Christopher Dock derails Pennridge with 5-run 5th inning

TOWAMENCIN — The Pennridge softball team has three more games left before its season comes to a close. The Christopher Dock team has three remaining as well, but hoping for a fourth. Trying to end their season with a BAL Championship, the Pioneers pulled out a 9-5 non-league win over the Rams on Friday.

A win over Bristol on Monday will force a one-game playoff for the league title. In the Pioneers (13-4 overall, 9-1 in conference) effort to capture a championship, they need to start playing with a playoff focus now. With the Class AAAA club on campus, the Class AA school showed it can not only hang, but win.

“We try to play competitive teams,’ Pioneers coach Wayne Benner said. “I have to make the five or six on the schedule I can pick against good teams.

The Rams (4-13 overall, 2-10 in Suburban One League Continental Conference) initially used the non-league afternoon as chance to see what they have in store for the future. However after Julia Helbling drove in the tying run in the third inning, the Rams just wanted to win the game. Helbling had two hits, as did Lisa Bahmueller and Natalie Babik.

“They had good pitchers and we did not adjust,’ Rams coach Paul Kohler said. “We mixed some of it up to see who will answer the call and who doesn’t. We tried to give some girls chances to say you messed up coach by not playing me much this year.’

Quickly the young starting pitchers on both sides were replaced with their respective aces. Liz Nace inherited two base runners as the Rams third pitcher in the game, only to watch the Pioneers bring 11 to the plate. Sophomore Meg Bauer started the contest, Alyssa Hughes threw the middle innings, and Nace was the hard-luck loser for her two innings in where she allowed four runs, three earned.

“Our pitching usually keeps us in games,’ Kohler said. “I wanted to give Liz some rest and let Meg Bauer, who has probably pitched a whole game on the side waiting to go in, start. I did not want to use Liz, but in a close game the team needed every opportunity to try and win.’

The Rams pitchers were not helped by its defense, who committed six untimely errors. The Pioneers’ Cassidy Jagiela led off both innings in which the home team batted around. In the third inning two runs scored on free passes with the bases loaded. The big blast in the five-run fifth inning was a two-run single from Lauren Weidler.

“We did not play defense at all today,’ Kohler said. “We had at least six errors. You cannot give a team with their pitchers a five-run lead. It’s basically over.’

Weidler also received the win for her four innings in the circle in relief of Emily Groarke. The freshman fanned three and allowed four hits over the first three innings. While the non-league game was a chance to get everyone involved, winning a close game in front a large crowd, became the main focus for both sides.

“It’s a community thing and a lot of people are here,’ Benner said. “I went to Pennridge and it is a lot of fun. They had some better pitching than we have seen recently and we hit the ball well. We are excited to see Bristol at our place on Monday. If they win, they win the league, if we win, we get one more game.’

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