SOL Softball District Wrap (5-22-24)

CR South, Quakertown, North Penn & CB West were winners in District 1 6A Tournament action Wednesday. CR South/Pennsbury photos provided courtesy of John Gleeson & Darryl Rule of J&D Photography, and CB West/PW photos provided by Michael Rice. Check back for galleries of both games:

District 1 6A second round

This was not your typical second round district game.
Granted, it undoubtedly didn’t surprise some that it wasn’t a low-scoring game, but it’s a safe bet no one anticipated that the Golden Hawks and Falcons would combine for 22 runs, 31 hits and six errors.
“This game had the ups and downs of a season all in one game,” Rock South coach Scott Molle said. “We took the lead early 3-0 into the third only to squander it with a bad inning that included three errors and allowed seven runs on only four hits. We kinda just got out of South softball for that one inning.”
The Golden Hawks trailed 9-6 heading into the bottom of the sixth when they had a seven-run inning of their own.
“We were able to produce seven hits and score seven runs,” Molle said. “We stressed after our last regular season game to Pennsbury (a 16-1 loss) that we needed to be more patient, let the ball get deep and drive it. The girls did just that.
“We were able to get 18 hits, and every girl in the lineup had a hit. After that loss, we had a bunch of chats with the girls that they just need to refocus, get back to how we play, and good things will happen. They were patient, didn’t give up and just came out with an incredible offensive display.  I am just so proud of how these kids responded to adversity - they are so resilient and have been all year. When it matters, they come through.”
Trailing 3-0, the Falcons’ bats came alive in the third. Ava Storlazzi’s bloop single opened the inning, and Naya Schubel followed with a ground single in the shortstop hole. The bases were loaded with none out after a Rock South error, setting the stage for RBI singles from Sammy Raub and Jaylynn Rodweller.
By the time the inning was over, the Falcons led 7-3, but this one was far from over. The Golden Hawks made it a 7-5 game with a pair of runs in the third inning that included singles from Avery Tumolo, Kelly Delise (RBI) and Katie Aamland (RBI). The Hawks added a run in the fourth inning to make it a 7-6 game.
The Falcons appeared to regain their footing with a pair of runs in the fifth when Raub delivered a two-run home run to center field that made it a 9-6 game.
It was still a 9-6 game heading into the bottom of the sixth when the Golden Hawks erupted for seven runs and a 13-9 lead they would not lose.
“My coaching staff went to work the last four practices, and we were able to work on some things we believed needed to be addressed, and the response from them was fantastic,” Molle said. “We had so many great players today and big hits, but I want to mention our shortstop Shannon Williams - I called for a bunt on a 2-1 count with runners on first and second in the sixth inning.  She laid it down perfectly to load the bases, and it catapulted us into a huge inning.
“I’m so proud of every single one of these kids and the team first mentality they have.  They are playing for each other and when that’s the case good things tend to happen. I can’t wait to get back at it tomorrow with them. It’s a fun group and great group of kids to be around. They know when to have fun and when to get the work in. Our team is looking forward to a great practice tomorrow and to focus on our next opponent.”
There were offensive heroes galore in this one. Aamland was 4-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Helen Woloshyn had another big day out of the leadoff spot, finishing 3-for-3 with an RBI and three runs scored. Tumulo was 3-for-3 with a double, three RBIs and a run scored. Adding two hits each were Grace Stepp (2-for-4, 4 RBIs, R) and Delise (2-for-4, RBI, 2R).
For the Falcons, Storlazzi led the way with a 3-for-4 effort that included one RBI and one run scored. Contributing two hits each were Evanchik (2-for-5, 2R), Raub (2-for-5, HR, 3 RBIs, 2R), Rodweller (2-for-4, RBI, R) and Presley Foote (2-for-3, RBI).
Rock South assistant coach Andy Waskie, the travel director for Langhorne Lightning Softball, paid tribute to Pennsbury’s seniors.
“Having faced off against all of Pennsbury's seniors - Hannah DeFinis, Naya Schubel, Ellery Mahony, Anna Evanchik, Ava Storlazzi, Presley Foote and Sam Raub - on the travel circuit for almost a decade, I wanted to congratulate them on their phenomenal high school careers,” Waskie said. “I especially wanted to recognize Anna Evanchik, Ava Storlazzi and Presley Foote. Competing against them so often made our teams better, and I know they will all be huge assets to their college teams at the next level.”
Lexi Waring notched the complete game win.
Council Rock South (18-2, 13-2 SOL) will host #7 Downingtown East on Friday. Pennsbury closed out its season with a 14-7 record (11-5 SOL).
Pennsbury                007 020 0    9-13-3
Council Rock South   122 107 0   13-18-3

