St. Basil blasts New Hope-Solebury in District 1-AA semifinals

WARMINSTER — For a split second St. Basil Academy found themselves behind as New Hope-Solebury clean-up hitter, Logan Mohr, plated a run off an RBI single in the top of the first on Tuesday afternoon. Fortunately for the Panthers, that lead wouldn’t last long as they responded to score seven of their own runs in the bottom of the first on their way to a five inning 15-2 trouncing of the Lions in the first round of the District 1-AA playoffs.

It all started for Basil when Amanda Clark, their power hitting catcher, stepped up to the plate to face New Hope-Solebury starting pitcher, Shae Black, and absolutely crushed a two-run home run over the right field fence that she said she knew was gone from the moment she hit it.

“Oh yeah, I knew it,’ said Clark. “I just got it on the sweet spot and knew it was going out.’

It didn’t stop at just Clark, Basil hit a total of five extra base hits in the first inning to score seven runs and respond to the early offense from their opponents.

“It was important to respond because we’ve had a really up and down year where one day we look like world beaters and the next time out we’re not sure what team is showing up,’ said St. Basil head coach Steve Sonneborn. “When we gave up a run it was a like ‘ oh no’ but then we knew Amanda (Clark) has been hitting the ball really well and she came out and hit the two-run homer and that just kind of lifted us up again so it was really good.’

Basil’s hitting dominated the Lions’ pitching all afternoon. The top of the lineup, Abby Carter and Myranda Gormley, combined for four hits on the afternoon, and that allowed all the big bats in the order to do what they do best, put runs on the board.

The home run wasn’t the only big hit for Clark on the day. She hit an RBI double later in the game to finish the afternoon 2-for-4 with three RBI’s.

“She’s been hitting the ball real well for us this year,’ said Sonneborn. “She leads the team in RBI’s and home runs this year so she’s our big gun there, but it all starts with the beginning of our lineup. Abby Carter and Myranda (Gormley) set the tone for us and then we are just able to let the 3-4-5 hitters go up there and do their thing.’

The middle of the lineup wasn’t the only part that did their thing in this one. Eight different players managed to record an RBI, proving that the Panthers could have the balanced hitting they’ll need to repeat as District 1-AA champions.

As for the their pitching, that was strong as usual.

Basil ace, Nichole Eberhard, responded after giving up the early run and went on to record the victory. The senior struck out six and did not allow another earned run for the rest of the afternoon in just four innings in the circle.

“She was throwing the ball real well,’ said Sonneborn. “She’s been our ace all year and we’re going to stay with her and we’ll live or die with her on the mound.’

Up next for Basil is a familiar foe on a familiar stage. They’ll play Christopher Dock, a team they’ve faced the past two years in the District 1-AA title game, for the right to call themselves champions.

“I think knowing its one and done is something that will make them hungry,’ said Sonneborn. “If it ends up being Dock, they have a very good team. The last two years we’ve played them for districts and they beat us once and we beat them once so this is the rubber match and if we bring our ‘ A’ game we can play with them, so we’ll have to bring our ‘ A’ game.’

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