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No. 1 Spring-Ford puts past in the past, smashes Quakertown

ROYERSFORD >> The Spring-Ford softball team entered the postseason with a stratospheric winning percentage, highly seeded and looking like a team just beginning its season.

In 2018, that’s where everything unraveled, an upset defeat to Garnet Valley prematurely ending the Rams’ campaign.

On Wednesday, the situation was nearly identical. The outcome was everything but.

The Rams’ bats were lively from the start and never let up while sophomore Bri Peck and freshman Jules Scogna combined on a four-hit shutout as No. 1 Spring-Ford cruised to a five-inning, 13-0 victory over Quakertown in the second round of the District 1 Class 6A playoffs at Ram Park, turning away any doubts of a repeat of last season.

Spring-Ford’s Bridget Sharkey hits a double against Quakertown in a District 1-6A playoff game Wednesday. (Austin Hertzog – MediaNews Group)

Spring-Ford racked up 15 hits spread among 12 players and racked up a 22-0 record in the process.

“That’s our thing: there’s not just one person, it’s all of us working together,” said senior outfielder Bridget Sharkey (double).

“It all adds up,” said senior outfielder Maddy Little (double, RBI). “Together, that’s why we’ve made it this far.”

With a three-run first inning, it was obvious from the start Spring-Ford wasn’t going to repeat last year’s heartbreak.

“It made us want to come out here and prove that we want to win, want to be here and go really far. I think it pushed us to be ready today,” Little said.

Spring-Ford’s Maddy Little hits an RBI double against Quakertown in a District 1-6A playoff game Wednesday. (Austin Hertzog – MediaNews Group)

Next up for Spring-Ford is last year’s foil Garnet Valley, the No. 8 seed that topped Methacton 5-0 in the second round Wednesday. The game is set for noon on Friday at due to Garnet’s Prom later Friday night.

On Wednesday, the Rams put the lesson learned their past with the Jaguars into action.

“It taught us to not take any game for granted,” Sharkey said. “Regardless of the score, just keep playing hard the whole time and stick together the entire time.”

Quakertown shortstop Abby Schwartz looks to throw to first after forcing out Spring-Ford’s Kali McCann at second base while second baseman Sarah Stofik backs up the play in a District 1-6A playoff game Wednesday. (Austin Hertzog – MediaNews Group)

Peck impressed at the plate as well, going 2-for-3 with a booming two-run home run in the Rams’ four-run third inning. Sophomore outfielder Noelle Reid and senior second baseman Julia Heine both went 2-for-2 with an RBI.

In the circle, Peck threw three 3-hit shutout innings, striking out five and walking one. Scogna gave up one hit and struck out two in two scoreless innings.

Spring-Ford pitcher Bri Peck winds up for a pitch against Quakertown in a District 1-6A playoff game Wednesday. (Austin Hertzog – MediaNews Group)

Quakertown duplicated last year’s run when it also advanced to the second round of the districts. The Panthers, who finished third in the Suburban One Continental, concluded a 13-9 campaign that featured a five-game winning streak heading into Wednesday after topping Ridley 10-3 in the first round.

“This game doesn’t diminish anything from our season,” said first-year coach Dave Scott. “We had a really nice year. We came from 8-8 to finish 13-8 (before Wednesday) so overall it was a good year for us.

“Our pitcher (Tori Caputo) got onto a good streak – she won five in a row – and our hitting was strong all year. For the year, our team batting average was .351 so that was outstanding.”
Scott sensed some intimidation from his team over the occasion and opponent.

“For some of them, I think the game was moving a little fast for them in the beginning,” he said. “They were a little bit intimidated by the record of our opponent and I think they were a bit intimated by the fact it was a second round playoff game.”

Quakertown second baseman Sarak Stofik throws to first base after forcing out Spring-Ford’s Jules Hughes at second in a District 1-6A playoff game Wednesday. (Austin Hertzog – MediaNews Group)

Spring-Ford scored three or more runs in each of its four at-bats off Quakertown pitcher Caputo (4 IP, 15 hits, 13 R, 12 ER, 2 K, 2 BB).  Four singles that resulted in an RBI groundout for Jules Hughes and RBI hits from Ashley DellaGuardia and Julia Heine set the tone of the first inning for a 3-0 lead.

Quakertown threatened with bases loaded in the second inning, but Peck got two strikeouts and a fly out to end the threat.

From there it was all Rams, Peck’s towering drive that was still 30 feet high when it crossed the Ram Park fence serving as punctuation for a dominant performance and 10-0 lead.

The Spring-Ford reserves starred in the three-run fourth inning, hits from Lily Undercoffler, Logan Bonewitz and Gracyn Marchesani building the lead to 13-0.

“It’s so much fun to be winning it as a team and keeping the energy up throughout the whole game, I feel like that’s why we’re here,” Sharkey said.

So now that this troublesome hurdle has been cleared, is this just the beginning for the Rams?

Sharkey and Little emphatically nodded.

“Oh, definitely,” Sharkey said.

NOTES >> Quakertown coach Scott believes Spring-Ford could make a deep run as well: “A very solid team top to bottom. Offensively, there are no easy outs in that lineup. And their pitcher, Peck, I mean, she was great. She looks like a D1 pitcher to me in terms of her speed, her location, that riseball is very nice and difficult to lay off of.” … The Panthers hits came from Laura Morelock, Sarah Stofik, Halle Frederick and Bri Lefkoski (double). … Garnet Valley won last year’s meeting with Spring-Ford, 8-6, as the No. 15 seed on May 23.

 

Spring-Ford 13, Quakertown 0

QUAKERTOWN               SPRING-FORD

                     ab   r  h bi                       ab   r  h bi

Morelock       3  0   1  0    Reid             2  2  2  1

Cope              3  0   0  0    Bonewitz      1  0  1  1

Schwartz        3  0   0  0    Peck            3  2  2  2

Stofik             2  0   1  0    Marchsni      1  0  1 1

Moyer            1  0   0  0    Ryan            2  1  1  1

Blair               1  0   0  0    Scogna        1  0  0  0

Fredrick         2  0   1  0    Hughes        3  0  1  1

Andrews        1  0   0  0    Walsh          2  1  1  1

Thrush           1  0   0  0    McCann       0  0  0 0

Lefkoski        2  0   1  0    DellGrda       3  0  1  1

Caputo           0  0   0  0    Tennity         2  0  0  0

                                        Heine           2  1  2  1

                                        Griffin           1  0  0  0

                                        Sharkey       2  1  1  0

                                        Undrcflr        1  1  1  1

                                        Little             2  1  1 1

                                        Westcott      0  1  0  0

Totals          19  0   4  0    Totals         26 13 15 12

Quakertown                      000 00 — 0
Spring-Ford                       334 3x — 13

2B-Lefkoski, Little, Sharkey, Ryan. HR-Peck. 

                                   IP     H    R   ER   BB  SO

Quakertown

Caputo (L)                    4   15   13    12      2     2

Spring-Ford

Peck (W)                      3     3     0      0      1     5

Scogna                        2     1     0      0      0     2

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