There’s no substitute for speed.
And it was speed that won the game for the Panthers in Wednesday’s second round game. With the two teams deadlocked at 2 apiece, freshman Kira Jefferson led off the bottom of the seventh with a line drive single to right field and then stole second and third. She raced home with the game-winner and the walk-off win when Abbey Wagner lofted a sacrifice fly to shallow right field.
Take away Jefferson’s steals, and that run doesn’t score and win it for the Panthers.
“It’s very tough to score from first – you have to get yourself in scoring position,” Quakertown coach Rich Scott said. “It was a short fly ball to right center – it wasn’t deep at all, but thank god, we had Kira on third base.”
Jefferson wasn’t the only rookie to come up big.
“Cadence Jozefowski, a freshman in her first varsity start, threw out a runner at home,” said Scott, who inserted the rookie into the lineup in the absence of center fielder Cadence Lewis. “She did a heck of a job. She had at least four putouts and threw a runner out at home with a one-hop throw to the catcher from center field.”
Catcher Leah Schwalm also was a difference maker, gunning down a runner attempting to steal second in the second inning.
“That was big too – they didn’t attempt to steal after that,” Scott said. “We made the plays when we had to.”
The Panthers manufactured a run in the bottom of the first to take an early 1-0 lead. Ava Beal drew a leadoff walk and then stole second and third. She scored when the throw to third got by the third baseman.
Quakertown upped its lead to 2-0 in the second. With one out, Ava Eatherton and Wagner hit back-to-back singles. Eatherton scored on Beal’s two-out single.
The Pioneers rallied to knot the score, plating a single run in the fourth and another run in the sixth. It was in the sixth that Jozefowski delivered the throw to the plate that gunned down what would have been the go-ahead run.
“We didn’t play our best game, but we battled,” Scott said. “We made some good plays when we had to. There are not many games where we were outhit and still won.
“I told the girls before we started playoffs – ‘It doesn’t matter where you’re seeded. Anybody can beat anybody. You’ve got to be ready to play.’”
Conestoga held a 10-6 advantage in hits.
Beal was the lone Quakertown player with two hits, finishing 2-for-2 with two stolen bases, an RBI and run scored.
Wagner notched the complete game win, scattering 10 hits while striking out two and walking one.
Quakertown (20-1, 15-1 SOL) will host #11 Central Bucks West in Friday’s quarterfinal round.
Conestoga        000 101 0   2-10-1
Quakertown     110 000 1   3-6-1

