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Pietrzykoski’s 4 RBIs help North Penn roll past William Tennent

WARMINSTER >> Jordan Pietrzykoski came close to making a good day at the plate even better when she belted a pitch to deep center field in the top of the seventh inning.

The blast look destined to be a home run, but instead William Tennent center fielder Caitlyn Mitros reached out right in the front of the fence and grabbed it for the third out.  The North Penn junior was denied a home run trot, but she took it in stride.

“I mean, that’s part of the game. It’s happens,” she said. “So I’ll get up there and hit further next time.”

Pietrzykoski and the Knights softball team couldn’t get a ball out of the park, but that about all they were unable do with their bats on a chilly Tuesday afternoon on Tennent.

North Penn scored five runs as it batted around in the third inning to take a 6-0 lead and kept adding runs from there to stay unbeaten with an 11-2 Suburban One League Continental Conference victory over the Panthers.

“We’ve been hitting and scoring a lot of runs,” North Penn coach Rick Torresani said. “So I’m looking forward to when it gets warmer and the heat, because a couple of those balls today I think would have gone (for a home run). And the kids are playing hard, they’re doing everything we’re asking them.”

Pietrzykoski went 3-for-5, twice coming up clutch with bases loaded — driving in a pair with a double to center in third then collecting two more RBIs with a single in the fifth.

“Every time I could I just look at Coach and I just that know that that’s something I got to do, I just got to put the ball in play,” Pietrzykoski said.

Leadoff hitter Emily Groarke began the game with a double to right and finished 3-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored for the Knights (3-0, 2-0 conference), who have posted double digits in all three of their games.  Victoria Juckniewitz was 2-for-5 with two runs scored, Amanda Greaney had two RBIs while Courtney Neal scored twice.

“We just really banded together this game,” Pietrzykoski said. “We played (Central Bucks) West last week and we won but we weren’t really together as much as we were in this game.”

After robbing Pietrzykoski of a homer, Mitros hit a solo home run to right center in the bottom of the inning. Mitros went 2-for-4 as Tennent (3-3, 0-2) dropped their third straight.

“We just didn’t make the plays we needed to make,” Panthers coach Deanna Myers said. “We didn’t hit — timely hitting is our biggest struggle right now. I think playing four games in a row, they’re getting tired. So hopefully we have a nice, tough practice tomorrow and ready to play CB South on Thursday.”

Tuesday was the start of a four games in four days stretch for North Penn, which stays in Continental play Wednesday and hosts Central Bucks East at 3:45 p.m. Tennent hosts South 3:45 p.m. Thursday.

“It’s important to let the losses go because if you take them into the next game, it’s easy to just keep it going,” Myers said. “But there’s no team that we can’t stay with and hang with and beat. We just have to play our game.

Knights freshman Mady Volpe picked up the complete-game win in the circle, the right-hander giving up two runs — both earned — on eight hits. She walked one and struck out eight.

“She threw strikes,” Torresani said. “Her changeup was working and her riseball was working and that’s key for her because she can throw a good screw and her location’s pretty good with her fastball but when she gets the ball moving, I mean, she can dominate.”

Right-hander Megan Curtis took the loss for Tennent in a complete-game effort. She allowed 11 runs — eight earned — on 12 hits, struck out one, walked three and hit two batters.

“I think she threw OK,” said Myers of Curtis. “Not her best day, but that being said, when our pitcher has a bad day the defense and the offense needs to be behind her to back her up and give her some help. It happens. Every pitcher has a bad day.”

North Penn grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Groarke — who led off with a double — scored on Greaney’s sacrifice fly.

After Tennent stranded two runners in both the first and second, the Knights offense got going in the top of the third.

Singles by Groarke and Juckniewitz and Namey reaching on a one-out fielder’s choice loaded the bases. Pietrzykoski knocked a double to center to plate Groarke and Juckniewitz while Namey was thrown out at home.

“She really worked hard in the summer and through the fall and lifting weights – her and Amanda (Greaney), the catcher,” said Torresani of Pietrzykoski.  “And you can see, she’s not a big kid but when she gets a hold of it, she can knock it out.

“The whole team’s been working hard, though. It’s been a team and it’s been fun. And we had a good time in Myrtle Beach, the team’s just coming together.”

After Jamie Beer was hit by a pitch, Pietrzykoski scored to make it 4-0 on an error on Neal’s two-out fly ball to right.

Paige Paciolla’s RBI single put North Penn up five while Neal scored for a 6-0 lead as Tori Chiu reached first on an error.

Tennent got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third with three straight two-out singles — the last an RBI base hit to the left side of the infield by Devon Fithian with Hannah Reimel out a third on the play to end the inning.

The Knights extended their advantage to 10-1 with four runs in the fifth. Groarke brought in the first runs with an RBI single. A Greaney bases-loaded walk made it 8-1. With the bases still packed, Pietrzykoski connected on a single to score two more.

In the seventh, North Penn added an 11th run on a Namey RBI double.

North Penn        105 040 1 — 11 12 1
William Tennent               001 000 1 —   2   8 2
WP: Mady Volpe 7 IP 8 H 2 R 2 ER 1 BB 8 SO.
LP: Megan Curtis 7 IP 12 H 11 R 8 ER 3 BB 1 SO 2 HB.
2B: NP-Emily Groarke, Elia Namey, Jordan Pietrzykoski; HR: WT-Caitlyn Mitros.
North Penn: Groarke 3-5, RBI, 3 R; Pietrzykoski 3-5, 4 RBI, R; Victoria Juckniewitz 2-5, 2 R; Amanda Greaney 1-3, 2 RBI; Courtney Neal 1-3, 2 R.
William Tennent: Mitros 2-4, RBI, R; Devon Fithian 1-3, RBI.

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