By Bill Rudick
KENNETT SQUARE—Sarah Oscar has done a lot on a softball field. More than occasionally, Oscar has made the big play, or picked up the clutch hit that helped her team win a ball game. But one thing she’d never done before Wednesday afternoon was hit a ball over the fence for a home run.
Well, call that drought officially over. In her first at bat of the day, Oscar went to deep left for a grand slam, then cleared Kennett’s version of the Green Monster in right for her second homer of the afternoon in the fourth. Oscar finished the day going 3 for 4 with 2 HR, a double, and knocked in six runs as Kennett (6-2) topped visiting Henderson (5-4) by a score of 12-8.
“I just wish my dad would have been here,” said Oscar. “He pretty much never misses a game but couldn’t be here today. I’ve had home runs on fields with no fences before, but never one over the fence.”
Sam Weaver got things started for Kennett in the first inning with a single. A single from Jamie Wessels and a walk to Kylee Harvey made it bases loaded, with nobody out. Pitcher Maddie Bowe came up next, and gave herself a lead to work with by stroking a single to left to score Weaver. Oscar made it 5-0 with the grand slam.
“The ball was way inside,” said Oscar. “I love an inside pitch, and I knew I made good contact, but I was really just trying to get on base and keep the rally going. I had no idea it was going to get out.”
Kennett kept on swinging, and kept building its lead, scoring single runs in the second, third and fourth before adding another four in a fifth inning keyed by a two-run Oscar double. By day’s end, Kennett had pounded out 17 hits, four for extra bases.
“I think we’re starting to put the pieces together,” said Kennett coach Lauren Gottstein. “We have a really good group of five seniors leading the way, and our four freshmen are really stepping it up. This was a huge win for us. Any time we can get a win over the other division it’s a big win.”
Down 12-4 in the seventh, Henderson refused to go away quietly, and put up four runs in the inning, keyed by a home run by Cam Trotter. But it was too little too late, and left the Warriors thinking about missed opportunities. Three times Henderson left runners at third, left nine runners stranded in all, and had one runner gunned down at home when Demon centerfielder Harvey threw a one hop strike to the plate.
“The one positive is that these girls never gave up,” said Henderson coach Chris Hessler. “They kept on swinging the bat and trying to win right up until the end. The thing I hope we learn from this is that we have to take advantage of situations when they present themselves. If you see an opportunity, you’ve got to capitalize.”
In addition to the monster day from Oscar, Kennett got a hit or a run from every slot in the line-up, with multi-hit games from Weaver, a perfect 5 for 5 on the day, Bowe (2 for 3, 2 RBI) and Maggie O’Sullivan (2 for 4).
“These girls are working hard in practice and it is showing on the field,” said Gottstein. “It seems like we’re starting to pull away from the rest of the division a little bit. We’re just hoping we keep headed in that direction.”
Kennett 12 Henderson 8
Henderson ab r h bi Kennett ab r h bi
Collins–SS 5 1 2 0 Weaver–SS 5 3 5 2
Bullock–CF 4 0 1 0 Wessels–C 4 2 2 0
Abbozio–DP 4 2 2 0 Harvey–CF 2 1 0 0
Trotter—3B 4 1 2 3 Bowe–P 2 1 2 2
Espenshade–C 4 1 0 0 Oscar—1B 4 3 3 6
Ciarrocchi–LF 4 1 2 2 Albert–LF 4 0 1 1
Hunt–RF 4 1 2 0 Barish—2B 4 0 1 0
Gray—1B 4 1 1 0 Smith—3B 4 1 1 0
Skinner–P 4 0 2 2 O’Sullivan 4 1 2 0
Golden—2B/FLX 0 0 0 0 Totals 33 12 17 11
Totals 37 8 14 10
Henderson 0 0 3 0 0 1 4–8
Kennett 5 1 1 1 4 0 X—12
2B–Collins, Abbozio (2)Trotter, Gray, Weaver, Oscar HR–Trotter, Oscar
IP H R BB SO
Skinner (L) 6 17 12 2 5
Bowe (W) 7 14 8 0 5