CARLISLE—Just when it seemed like the Bucs were going to escape a bases loaded jam and head to the bottom of the seventh tied, Thomas Jefferson pushed across two runs on a two-out throwing error,] and tacked on one more for good measure.
The Jags then held on for the 4-1 victory, dashing the hopes of the Interboro faithful and ending the Bucs’ season two wins shy of the PIAA Class 5A state title game.
Thomas Jefferson, the No. 2 seed out of District 7, advances to the semifinals for a rematch with District 7 champ West Allegheny Monday at a site and time to be determined. West Allegheny knocked off Albert Gallatin, 10-3. The Indians defeated the Jags, 4-2, to win the WPIAL final last week.
Interboro’s season ends in the second round of states for the second straight season, again the last Delco team standing.
“We made mistakes with the bases loaded and that cost us,” Interboro coach Chuck Pedrick said. “That is a nice team over there, but obviously we could play with them. Just too many mistakes. And just as we were starting to hit the ball, too.”
Bucs ace Bridget Bailey was her usual dominant self in the early going, striking out seven of the first nine hitters she faced, and not allowing a base hit until Haley Karcher singled for the Jags in the fourth. Along the way, Bailey recorded the 500th strikeout of her career.
“It means a lot to me to get to 500,” Bailey said. “I honestly came into the year just hoping to get to 300 career, but I came close to 300 just for this season.”
Bailey finished the game with seven strong innings, allowing four runs—none earned—on four hits. She struck out nine and walked two, one intentionally.
Interboro broke the deadlock in the bottom half of the fifth. Logan Stewart (2 for 3, R) led off by stroking a double into the gap in right center, then moved up 60 feet on a sacrifice bunt from Haley Barrett. Brielle Kerwood was hit by a pitch and Interboro loaded the bases when Haley Wittorf walked. Sam Bellano followed, and delivered an RBI single to left, but the Bucs got just the one run.
The Jags answered back with a run in the top of the sixth on a single and a stolen base from Bella Bucy, and an outfield error with two outs. After stranding an Interboro runner in scoring position in the bottom half of the inning, the Jags put the game away with the fateful seventh.
And so the season comes to an end, and with it the high school careers of the seven seniors on the squad—Bailey, Patton, Kerwood, Bellano, Barrett, Nicole Floyd, and Lily Bonner.
“This team has meant the world to me,” Pedrick said. “They are like my own daughters. This senior class has been incredible. I will really miss them. They have really left a legacy and set the bar pretty high for the younger players. The girls coming back know how hard they have to work if they want to get back here.”
While Bailey looks forward to playing at the next level at Kutztown, she’ll rarely enter the circle as a Golden Bear without remembering her time as a Buc.
“This past four years have been the best four years of playing softball I’ve ever had,” said Bailey. “The three varsity seasons and the one on JV mean everything to me. I couldn’t have asked for better teammates, or a better coach. I will always remember these years as the best times.”
Thomas Jefferson 4 Interboro 1
Jefferson AB R H RBI Interboro AB R H RBI
Truax—2B 4 0 0 0 Bellano—2B 4 0 1 1
Whalen—CF 4 1 0 0 Patton—SS 3 0 0 0
Karcher—C 2 1 1 0 Bailey—P 3 0 0 0
Bucy—P 4 1 2 2 Gavin—CF 3 0 1 0
Rockwell—DP 4 0 0 0 Bonner—LF 3 0 1 0
Chalovich—SS 3 0 0 0 Stewart—DP 3 1 2 0
Cleary—RF 3 0 0 0 Barrett—C 2 0 0 0
Zang—LF 3 1 1 0 Kerwood—3B 2 0 0 0
Liberi—3B 3 0 0 0 Wittorf—RF 2 0 1 0
Brock—FX/1B 0 0 0 0 Floyd—FX/1B 0 0 0 0
Totals 30 4 4 2 Totals 25 1 6 1
2B—Stewart, Bucy, Wittorf
Thomas Jefferson 0 0 0 0 0 1 3—4
Interboro 0 0 0 0 1 0 0—1
Thomas Jefferson IP R H BB K
Bucy (W) 7 1 6 2 5
Bailey (L) 7 4 4 2 9