PINE FORGE >> The hits keep piling up. So do the wins.
It hasn’t been a coincidence that Owen J. Roberts’ ability to string hits together was coupled with a five-game winning streak.
Monday night made it six straight.
Camryn Glenn led the way with a 3-for-5 effort as the Wildcats pounded out 14 hits and relied on key defensive plays to down Boyertown 9-7 in a battle for playoff positioning at Pine Forge on the Bears’ Senior Night.
The win is the Wildcats’ (11-3 PAC) sixth straight and propels them to third in the PAC playoff picture, moving ahead of Perkiomen Valley (10-4) after the Vikings’ loss to Spring-Ford earlier in the night.
Timely hitting, which has become a theme for OJR the last two weeks, led the way again.
Glenn paced the way with three RBI, her two-run double to right-center tying the game at 3-3 and capping off an inning that started via a Madison Twaddell blast over the left-field fence. Casey Walker (RBI), Brianna Smith (two RBI; double), Darby Stuart (two RBI), Bridget Guinan and Emily Shaheen each tallied two hits in the win, which saw OJR build a 7-3 lead after five before hanging on in the next two innings.
“Our offense was huge for us tonight,” Glenn, a senior shortstop, said. “Usually we get a hit here and there but we can’t string them together. Lately, that’s been turning around, especially with our win over PV last week. We only had like five hits all game but we strung them together at the right time.”
First baseman Kody Streeter (home run) and catcher Kylie Hertzler led the way with two hits in the loss, which keeps Boyertown at No. 5 in the PAC playoff picture, a half game back of Perkiomen Valley for the fourth and final spot. Errors contributed to the loss (Boyertown had three; OJR had six), a crucial mishap in the top of the seventh allowing OJR to pad its lead with a two-run inning to make it 9-6 entering the final frame.
“We had some errors out in the field which cost us,” Boyertown head coach Kim Musselman said. “It wasn’t our best game defensively.”
The Bears, however, sure made it interesting.
Down 7-3 in the bottom of the six, the Bears strung together a rally started by the rocket off the bat of Streeter that landed in the grass parking lot to make it 7-4. Alyssa Acker then singled up the middle before Lauren Gabel reached on an error. Grace Evan (three RBI) then provided a double to deep left to bring Acker in to make it 7-5. Megan Kovacs, after another error that allowed Allison Melahn to reach first to load the bases with one out, hit a sacrifice fly to plate Gabel to make it 7-6. That’s as close as OJR pitcher Brittney Dellaquila would allow it to get, however. She settled down to get the next Boyertown batter to ground out to end the threat.
“That inning shows how much we’ve changed in the last month,” Smith said. “Last month, we could have crumpled and they would have scored the whole inning. We’re now closer as a team, laugh it off and get our heads back in it so that we can make the next play.”
“Toward the middle of the game their bats started to come alive and they really tested us,” OJR head coach Jen Beaver said. “We had to really buckle down and make sure we were getting the outs where we needed to.”
The seventh was no different. With Boyertown trailing 9-7 and with a runner on third with no outs, OJR center fielder Rylie Hijosh made a tide-turning play, catching a popup in shallow center before firing home to Walker to nab the Boyertown base runner at the plate to complete the double play. A strikeout from Dellaquila (five strikeouts, eight hits allowed), promptly ended it.
NOTES >> Melahn allowed two earned while striking out two in her 3-1/3 innings of work. Evan also doubled for Boyertown.