RED HILL >> Four batters into Friday’s game, Upper Perkiomen pitcher Taylor Lindsay took a screamer to the shin off the bat of Ashley Bangert.
With a grimace, Lindsay dropped to her knees, scooped up the ball and fired it over to Sierra Fretz at first base for the third out before calmly dusting herself off and jogging back to the dugout.
That all but told the tale of the game for Lindsay, as the senior took her lumps but brushed them off in leading the Tribe to a 7-3 win over Perkiomen Valley in a Pioneer Athletic Conference divisional crossover matchup and a rematch of last season’s conference championship.
“It hurts a lot right now, but I tried not to think about it during the game,” said Lindsay of the welt on her shin. “I was just focused on throwing strikes and letting my fielders do the work behind me.”
Behind its senior ace, red-hot Upper Perkiomen improved to 7-0 in the Pioneer Athletic Conference and 7-1 overall. Friday’s win over the Vikings (2-4 PAC, 3-6 overall) was the Tribe’s first this decade.
But who’s counting, right?
“It was a bucket list thing,” said Upper Perk head coach Dean Sullivan. “Coming into the season, we had two teams we really wanted to beat — Boyertown and them (Perk Valley). Last year it was Spring-Ford and Owen J.
“I tell them, that’s what I want. I have two teams I want to beat every year. I don’t care if we go 2-16, as long as we get those wins.”
The top portion of Upper Perk’s batting order proved lethal with the top three hitters accounting for six of the Tribe’s eight hits. Sophomore catcher Morgan Lindsay finished 2-for-3 with a pair of two-run home runs while center fielder Alex Banner was 2-for-2 with two runs scored and a pair of RBI out of the two-hole. Alyssa Sullivan hit a solo home run.
In the circle, right-hander Taylor Lindsay got herself out of plenty of jams early on. The York College commit stranded a runner on second base in the first two innings then left a runner on third base to close out the third. For the game, she stranded six runners while holding the Vikings to nine hits, no walks and striking out five.
“I was taking them off-balance, throwing a lot of change-ups,” she said. “It was nice to have seven runs from my team, especially against a team like (Perk Valley). We expected this one to be a close game, but then we just started hitting and pulled away.”
Those runners left on base early on were still on the mind of first-year Perk Valley head coach Joe Bogus after the game ended.
“We hit the ball, we had nine hits, but we left too many runners on,” he said. “We’ve got to get those in and we just couldn’t get that hit when we needed it. That’s part of the game.”
Third baseman Ashley Bangert finally came through with that timely hit in the top of the fifth inning when she ripped a two-run triple down the right-field line.
The Vikings were kept off the board until the top of the seventh, when Kara Fusco blasted a solo home run to left. For the game, Fusco came off the bench and finished 2-for-2. Catcher Taylor Hamm and starting pitcher Katie Hurd each had two hits while center fielder Alex Vullings had two hits and a run scored.
Hurd was strong in the circle early on, limiting the Tribe to just one hit in the first two innings before they blew the top off with a three-run rally in the third. For the game, Hurd pitched into the fifth inning where she scattered seven runs on seven hits and two strikeouts. Jess Oltman pitched the final five outs where she held Upper Perk to just a hit and a walk.
“They were very talented last year,” said Bogus, who had been an assistant with the Vikings prior to taking over as head coach this season. “We were fortunate enough to beat them twice last season.
“But now they’re a year older, and a year better. They hit the ball well and the pitcher is very strong. That’s a really strong team.”
Tough Sell >> Perk Valley’s shortstop Jordan Sell got her work in defensively.
The junior finished with eight fielding assists and a putout, getting all three out in the bottom of the second inning.
“Jordan is doing very well for us, hitting and playing short,” said Bogus. “She’s been solid all season.”
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