Council Rock South toppled by Abington

ABINGTON — Leading off the second inning, an offering from Abington junior Nikki Ray must have jammed Council Rock South batter Steph Andreoli as the pitch went off her fingers.

CR South coaches Greg Heydet and Steve Bitting held their collective breath as Andreoli — who is also the Golden Hawks pitcher — winced in pain.

“I heard it right off the bat,’ said Bitting. “We knew she was hurt.’

“We were holding our breath; she’s our best pitcher and also one of our best hitters.

“She’s also the fastest girl on the bases.’

Thankfully, the ball glanced off Andreoli’s left hand. To her credit, Stephanie gathered herself and tossed four scoreless frames to keep the battle with the Ghosts close heading into the sixth inning.

Unfortunately, Abington, which led 1-0 on Ray’s first-inning home run over the centerfield fence, rallied with three more runs in the home sixth to topple CR South for the second time this season, this time by a 4-2 score.

The first time the sides squared off in an early season matchup in Northampton, the Ghosts ran away with the battle, to the tune of a 20-5 score. The Hawks committed six errors in the April 9 contest including three in the first inning. While South made a base-running blunder in this second loss to the Ghosts, the Hawks were flawless in the field this time around.

That mistake on the base paths may have cost South a run and a chance at a big rally in the second inning of the April 30 matchup. The Hawks had runners — Amanda Sharp and Melanie Wilkinson — on second and third base when Abington infielder Jade Sowell came home with Kate Goudet’s grounder to third base. Having already broken for home, Sharp was a dead duck at the plate.

Ray, who was pitching with numerous maladies, got out of the jam, fanning DP Chelsea Perkins and inducing a ground ball back to the circle by leadoff hitter Jackie Schneider.

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

“Our pitcher has a sinus infection, tonsillitis, laryngitis and an upper respiratory infection,’ explained Ghosts head coach Ellie White “Having to deal with all that, she did a great job.’

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