The Knights – with two regular season wins over the Titans already to their credit – were favored to win Wednesday’s contest, and they did just that, opening up an 8-2 lead after three innings on their way to the win.
“It was a good game,” North Penn coach Rick Torresani said. “South came ready to play, and they played a good game. It was just a good playoff game. All you want to do is come out with a win and keep playing, and that’s what we did.
“If you look and see some of the teams that are now out – Haverford, PW, teams that were ranked pretty high and now they’re gone. It’s just a weird year.”
Wednesday’s game began under some very unusual circumstances for the Titans, who suffered a major setback before the first pitch was thrown when they lost starting pitcher Riley Theis for the game.
“It was the weirdest day of our lives,” South coach Matt McLaughlin said. “Literally, two minutes before the game starts, my number one pitcher who’s pitched all year long in the big games and thrown the most innings – my shortstop throws a fast ball in to the catcher, and the catcher misses it, and it hits Riley (Theis), our star pitcher, directly in the face.
“I was in Marines, and I have never seen more blood in my entire life. It took 20 minutes to get the blood under control. We started 20 minutes later. The girl (Theis) sucked up enough energy to try to play anyway – gauze shoved up both her nostrils. She started to pitch the game, and there was so much blood the umps said, ‘We cannot let you pitch,’ and we had to take her out. I’ve seen blood before. I’ve never seen a kid lose this much blood and still say, ‘I think I can do it.’ You had a kid who had to go to a hospital and said, ‘No, let me try first.’”
With the loss of Theis, McLaughlin was left with a pair of underclassmen to handle pitching duties.
“We started my daughter, Lane, and then we went to our other pitcher (Alexis Griffin), and we kept it relatively close,” McLaughlin said. “The day was just so awkward and weird. It was just a weird vibe, but that’s no excuse.
“We lost the game, but our pitcher who pitches every game didn’t pitch, so we went to our freshman and our sophomore, who had combined 25 innings pitched all year long together. It didn’t start off right. Some of the girls were really upset about the amount of blood.”
The Titans put a run on the board in the top of the first when Camryn Lee, who walked and stole second, scored on Steph Bendziowicz’s line single to right field.
The Knights answered with four runs in the bottom of the first. Gianna Cimino led off with a single in an inning that also included a pair of walks and an RBI single by Brandi Groarke.
In the top of the second, the Titans scored a run when Keira Im, who walked, scored on a single by Kate Muntz. In the bottom of the inning, the Knights scored a pair without collecting a hit.
A two-run double by Cimino in the third inning put the Knights on top 8-2. The Titans didn’t go down quietly, and in the top of the fifth, Ella Wheeler and Steph Bendziowicz hit back-to-back solo home runs to make it an 8-4 game.
“I called two bad pitches on the home runs,” Torresani said. “I tried to do something different and went away from what we normally do. I called a changeup when I don’t normally call a changeup, and I called a curveball on a girl that can’t hit a screwball. They hit back-to-back home runs.”
Bella Nunn earned the complete game win, allowing five hits and four runs while striking out six and walking three.
“It’s a shame Bella didn’t get a chance to pitch at least as a junior,” Torresani said. “She’s an outstanding pitcher, but just the experience would have helped her.”
After the game, Theis was taken to the hospital and returned home late Wednesday night with a severely broken nose.
“So that’s how our season ended,” McLaughlin said. “It’s a shame, but also, it was so awesome to see the girls just come together and finish the season.
“It was sad for our two seniors, but we had a good season. It was my first season as head coach. Kudos to North Penn. They kept it together and won the game. They’re a great team, and I think they’re going to go a long way.”
North Penn (19-2, 14-2 SOL) will host #12 Boyertown in a quarterfinal game on Friday. Central Bucks South closed out its season with a 12-10 record.
Central Bucks South  110 020 0   4-5-1
North Penn              422 000 x   8-7-1

