BUCKTOWN >> There won’t be a repeat undefeated champion in 2016.
Six errors coupled with a dominating pitching effort from the opposition will tend to put an undefeated season to rest.
For Owen J. Roberts, its early undefeated start took a blow after a forgetful first three innings put them in an early hole before Methacton pitcher Megan Stauffer shut the door on any comeback hopes in the Wildcats’ 5-2 loss Friday afternoon.
“It’s early on and we’re still trying to get the kinks out,” OJR first-year head coach Jen Beaver said. “We’re definitely disappointed in the loss because the rest of the game we played great defensively. However, in those innings where we made all those errors, it really hurt us badly.”
OJR (3-1 PAC-10 and overall) couldn’t do much right defensively in the first three innings, its six errors a season high. Methacton (3-1 PAC-10, 4-2 overall) scratched a run across in the first when Aubrey Seal (who reached base on an error and moved to second after the ball went out of play) scored from third on an error from the OJR third baseman.
The second brought more trouble for the Wildcats. Sam Weil-Kaspar led off the inning with a single before Abby Penjuke laced a double to deep right to move Lauren Rhoads (courtesy runner for Weil-Kaspar) to third. Natalie Damato followed with a single to load the bases before Seal lined out to the OJR shortstop, who then tried to double up Rhoads at third, firing the ball out of play to allow two runs to score. Annalese Olivieri then reached base on an error to allow Damato to come home to make it 4-0. The Warriors got another run in the third via an error before Stauffer took care of the rest.
And boy did she deliver.
Stauffer rebounded from the team’s 4-0 loss to Boyertown in a big way, scattering six hits while allowing one earned and striking out four.
Stauffer, a Monmouth commit, worked the minimum in the first, third and fourth and didn’t find herself in trouble until the seventh when OJR tried to rally. After allowing a Casey Walker triple, a sacrifice fly from Darby Stuart and a Nikki MacMullin single, the senior settled down to get the next Wildcat hitter to ground back to the rubber for the easy out and the win.
“It was a pretty big win for us,” Stauffer said. “OJR is a big rival for us. We beat them in the PAC-10 championship in 2014 and last year the games were always close so it’s big to get a win here.
“All my pitches were working pretty well. It was a little bit cold out so I just wanted to focus on my spins. My change-up was also working really well. I worked on getting that low over the week and it worked well for me today.”
NOTES >> Alissa Vining allowed four hits and struck out four in the loss, she also had two hits. … OJR’s loss creates a logjam in the early PAC-10 standings with five teams (OJR, Methacton, Spring-Ford, Perkiomen Valley and Pottsgrove) currently sitting in first place at 3-1 in the league.