Battavio, Bilotti key North Penn’s shutout win over Pennridge

SELLERSVILLE — With two outs in the top of the fourth, and the pitchers dominating in a 0-0 tie, North Penn’s Bri Battavio stepped to the plate.

“I just wanted to start it off,’ the Maidens’ No. 6 hitter said. “I just needed a single.’

Battavio produced much, much more, smacking a solo home run over the fence in right center for the go-ahead run. Battavio later did get her single — off the fence in left — to drive in two more in the sixth.

With Jackie Bilotti on the mound, the pair of blasts by Battavio were all the offense the Maidens needed in a 4-0 win over Suburban One League Continental Conference rival Pennridge Thursday night at Druckenmiller Field.

For North Penn (10-2 in the conference), the victory sets up a showdown with Souderton Area Monday night, at NP, as the Maidens try to move into a first-place tie with Big Red.

“We’re definitely really excited for Souderton,’ said Bilotti, who allowed just a pair of hits in the complete-game effort. “They beat us the first time around and we’re hoping to have a good game with them Monday. And it’s also our Senior Night so we’re really pumped up for that.’

Bilotti was perfect through three and didn’t allow a hit until Rams leadoff Lisa Bahmueller poked a single to left in the bottom of the sixth.

Liz Nace was also throwing hard for the Rams, keeping North Penn scoreless until Battavio got a hold of one in the fourth. The Maidens padded their lead in the sixth when Battavio knocked a bases-loaded single off the wall in left, driving in two, and then the lead grew to 4-0 in the seventh when Katie Beer led off with a single and later scored on an error.

“It’s playoff softball now, and the girls have been playing that way for a while now,’ said North Penn coach Rick Torresani, whose team won its ninth straight to improve to 16-2. “Good pitching and timely hitting — and that’s what we did.’

Briana Gery smacked a double to left to lead off the seventh for Pennridge (2-10 in the conference), but Bilotti retired the next three batters to send NP to a big showdown on Monday.

“Liz does a great job for us,’ Rams coach Paul Koehler said of Nace, who limited NP to two hits in the first five innings. “Jackie Bilotti’s a great pitcher, and when you face a pitcher like that, you can’t have errors.’

The Rams are back on the diamond today, with a non-league battle at Christopher Dock.


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