LYONS >> The narrative had been forming around an Upper Perkiomen comeback as the Indians’ PIAA Class 4A quarterfinal came down to the final inning.
Bangor’s Kaitlyn Caleen had different intentions, however.
Caleen stood up tall when needed the most, lacing a one-out home run over the left-field fence to spark a four-run seventh inning and lead Bangor to an 8-4 victory over Upper Perkiomen Thursday at Lyons Park.
The win propels the District 11 champion Slaters into the semifinal round where they will face District 2 champion Tunkhannock (15-4 winner over Eastern York) at a site and time to be determined. Four players finished with multi-hit games for the Slaters with Lexi Kessler, Dani Fey, Caleen and Jacyln Hess all finishing with two hits apiece.
The loss, meanwhile, ends a stellar run by Upper Perkiomen, which clinched its first district title and state playoff win in a memorable 2017 campaign. There were little tears as the Indians broke the huddle for the last time in right field. They knew what they accomplished, even if the journey down an uncharted road took a detour sooner than they had hoped.
“We’re building up this program,” Upper Perkiomen head coach Dean Sullivan said. “I told them that I expect the same thing next year from them, hopefully with a better outcome. We still have a bunch of the girls coming back, and even though we’re losing five seniors, we have a nice young class of eighth graders coming up.”
The tone of Sullivan’s postgame chat was upbeat, as it should have been. The Indians trailed 4-0 after the first inning before clawing back to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth. They had momentum on their side before Caleen’s blast to left was followed by the dagger — an Olivia Groller two-run triple to right field.
“It got out of hand in the first inning, but we settled down and battled back,” Sullivan said. “Their pitching wasn’t what we were used to, but that last inning, the home run kind of deflated us a little bit and we missed some spots and they capitalized.”
Taylor Lindsay had a productive day at the plate, finishing with two hits and an RBI. She and sister Morgan Lindsay helped the Indians climb back from the four-run deficit, Morgan Lindsay hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first before Taylor chipped in with an RBI double to score her sister in the bottom half of the third. Morgan Lindsay then supplied the power bat in the fourth inning, lacing a double to the left field fence that scored Emily Moll, Sarah Heidler coming around on a throwing error that went to the backstop to make it 4-4.
Taylor Lindsay finished with two hits (double) and an RBI while Morgan Lindsay finished with a double and two RBI. Moll, first baseman Alyssa Sullivan and left fielder Olivia Young each finished with a hit apiece.
NOTES >> The Indians graduate Heidler, Moll, Carly Bernhart, Kourtne Buck and Young. All five were instrumental in building up the Indians’ program, says Sullivan:
“They set the tone,” he said. “They were the first group of travel players that we absorbed into the program. It’s good for them to have led us to where we were at today.”