WHITEMARSH >> It only takes one bad inning for things to turn south on a team and that’s what happened to Upper Moreland on Monday afternoon.
With the game tied at 1 in the bottom of the fifth the Plymouth Whitemarsh offense used its patience at the plate and some timely hitting to put up four runs on its way to an eventual 5-1 win in SOL American play.
“I think maybe we had seen their pitcher a couple more times and started to get comfortable at the plate and that’s how we were able to get some big hits,’ said Plymouth Whitemarsh head coach Dana Moyer about her team’s big inning. “On top of that we haven’t played in a week so I think we just needed to see some pitches to get us going.’
Up until that point, it was a pitcher’s duel between Upper Moreland starter Jocelyn Baumeister and PW’s Kayla Yeager.
Through four innings Baumeister had allowed just three hits while striking out three batters and never really got into much trouble.
However, her ability to locate her pitches seemed to escape her in the fifth where she walked two batters and hit one more while allowing a pair of hits. A couple of fielder’s choices’ later and what was once a tight game now saw the Golden Bears having to play catch-up.
Unfortunately for them, Yeager would be locked in all game and never let them make their way back.
She didn’t miss many bats, only registering two strikeouts over seven innings, but she pitched to contact and let her defense play behind her to take advantage of the aggressive nature of Upper Moreland batters.
“We were aggressive early in counts and I think part of that was her (Yeager’s) changeup,’ said Upper Moreland head coach Scott Ludlow. “She threw it a lot when she was ahead and girls were struggling hitting it so they were trying to jump on strikes early and she was getting batters out.’’
Yeager, who is just a sophomore, was the difference maker in the game. After the team went out and got her the 5-1 lead she faced the minimum number of hitters for the rest of the afternoon and pitched what her coach said was the best game she’s ever seen from her.
“I told Kayla (Yeager) that’s the best game I’ve ever seen her throw,’’ said Moyer. “She was locating her pitches and hitting every spot and when she was missing she was missing off the plate, not leaving them meaty over the plate. That’s the best game she has ever thrown for me.’’
It may have been just one of those games for Yeager where she just happened to have everything working. However, she attributed her sharp start to the familiarity she has with the Golden Bears and the extra bit of motivation she gets when facing them.
Yeager, who used to live in the Upper Moreland School District until a few years ago, said she used that as a driving force behind her performance, wanting to go out there and shut down some of her friends from her previous school.
“I used to go to school with a lot of those girls,’’ said Yeager. “Facing some of them and being familiar with them, it makes me want to go out there and pitch that much better to be able to beat them.’’
Both PW and Upper Moreland find themselves sitting around the middle of the pack in the SOL American standings. They’ve reached a crucial point of the season with lots of games coming up due to poor weather early in the year and will need to be sharp if they want to climb the division.
If the Colonials can continue to get starts like this from their pitching staff, as well as some timely hitting, they could start surprising teams and making a push towards the top of the league.
Plymouth Whitemarsh 5, Upper Moreland 1
Upper Moreland 000 010 0 – 1 5 1
Plymouth Whitemarsh 001 040 X – 5 5 0
WP: Kayla Yeager (7IP, 1R, 1ER, 5H, 2K, 0BB, 0HBP).
LP: Jocelyn Baumeister (7IP, 5R, 4ER, 5H, 3K, 3BB, 1HBP).
2B: Carli Wasson (UM), Lauren Fuhrmeister (PW).
3B: Gianna Fazio (PW).