BUCKTOWN >> The consensus was all the same throughout the hills of Owen J. Roberts softball fields on Tuesday evening.
“We wanted this one,” said shortstop Bridget Guinan. “All of us remembered what happened last year.”
Still motivated by last year’s season-ending loss to Upper Darby in the second round of districts, the Wildcats finally had their shot at revenge.
And they took full advantage.
Owen J. Roberts pounded out 17 hits and plated runs in all but one inning en route to a six-inning 14-4 win over visiting Upper Darby during the opening round of the 2017 District One Class 6A playoffs Tuesday evening.
“We didn’t get a lot of hits against them last year,” said catcher Casey Walker, referencing OJR’s 3-1 loss against the then top-seeded Royals last spring. “We came into this one ready and motivated at the plate.”
The Wildcats bats’ looked plenty motivated, helping them to cross three runs in the bottom of the first inning and another in the second before eventually breaking it open with a four-run bottom half of the fourth. That proved to be more than enough cushion for starter Brittney Dellaquila, who held Upper Darby to four runs (two earned) on seven hits and two walks. She also struck out five.
At the plate, third baseman Brianna Smith finished with three doubles, three RBI and two runs scored while first baseman Darby Stuart plated three more runs on three singles with a pair of runs scored. Leadoff hitter Camryn Glenn finished 2-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI while Guinan had two hits and an RBI.
“This past week we’ve really been working on hitting and making sure we were ready to go for this one,” said OJR head coach Jen Beaver. “That’s one thing we really focused on. Hopefully it will continue to help us out.”
The No. 13 seeded Wildcats (15-7 overall) will need to be swinging the big bats again Wednesday as the win sets them up with a game against No. 4 seeded North Penn at 4 p.m. Meanwhile, No. 20 Upper Darby’s season comes to a close at 11-10.
While OJR was racking up the runs early on, Upper Darby left plenty of meat on the bone. The Royals left seven runners on base, including a bases-loaded, one out situation in the top of the third inning.
Defensively, UD didn’t help itself too much either, racking up five errors on the night.
“Missed opportunities,” said head coach Christina Tomczuk afterward. “You can’t do that in the playoffs. We made too many errors and left too many runners on, especially in that (third) inning.”
Leadoff hitter Sarah Sullivan finished 3-for-4 with a two-run home run in the top of the fifth inning to put the Royals on the board while shortstop Camryn Young had a pair of hits. Starter Rebecca Sorrentino was tagged for 14 runs (nine earned) on 17 hits and three walks.
Similar to how the Wildcats approached Tuesday’s game, Tomczuk hopes the loss sticks in the back of her players’ minds.
“Hopefully we can remember this loss and we can use it down the road,” she said. “We want to be able to get back to this point against for the next couple of years.”