Pennsbury back on track with win over Conwell-Egan

FAIRLESS HILLS — Conwell-Egan Catholic (CEC) made a bunch of good plays in the field Friday afternoon (May 8) at home against Suburban One League (SOL) National Conference rival Pennsbury. The Eagles could have used a few more however as the Falcons took advantage of two mistakes made by CEC in the second inning to escape Egan with a 4-2 non-league triumph, their first win in their last four tries.

Coming off three straight losses including a 14-1 loss the night before to SOL National rival Neshaminy, Pennsbury was desperately looking for a win.

The Falcons got it, thanks to three unearned runs they scored in the second inning on a pair of errors made at third base.

“They’re a good hitting team,’ said Eagles head coach Sandy Hart. “You can’t afford to make mistakes against a team like that. If you do, they make sure they take advantage of it.’

That’s exactly what Pennsbury did.

Ahead 1-0 on Dani Litwin’s RBI double in the first inning, the Falcons put a pair of runners on board in the next frame on singles by outfielder Madie McQuaid and third baseman Mia Pitt. When the runners advanced on a ground ball to short by leadoff Marguerite Salamone, the Eagles needed just one more out to exit the inning unscathed. A bunt slapped down the third base line by Sydney Jakimowicz and another grounder to third by Litwin were mishandled however, and just like that, Pennsbury was on top, 4-0.

Eventually, Conwell-Egan got a pair of runs back — one in the fifth and one in the seventh. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as the Eagles fell to 10-10, overall on the season. CEC is 9-3 in the Philadelphia catholic League, however.

For the Falcons, the win was looked upon as a lifeline, coming off an emotional 14-1 loss to SOL National leader Neshaminy Thursday night, May 7 at Bristol’s Memorial ballfields.

“The biggest thing for us was coming off last night’s very emotional game that certainly didn’t go the way we had hoped it would go,’ said Pennsbury head coach Frank McSherry. “When something like that happens, there’s a tendency to let down so I think we did a nice job of digging deep here today.’

“Conwell’s pitcher — Alexis — pitched a real nice game and they made some really good defensive plays,’ said McSherry. “Second base made a great play catching a ball over her head.

“When you get in games like this you have to scratch out a run, or two, or three.’

McSherry was speaking of a play by CEC senior infielder Alex Kinal, who made a leaping grab of a ball that appeared to be slapped over her head. Kinal — all five feet of her — leaped up, back and to her left and somehow, when she flipped over backwards, came up with the ball for out number two. It was a good thing too, since Salamone — the next batter — hit an ensuing single to left field.

That wasn’t the only standout defensive play made by the Eagles. Leftfielder Kate Moss made at least three putouts of sinking fly balls slapped to the outfield by the Falcons. She more than likely would have made it four had she not had some interference from her centerfielder in the sixth inning that put left fielder Jess Patterson on second base.

Not to worry. CEC senior shortstop Ellie Murray stabbed a liner drilled up the middle by Jenn Brady then placed the tag on Patterson, completing Egan’s third double play of the afternoon.

Kinal started the first double play in the third inning, stabbing a line shot by Arden Rabiger then throwing to first to double up Pennsbury pitcher Alyssa Hileman on first. After a Dani Liwin single to lead off the fifth inning, Murray started a 6-4-3 double play that ended the frame.

“I give a lot of credit to the pitcher, Lex, for hitting her spots and getting the batter to hit where we can turn the double play,’ said Kinal.

For her part, Eagles starter Alexis Gartner, who pitched all seven innings, gave up four runs — only one earned run — on six hits while walking two batters and striking out one.

Conwell-Egan left runners on base in every inning but the sixth. In total, the Eagles stranded seven baserunners.

“We’ve been practicing a lot with key hits and tightening up our defense,’ said Kinal. “I really think compared to the beginning of the season and a few weeks ago, we really came up today.

“Against Pennsbury, we didn’t let them get much.

Ironically, Hileman — the freshman in the circle for the injured Casey Boltersdorf — surrendered the same number of hits, walked the same number of batters and ad the same number of strikeouts.

“She hit her spots very nicely and the field behind her was solid so it made her look even better,’ said Litwin.

Truth be told, the Falcons made five errors in the contest.

“No team is perfect so we do have errors every now and then but nothing too bad,’ explained Litwin.

Pennsbury was 9-5 overall before suffering losses to Robbinsville, Truman and Neshaminy. Now the 10-8 10-8 Falcons — wo are 5-7 in the SOL — are trying to salvage their season.

“It’s been an interesting season but we are pulling together,’ said Litwin. “It’s been up and down but we are pulling together as a team.’

Coming off a season in which it advanced to the District 1-AAAA quarterfinals, Pennsbury has to make a good showing in SOL National duels it has next week at home with Council Rock South (Monday) and on the road against William Tennent (Wednesday).

The Falcons beat both teams the first time around so it’s not out of the question.

“That’s the goal,’ said McSherry. “If we can win those, we’ll probably make the playoffs; if we have rough outings next week, we could be in trouble.’

Pennsbury received some good news this week in hearing that right fielder Alyssa Civil — who had been out with a concussion — has been cleared to play next week.

Good thing as the Falcons are going to need every body they can get.

NOTES: Conwell-Egan was without the services of sophomore Alyssa Adams, who plays first base when she is not pitching.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply