UPPER MERION >> For the past three seasons the Upper Merion softball lineup was as predictable as the Patriots showing up in the Super Bowl.
The Vikings had the same players in the same positions and in the same batting order.
But this year the Vikings have changed, with a lineup that’s full of unfamiliar faces and young players who might just be able to accomplish what their predecessors did — and maybe a little more.
Thursday, with the threat of torrential rain hanging over them, the Vikings came from behind three times to beat former Suburban One League rival Plymouth Whitemarsh, 3-2.
Emily Reid delivered the walk-off hit with one out in the home seventh, but the Vikings showed off their new lineup before her heroics became necessary.
After PW took the lead in the top of the first via Allison Beausolell’s two-out RBI single, the Vikings got it back in the home first when pitcher Alexis Ettore singled, stole second and scored when PW starter Haley Fink fielded Kayla Warren’s comebacker and threw the ball over the head of first baseman Giana Fazio.
The Colonials went up, 2-1, in the second on Kammy Kopinski’s RBI signle, but the Vikings quickly knotted the game again on a Katelyn Barr sacrifice fly, and that’s the way the score stayed until the home seventh.
“John (Whitney) is such a good coach and he always has good players,” said PW head coach Heather Boyer. “Upper Merion has such good players and you always have to bring it when you play them.”
“We had to make some adjustments because Lauren DelGiudice is out with a cut on her hand,” Whitney said. “So we were juggling our lineup, and we had a couple players playing out of position.”
PW threatened in the top of the seventh , getting runners to second and third two outs before pitcher Ettore retired the dangerous Beausolell on a pop to second.
Upper Merion responded in the home seventh when Ettore reached on a single and stole second.
Kayla Warren struck out, but Reid followed with a hard single to right, and Ettore crossed the plate well ahead of the throw from the outfield.
Upper Merion had the win, and some confidence restored.
“I wasn’t nervous, I knew I could do it,” Reid said. “We’re working on playing as a team. Some of us have played together before, and I think we can have some success with a little time.”
The Vikings had their win, and Whitney said it was of the character-building variety.
“It was a nice win for a young team,” the coach said. “We know we have to play good defense and get good pitching to win, and we know playing in the PAC, we’re going to have some rough stretches.
“But hopefully, we’ll learn something.”
Upper Merions Emily Reid looks to bunt during the Vikings’ game against Plymouth Whitemarsh on Thursday, March 30 , 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)