GRATERFORD >> Abby Wild’s run of district dominance has officially spilled into 2017.
One season removed from helping lead Perkiomen Valley to its first district title, the Vikings’ senior ace picked up where she left off, no-hitting Central Bucks South en route to an 8-0 victory in the District 1 Class 6A second round Wednesday afternoon.
“They (Central Bucks South) have very good hitters and they did a good job of putting the ball in play,” Wild, a Bloomsburg commit, said. “My defense made it easier for me by making big plays behind me, which helped give me more confidence.”
Wild allowed only two base runners in picking up the win, which sends the Vikings into the quarterfinals Friday against North Penn, a 4-2 winner over Owen J. Roberts. Ever-focused and ever-dominant, Wild struck out five and relied on great defense from Ashley Bangert and Sela Fusco, Fusco’s diving catch preserving her no-hit bid with Bangert’s aggressive play at third base thwarting CB South’s slap-hitters in the top and bottom of the lineup.
Bangert was a RBI machine for the Vikings, finishing with a game-best five RBI on a 4-for-4 effort from the dish. Her double and triple was paired nicely with leadoff hitter Gillian Barrie’s 2-for-3 (three runs scored) effort as the Vikings scored two runs apiece in the first, third, fourth and sixth innings.
“Offensively, scoring early helped me stay relaxed,” Wild said. “Ashley (Bangert) came up with a big hit every time she was up and that just helped us get rolling.”
“Bangert came up very big for us with some clutch hitting,” PV head coach Dan McLaughlin said. “The top of the lineup was very productive today. Gillian got on base and was moved over by Alex Vullings and Ashley came up big every time she was up.”
The Vikings, coming off their second Pioneer Athletic Conference title in three seasons, are vying for their second district championship in as many seasons. This run with a mix of new and returning talent.
“The good thing about this team is that our kids have been through this and the one’s who haven’t been used to playing in the pressure game are adapting,” McLaughlin said. “The games we lost this year, except for one of them, were games that we had a lead and we couldn’t close it out. We’re learning how to play the right way in games.”
Photo credit / Kelley Bruni