Trailing by two deep into their District 1 Class 5A quarterfinal with West Chester Rustin, the Penncrest Lions weren’t nervous.
It was more like they were biding their time.
“We were just kind of getting our bats warmed up,” Penncrest coach Jamie Mingis said. “But one through nine, these kids can hit the ball.”
And hit they did. The Lions rallied for a 7-2 win to clinch a spot in the state tournament and Friday’s district semifinal against Bishop Shanahan.
Penncrest scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to erase that 2-0 deficit. The Lions led off with back-to-back singles before Julia Eckels delivered a run-scoring double. Emma Stauffer followed with a two-run single to spot Penncrest the only lead it would need.
The bats had awakened.
Eckels finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Melody Gleason smacked three hits, including a double and a triple, and drove in two. That offense was more than enough for starter Maya Hartman, who struck out 10 in a complete game.