TOWAMENCIN>> The re-enter rule is high school softball can be a unique one. Any player who has been in the game may come out and come back in, at any position.
The rule becomes even more unique when it happens inside the center circle.
Pennridge pitcher Kaylin Bell pitched a scoreless first inning, came out of the game, re-entered with two outs in the third inning as the pitcher, and finished out the game in the Rams’ 9-5 win over Dock Mennonite Thursday.
“We talked about it the game before and we knew our strategy going in,” Bell said. “I was just there just in case our second pitcher fell behind but we were ready. So it was fine.”
MaKenna Patterson followed Bell’s scoreless inning with a shutout frame of her own, but the normally junior varsity pitcher got into a jam in the third and allowed four runs (three earned). Pennridge head coach Carol Atkinson decided to bring in her junior starter, which she admitted after the game she never does. Bell did not disappoint.
“We just wanted to get outs, strikeouts, and hit (on offense),” Bell said. “I think we did that and we executed. That’s why we won.”
The other main reason why Pennridge won came thanks to a pair of 3-run innings to start the game. The Rams reached base 10 times, including seven hits, in the first two innings.
“We just go for the pitch and hit it. I teach them to be aggressive at the plate,” Atkinson said. “Ninety percent of your first pitches are your first ball strike. For them to hit the first ball is old school – I was taught that the first pitch is the good pitch.”
Kiley Watson led the charge on offense right from the top of the order. Watson reached base four times in the game, finishing 3-4 with a triple and three runs scored.
“She was in the middle of my lineup before and she starting really coming around and started to hit so we moved her to the top of the lineup,” Atkinson said. “She’s been doing awesome.”
Emily Hegen, Ally Motts, and Bell each contributed multiple RBI in the game. Skylar Hengeveld, Krista Yerk, Bell and Hegen added multiple hit games as well.
“If you notice my bottom of my lineup is just as strong as the top of my lineup,” Hegen said. “We mix it around so we have a strong lineup throughout the whole order.”
Dock Mennonite could have easily packed it in early, down 6-0 after two innings in a non-conference game. They refused however, and deserve credit for their third-inning comeback.
Dock began the third with three straight hits from the top of the order, all of which came around to score. The Pioneers batted around in the inning; collecting three hits, a pair of walks and an error.
“They seemed to have a good attitude today. They played with a lot of spirit today,” Dock Mennonite head coach Wayne Benner said about his team. “I don’t have to schedule this team but I think it’s important to schedule teams like this when I get the spot because it just makes us better when we get to districts and maybe even further.”
Olivia Boyle and Jill Bolton each picked up three-hit games for Dock. Boyle scored a pair of runs, while Bolton pitched in a pair of RBI. The Pioneers were just starting to time Patterson when Pennridge wisely used a re-enter with Bell.
“You want to see good pitching. Because somewhere down the line, if you keep playing, it’s gonna get really good. I try to schedule some teams that I know are gonna have some good pitching,” Benner said about what he called a “big school versus little school” matchup. “I want a team that’s gonna put the ball in play where we have to field. I thought we played pretty well today.”
PENNRIDGE 9, DOCK MENNONITE 5
Pennridge — 330 111 0 – 9 13 1
Dock Mennonite – 004 001 0 – 5 8 3
WP: Kaylin Bell – 5.1 IP 5H 1R 1ER 2BB 5SO
LP: McKenzie Gordon – 7 IP 13H 9R 5ER 3BB 2SO
3B: PR-Watson, Motts, McGinley. CD – Bolton
Pennridge: Watson 3-4, 3 R; Bell 2-4, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB; Hegen 2-5, 2 RBI; Hengeveld 2-5; Motts 1-2, 2 RBI.
Dock Mennonite: Bolton 3-4, 2 RBI, R; Boyle 3-4, 2 R; Beck 1-3, R; Rotelle 0-1, 3 BB, R.