Ray helps Abington bounce back with win over Council Rock South

ABINGTON — It is important to bounce back as a team when you suffer a big loss. The Abington softball team did just that after its loss to Neshaminy Tuesday by beating Suburban One League National Conference foe Council Rock South 4-2 Thursday afternoon.

“It was huge,’ Abington head coach Ellie White said. “Our conference is tough and every team in the SOL is tough so we figure after that loss to Neshaminy we have to go out and prove that we’re just as good as we thought we were and we were able to do that and put some things together today.’

It started early for the Ghosts (10-3, 7-2 conference).

In the bottom of the first inning, three-hole hitter and ace Nikki Ray helped herself out a little by getting her team on the board first. With two outs, she got a pitch to hit and smacked a shot to dead center field for a solo home run.

“I knew we had to score early because they’re such a good hitting team,’ Ray said. “They were throwing me tight inside at first and then they went outside and I just went with the outside pitch and tried to drive it.’

This isn’t new for Ray. The junior is known for her sweet swing and has drawn some incredibly high praise from her coach.

“She’s probably got the best bat that’s ever gone through Abington,’ White said. “There is no other swing out there like hers so she does it all, on the mound and at the plate.’

As for her work from the mound, she was masterful there, too, for much of the game. Ray only allowed two hits through the first six innings and found herself in trouble just once.

In the third, Ray hit a batter, then after a pair of Abington errors, found herself with the bases loaded and just one out. Ray followed up by striking out the next batter and forcing a ground out after that to preserve the zero on the scoreboard.

Ray wasn’t just battling against Council Rock South (8-5, 4-4) — she was also fighting a sickness.

“I thought we did a nice job,’ White said. “I thought it took us a while to put some balls in pay but once we did things started to click. Our pitcher has a sinus infection, tonsillitis, laryngitis and an upper respiratory infection, so for having to deal with all that she did a great job.’

Obviously, Ray was not the only Ghost that had a big day. For five innings, the offense was a little stagnant but it exploded in the bottom of the sixth for three big runs, two coming on a Jade Sowell two-RBI double.

Those three runs proved to be big. Council Rock south came roaring back in the seventh to finally put some runs across, including a big solo home run from Melanie Wilkinson, but Ray and the Ghosts managed to get out with the win.

While she was struggling in the seventh her coach thought about going to the bullpen to finish this one out, but ultimately decided to trust her ace, a decision that ended up paying off.

“I did think about taking her out but then I just thought it’s her game and I know she’ll battle through and she did.’ White said. “She looked great. Like I said she was just at the doctor and she’s sick so I knew it would be tough for her in the sixth and seventh but she’s one of those kids that just doesn’t want to come out.’

This was a big win for the Ghosts, one that they knew they needed in order to keep pace with the tough SOL National.

“We wanted to come out here and win.’ Said Ray “We really didn’t want to lose to Neshaminy but we came back and came out here and beat them today.’


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