In one of day’s most evenly matched games, the visiting Bucks opened up a 4-0 lead over the Colonials and then held off a late Colonial comeback rally.
“It’s tough that we caught each other so early in the playoffs because they’re good,” West coach Mike Daher said. “I can’t say enough about them. Our teams are mirror images of each other.
“Both teams had very good pitching, both teams play very good defense, and both teams hit the ball. It was like who was going to score last.”
The Colonials held a 12-7 advantage in hits, but the Bucks made their seven hits count.
“The last two games we hit,” Daher said. “We hit the ball well against Ridely, and we hit the ball well today. We didn’t get a lot of hits, but I felt that we hit the ball at people. I felt really good about the way we hit today.
“That was the one thing – we were struggling a little bit, but now we’ve really got our bats going again. We’re playing well right now, and you have to play well to beat PW.”
The Bucks scored a pair of runs in the top of the first. With one out, Ana Glemser drew a walk, and she scored when Chloe Dryden ripped a double to center. A two-out error allowed a second run to cross the plate, and the Bucks had a 2-0 lead before fans had settled in their seats.
The Colonials threatened in the bottom of the third when Marissa Perez and Caelin Kosvitch hit back-to-back one-out singles to put runners on the corners, but both were stranded.
In the top of the fifth, the Bucks added a pair of insurance runs. Jill Boyle drew a leadoff walk, and Dryden hit a one-out single to left field. Dryden stole second, and with two outs, Molly Gibson singled to drive home a pair that put the Bucks on top 4-0.
The Colonials made things interesting with a three-run outburst in the bottom of the sixth. Kalina Childers and Sam Skivo led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Rian Reed followed with a single to left that plated Childers. One out later, Anna Powel drove in a pair with a ground single to left field that made it a 4-3 game.
In the bottom of the seventh, Sienna Lawson retired the first two batters she faced, but Sam Skivo followed with a double to left field. Just like that, the tying run was on second base. Rian Reed was given an intentional walk, and then Lawson closed it out, retiring the next batter she faced on a line drive out to left.
“We got another great game out of Sienna,” Daher said. “She had thrown a lot of pitches and battled through six innings. We talked to Sienna between the sixth and the seventh innings, and we asked her how she was doing.
“She said she wanted to go back out there, and she’s a battler. So, she went back out in the seventh. She had just given up three runs in the sixth, and she got them out in the seventh. She wanted to go back out and finish it up, and she did. She did a great job.”
Lawson allowed 12 hits and three runs while striking out seven and walking one in the complete game win.
“It was a good win,” Daher said. “I give them a lot of credit. Their pitcher was solid, and they really play very strong defense. That’s one of the best defensive teams we’ve seen all year. They were just really strong defensively.
“It made it hard for us because I really felt like they took at least three or four hits away from us just by making good plays. Their shortstop took two hits away from us – going in the hole, fielding the ball and throwing out one runner and then going up in the air and taking a line drive single away from Chloe Dryden.  Their second baseman made a great play. They’re well coached, and they’re a solid team.”
Dryden led the Bucks’ seven hit attack, finishing 2-for-4 with a double, RBI and two runs scored.
For the Colonials, Rian Reed was 3-for-3, with a double, RBI and run scored. Powel was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, and Skivo was 2-for-4 with a double and run scored.
While happy with his team’s offensive outing, Daher was most pleased with the Bucks’ defense.
“We are right now playing the best defense that we can,” the CB West coach said. “We’re just really solid defensively. We really kind of shored up our defense pretty much before midseason, and we’ve been playing great since.
“We did commit an error today, but we’ve made very few errors. In the last eight or nine games, we’ve made two or three errors total. When you get pitching the way that we’re getting and you play solid defense, you’re going to be in a lot of games.”
The Bucks’ coach acknowledged the strong showings of several players.
“Jill Boyle made a couple of great plays in the outfield,” Daher said. “The big hits were Chloe Dryden driving in a run, and Molly Gibson had a huge two-run single in the fifth inning, and those two runs were huge because it ended up 4-3.”
Central Bucks West (15-5, 12-4 SOL) will travel to #3 Quakertown for a quarterfinal game Friday. The two teams met in a non-league game during the regular season.
“We lost to them 5-3 on our field,” Daher said. “They’re another good team. We had a tough game with them. It will be another battle. The way we’re playing I think we can be competitive with anyone right now.”
Plymouth Whitemarsh closed out its season with a 17-4 record overall. The Colonials were 15-1 and earned a share of the SOL Colonial Division.
Central Bucks West                    200 020 0   4-7-1
Plymouth Whitemarsh               000 003 0   3-12-1

