Three games were all that separated sixth place from first place in Catholic League softball. That balance proved beneficial for Monsignor Bonner & Archbishop Prendergast, which finished sixth during the regular season.
It prepared the team for a postseason run that has been quite impressive.
The Pandas added another trophy to their growing list of accomplishments with a 14-0 victory over Esperanza Academy Charter in the District 12 Class 4A championship game at Arcadia University.
“The league was really good, really competitive,” first-year coach Tom McNulty said. “We were only two games out of second place and three out of first.”
MBAP knocked off third-seeded Cardinal O’Hara in the Catholic League quarterfinals, dispatched No. 4 Archbishop Ryan in the semis and defeated second-seeded St. Hubert to win the PCL title. The win over Esperanza sets up a date with James Buchanan or East Pennsboro, the No. 3 team out of District 3, next Monday at Arcadia in the opening round of the state tournament.
The Pandas (18-5) had 14 hits and scored in four of the five innings. MBAP put the mercy rule into effect with eight runs in the top of the fifth inning.
Kaitlyn Martin led the way with three hits and two RBIs. Winning pitcher Molly McNulty had two hits, one RBI, seven strikeouts, no walks and allowed just one hit. Caroline Manfre pitched in with three hits, while Kerri Quinn and Meghan Sullivan contributed two hits each.
“This team has really jelled nicely,” McNulty said. “It’s a good group and they’ve played well together. It’s a different player each game. Someone always picks us up.”