 a.m.

“They have to learn to come together quickly here in order to be successful,” Boyer said. “In years past when we have been successful, that’s what has happened really fast. Slowly but surely they’re starting to jell a little bit better, so hopefully they can put that on the fast track for (Wednesday).”

TRI-CAPE       050 011 0   7-10-1
SOL/BAL         000 010 0   1-5-3
TRI-CAPE (7) – Rian Eigenmann 3-1-1-0; Morgan Zane 2-0-0-1; Brittanie Gilliano 5-1-2-0; Faith Hegh 3-1-1-1; Danielle Werts 2-1-0-0; Sydney Shannon 1-0-0-0; Gianna Gussen 1-0-0-0; Brianna Wilky 3-0-1-1; Alyssa Martini 1-1-1-0; Korie Hague 4-1-2-1; Karlie Kennedy 1-1-1-0; Sierra Flores 1-0-0-0; Myranda McCabe 2-0-0-0; Elaina Hansen 1-0-1-1- Ally Schlee 2-0-0-1; Brianna Young 1-0-0-0; TOTALS 33-7-10-6.
SOL/BAL (1) – Emily Groarke 3-0-2-1; Tara Harper 2-0-0-0; Cara Fabiano 3-0-0-0; Brittany Moyer 3-0-0-0; Erin Gallagher 2-0-0-0; Casey Bradley 0-1-0-0; Renee Reynolds 2-0-0-0; Gabrielle Gaskin 1-0-0-0; Theresa Beck 1-0-0-0; Meghan Muth 2-0-1-0; Macey Segal 2-0-0-0; Brianna Parker 0-0-0-0; Angelina Sherba 2-0-2-0; Siani Paige-Miller 1-0-0-0; TOTAS 24-1-5-1.
Tri-Cape                     IP        H         R          ER       BB       SO
Aly Schlee (W)           4.0       2          0          0          0          2
Brianna Young           3.0       5          1          0          2          3
SOL/BAL                     IP        H         R          ER       BB       SO
Cara Fabiano (L)        2.0       6          5          4          3          3
Angelina Sherba         4.0       4          2          1          0          7
Emily Groarke            1.0       0          0          0          0          0