The Indians were decided underdogs in Wednesday’s second round road game, but they certainly didn’t look the part of the 16th seed, giving the undefeated Whippets all they could handle before falling by a 2-1 score.
“Although we came up just a bit short, I could not be more proud of my girls, the season they had, and the game they played this afternoon,” Rock North coach Susan Yee said. “These girls really played their hearts out and showed what it meant to be a team, and as a result, they came very close to pulling off the biggest upset of the 2024 playoffs. 
“The game was an absolute gem for fans of either team to watch.  Just great softball all around that truly was a nail biter and came down to the final out.”
The Indians took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. Sierra Klein drew a walk to lead off the inning, and Chelsea Seiler followed with a line drive single to right field. A walk to Zoe Hardy loaded the bases. Klein scored on Zoe Hornstein’s ground out to short.
That 1-0 lead stood until the bottom of the fourth when Lizzie Kern hit a two-run home run to center field. Neither team scored the rest of the way.
Lucy Mills allowed just four hits and two runs with two of those hits and both runs coming in the fourth inning. She struck out four and walked two.
“Lucy Mills resembled Picasso with the way she was painting the zone with her pitches today,” Yee said. “She kept a very good offensive team off balance unbelievably well, and her teammates did a fantastic job of making sure they did whatever they needed to do to get to the balls and make the plays behind her.  She really only gave up two hard hit balls all afternoon. Unfortunately, they came back-to-back with the second one being a round tripper.”
The Indians held a 6-4 advantage in hits with Seiler contributing two of them.
“Overall, our girls played a clean game behind her and actually outhit their undefeated foes,” Yee said. “Unfortunately, we just weren't as timely with our hitting as they were, and it ended up reflecting in the final score.  This group of girls did our school proud.  They played with pride, and class, and really served as great examples for younger girls in the community to look up to and set goals to strive to be like them. 
“That credit goes to our senior class of Taylor Gearhart, Molly Sheehy, Evie Passanante, and Shay Barbolish.  Those girls set the tone, and they put this program back onto the map.  They raised the bar just a little more every year and set a great example for our younger returners to follow as we continue to build the program with bigger goals season by season.  They were never afraid of a challenge, and they wanted to compete with the best.  Today they proved without a shadow of a doubt, they could.  This group has 100 percent left their mark, and we look forward to their legacy living on with the team in coming seasons.”
For the Whippets, Addy Carter earned the complete game win, scattering six hits and allowing one run while striking out 10 and walking three.  

Council Rock North closed out its season with a 13-9 record overall, 8-8 in the SOL.
Council Rock North      010 000 0   1-6-0
Downingtown West     000 200 x   2-4-0

District 1 5A quarterfinals

Alyssa Tooley pitched well enough to win most days.
Unfortunately, for the Hatters, Wednesday was not most days, and Rustin turned a Hatter error into a pair of runs on their way to the hard-fought win.
Tooley allowed just two hits and one earned run, striking out 15 and walking five in a standout effort in the circle.
“The softball gods were not in our side today,” coach Jen Tooley said. “Our batters were aggressive at the plate, making contact. They just couldn’t move runners to cross the plate today.
“Alyssa had command in the circle, a miscue turned into two runs. It’s tough to end on a game that you out-hit and struck out 15 batters, but that’s why you play the game. The coaching staff is extremely proud of this team and how they grew to play for each other.”
The Hatters went down in order just twice in Wednesday’s contest. Cara Neeld had two of the Hatters’ five hits.
Hatboro-Horsham closed out its season with a 13-8 record overall, 11-5 in SOL play.
Hatboro-Horsham       000 000 0   0-5-3
West Chester Rustin   002 010 x   3-2-0

#4 WEST CHESTER EAST 12, #12 UPPER DUBLIN 0 (5 innings)
The Vikings scored three runs in the first inning and added to their lead in each of the next three innings on their way to the mercy rule win in Wednesday’s quarterfinal contest.
For the Cardinals, Kyla Garrison was 2-for-2 and Kaitlyn Small was 1-for-2, accounting for UD’s only three hits.
Garrison absorbed the loss, allowing 12 runs – only three earned – while striking out three and walking four.
Upper Dublin closed out its season with a 10-12 record.
Upper Dublin               000 00    0-3-2
West Chester East       342 3x   12-9-1