LANSDALE >> Even though she is just a junior, pitcher and team captain Alex Scheeler is the leader of the Souderton Indians. After all, with only one senior on the roster and none in its starting lineup, the inexperienced group tends to look to her for guidance.
Wednesday afternoon Scheeler was there to guide her team, both on the mound and at the dish, pitching seven innings of three-run ball and added two RBIs, helping the Indians beat Lansdale Catholic 8-3.
“Alex looked great, got a feel for the umpires zone, and went out there and did her thing,” said Souderton head coach Liz Parkins. “Her and (her catcher) Jess (Lepore) are a great battery, they work really well together, and I can’t wait to see what they can do for us this year.”
It did not take long for Souderton to go out and get Scheeler some run support, as a matter of fact the Indians did it in the first inning.
After a leadoff single from Bri Neely, the Indians worked back-to-back walks to load the bases for Scheeler. That’s when the junior stepped to the plate and ripped a single to bring home two of their eventual four first-inning runs, blowing the game open.
“The defense was playing me back so I was just trying to go up there and get good contact for a single to help the team anyway possible,” said Scheeler. “I take equal pride in my pitching and hitting and spend the same amount of time practicing both. As a pitcher when you score early it helps you relax so that first inning was big.”
Those four runs were all Scheeler needed.
She cruised through the first five innings without allowing a run. Then, in the sixth, LC was able to break through and bring three runs across the plate, but with Souderton leading 7-0 at that point it would be too little too late.
Lansdale Catholic pitcher Mary Picozzi had a good afternoon as well, even if the stats may tell a different story.
When she was around the plate, she was almost unhittable. Her off-speed stuff was buckling batters’ knees as she accounted for eight strikeouts on the afternoon.
The problem was, she couldn’t find her command. Picozzi walked seven batters and hit three more, which added to her workload and was her eventual downfall.
Command issues are to be expected with a young pitcher and even though she gave up eight runs and got the loss, her coach was impressed by what he saw from his freshman.
“Her control was really the issue and she was too much all over the zone, but she’s just a freshman,” said LC head coach Paul Suder. “When she’s in the strike zone she’s so hard to hit, she makes hitter uncomfortable, but getting her in the zone is what we need to work on and I know she’ll get there.”
The win brings Souderton to 2-2 on the year and while they’re a young team, they expect to challenge within the extremely deep Suburban One League Continental.
For LC, while it slips to 2-4 in the standings the Crusaders know that this is not the team they’ll finish the year with. Once they get on the field and get some consistent practice in they know they’ll be a much improved team.
“We haven’t gotten to practice much and get out on the fields and it’s hurting us,” said Suder. “Little things you see out there you see from not being out here but I like this team and I know were going to improve as the season moves along.”
Souderton 9, Lansdale Catholic 2
Souderton 403 001 0 — 8
Lansdale Catholic 000 030 0 — 3
WP: Alex Scheeler (7IP, 3R, 2ER, 6H, 8K, 2BB, 0HBP).
LP: Mary Picozzi (7IP, 8R, 5ER, 5H, 8K, 7BB, 3HBP).
2B: Rebecca Tiley (LC).
Multiple Hits: Bri Neely (S) 2-for-3, 1RBI, 2 SB.