CHELTENHAM >> Six days proved too long for the Lansdale Catholic softball team to maintain the momentum of their Cinderella run in the Philadelphia Catholic League tournament.
The ninth-seeded Crusaders put up a total of 17 runs in their upset victories over Little Flower and Archbishop Wood. But Tuesday afternoon in the PCL semifinal, LC’s bats could not figure out St. Hubert’s Lindsey Davies until it was too late.
The Bambies right-hander took a perfect game into the sixth inning as No. 2 St. Hubert returned the league final for the first time since 2015 with a 6-1 victory at Arcadia University’s Blankley Field.
“We would have loved to have played the next day, because we had all that momentum and you kind of get a little bit deflated after that goes down,” Lansdale Catholic coach Paul Suder said. “And you know we’re the type of team that we need to practice and even with the weather yesterday, we don’t get a practice in there, so that kind of hurts us.”
Davies retired the first 16 Crusaders before hitting Delaney Smith with a pitch with one out in the sixth while Lauren Crim ended Davies’ no hitter two batters later with a two-out single to right field. However, by that point, the Bambies had built a 5-0 advantage, scoring three runs on wild pitches.
“Past couple games we’ve come out early, just like right away we came out right on the bat,” LC senior Maggie Wunder said. “Today, it took us ‘til the very last inning to final start (to) get some hits. Just weren’t having very good at-bats. We weren’t able to make contact with her today.”
— Mike Cabrey (@mpcabrey) May 23, 2017
Erin Hogan and Kate Jaworski hit RBI singles for St. Hubert, which faces Bonner & Prendergast for the Catholic League crown 4 p.m. Wednesday back at Arcadia.
No. 4 Bonner & Prendergast topped No. 3 Cardinal O’Hara 9-4 in Tuesday’s second semifinal to end the Ragdolls’ run at a fourth-straight PCL championship.
“We’re totally excited,” Davies said. “We really worked hard and really earned it.”
Lansdale Catholic plated five runs in an 8-5 loss to Davies and St. Hubert May 11, but Suder said the Crusaders were not as aggressive Tuesday, with their lone run coming on Taylor Molettiere’s single to left center with two outs in the top of the seventh.
“We took too many pitches early,” Suder said. “I’ve always said that if you lay off her up pitch and hit her early in the count, that’s when you get her. But you let her get ahead, she works the outside part of the zone. And if she has the right umpire, it’s a touch pitch to hit.”
The loss ends Lansdale Catholic’s season a win away from its first PCL title game since 2014.
“It’s disappointing the way we played, to be honest with you. We just haven’t played enough good games,” Suder said. “When we played good games, we beat one of the best teams in the league in Conwell-Egan, we beat Wood, the No. 1 seed. When we play our game, when we can throw strikes, be aggressive at the plate, but it was very hard to sustain that throughout the year. We just never got in that.”
“I thought we were going to come to it today. I really did, I thought we were going to come out. Got a feeling right through warmups, you kind of get that feeling that, you know, it just wasn’t there.”
LC knocked off No. 8 Little Flower 8-7 last Monday then bounced No. 1 Archbishop Wood 9-3 last Wednesday then had to wait until Monday for the its semifinal matchup with the Bambies until rain pushed it back a day.
“Especially just cause of how our past games where, our original season we weren’t as motivated as we are now, these past two games really got us excited,” Wunder said. “Yeah, it was just hard not being able to be outside, having a practice with everyone today but we just didn’t come out as hard as could have today.”
Davies ended her complete-game win allowing one earned run on three hits, no walks, one hit batter and eight strikeouts.
“I was just trying to get outs,” Davies said. “I wasn’t worried about if people were going to hit me. I was just trying to get outs so we could go to the ‘chip.”
— Mike Cabrey (@mpcabrey) May 23, 2017
LC starting pitcher Mary Picozzi took the loss, giving up six runs — five earned — on six hits in five-plus innings. She walked seven and struck out two.
“She got frustrated out there so I went out and talked to her and she goes ‘You know, he’s not giving me anything inside.’ And he was an outside umpire, he sat on the outside part of the plate and that pitch looked better than the inside pitch,” Suder said. “We thought we had to throw these girls inside to beat them. So that’s where we tried to set up.
“So, she got a little frustrated there, but all that comes with learning, she’s a freshman, her first year pitching.”
St. Hubert took a 1-0 lead with two outs in bottom of the second. After an Emma Clark single, Avery Hibbs walked to put two on for Hogan, who singled to right field to score Clark.
The Bambies added three more runs in the third without a hit.
After three walks loaded the bases with two outs, Jordan Frye scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0.
Annie Wolfe was hit by a pitch to load the bases again with a Hibbs walk plating another run. A wild pitch brought home Jaworski for a four-run lead.
St. Hubert made it 5-0 in the fourth. Davies led off by reaching second on a two-base error. A Frye infield single and Liz Siravo walk loaded the bases with no outs. With two outs, Davies’ courtesy runner, Sarah Jordan, scored on a wild pitch.
Molettiere got Lansdale Catholic on the scoreboard in the top of the seventh, dropping a two-out single into left center to score Rebecca Tiley from second base. Davies, however, got a ground out to first on the next at-bat to seal the Bambies’ trip to the league final.
St. Hubert 6, Lansdale Catholic 1
Lansdale Catholic 000 000 1 — 1 3 2
St. Hubert 013 101 x — 6 6 0
WP: Lindsey Davies 7 IP 3 H 1 R 1 ER 0 BB 8 SO.
LP: Mary Picozzi 5 IP 6 H 6 R 5 ER 7 BB 2 SO.
St. Hubert: Avery Hibbs RBI; Erin Hogan RBI; Kate Jaworski RBI, R;
Lansdale Catholic: Taylor Molettiere RBI.
Top Photo: Lansdale Catholics Taylor Molettiere fields a hard ground ball during the Crusaders’ PCL semifinal against St. Hubert at Arcadia University on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)