CALN >> Coatesville, fresh off its first Ches-Mont title in over thirty years, earned the No. 3 seed, a first-round bye, and the right to host No. 19 Pennridge. The Rams were a team coming off an upset win over Pennrsbury in the first round of the District 1, Class 6A playoffs. Though the Rams kept it close much of the game, and forced Coatesville into playing an uncharacteristic small ball offense, the Red Raiders came alive late and topped Pennridge by a score of 4-1.
With the win, the Raiders move on to Friday’s quarterfinal round, where they we play host to Council Rock North
“I said to the girls that we aren’t exactly known for our defense, but that’s really what won the game for us today,” said Coatesville Coach Bill Mendenhall. “Especially in those earlier innings when they were hitting the ball hard, it was just a tremendous defensive effort all around, infield and outfield.”
The two teams were scoreless until the fourth, when Coatesville, who came into the game averaging 8.45 runs per game, manufactured a pair of runs on a walk, two consecutive bunts, an RBI ground out, and an RBI single from Kayla Bock.
Pennridge answered back with a run in the top of the fifth when Emily Hegen led off with a double, moved over to third on a sac bunt from Kylie Watson, and came home on an RBI single to left from Sam Harty.
Harty finished 2 for 3 on the day to lead the offense, and reached base in all four plate appearance, walking in her first at bat, singling twice, and reaching on an error in her final at bat of the day.
One of those bottom of the order hitters to come through for Coatesville was McKenna Sherman, who got a shot at the starting line-up with clutch power-hitter Payton Landis unavailable. After Natalie Florschulz drew a pinch hit walk and Kayla Bock doubled to lead off the bottom of the sixth, Sherman stroked a line drive up the middle to score Florschulz and Bock to essentially put the game out of reach at 4-1.
“My coaches always tell me to keep my eye on the ball because I have a bad habit of pulling my head out,” said Sherman. “So I just tried to come up with confidence that I’d keep my head in and just hit the ball. Once I made contact, I knew we’d have the win. It feels great to get the district win.”
The Rams were able to get two on with two-out in the top of the seventh, but Raiders’ ace Bri White induced a little comebacker to end the game. White picked up the win, allowing one run on four hits in seven innings pitched. She struck out two, and walked two.
“I’m just really proud of my team and the way we played,” said White. “Our bats were kind of silent in the beginning, but eventually we came around and got a lead. The defense behind me was just amazing with all the diving catches and great plays. I think this is a team that can go a long way.”
“We just pulled off a pretty big upset yesterday in beating Pennsbury,” said Rams’ Coach Carol Atkinson. “I don’t think anyone expected us to be here today, so I couldn’t be more proud of the way these girls played all season, and they way they hung tough against a good team today.”
Council Rock North, the No. 6 seed, is coming off a 3-0 win over No. 11 Boyertown. A win Friday guarantees a slot in the PIAA Championships. A loss forces a trip through the play in-bracket, as the top five teams move on.
“All year long all our kids have been hitting the ball,” said Mendenhall. “It’s not just those girls in the middle of the order that get a lot of notice. This is the kind of team effort that gives you confidence moving on.”
Coatesville 4 Pennridge 2
Pennridge ab r h bi Coatesville ab r h bi
Watson—SS 2 0 0 0 Kane—SS 4 0 1 0
Harty—3B 3 0 2 1 Traband—2B 4 0 0 0
Bell–P 4 0 0 0 Mendenhall—C 3 0 0 0
Hengeveld—C 3 0 0 0 White—P 2 1 1 0
Levush—CF 3 0 0 0 Ricevuto–CF 3 1 1 0
Scott–LF 3 0 1 0 Vetters—LF 2 0 0 0
Yerk—2B 3 0 0 0 Fleming—3B 2 0 0 0
McGinley 3 0 0 0 Florschulz–PH 0 1 0 0
Hebgen–DP 3 1 1 0 Bock—DP 3 1 2 1
Szkadrowicz—FX/RF 0 0 0 0 Sherman—1B 2 0 2 2
Totals 27 1 4 1 Henry—FX/RF 0 0 0 0
Totals 25 4 6 4
Pennridge 0 0 0 0 1 0 0—1
Coatesville 0 0 0 2 0 2 X –4
IP H R BB SO
Bell (L) 6 6 4 3 1
White (W) 7 1 4 2 1