First inning sparks Souderton over Lansdale Catholic

FRANCONIA >> The ball zipped off Maggie Wunder’s bat, a good rip that looked destined to land in the outfield for a hit.

That was until Savannah Bostwick flew into the air in the first base gap and wrapped her glove around the ball, robbing Wunder of a hit. It was a huge play on the first batter of the game but there was only one thing on the second baseman’s mind as she made the catch.

“I was thinking ‘where is the ground, where is the ground,’” Bostwick said. “I don’t know, I just got up there. It was pretty awesome. She would have been on base and I think that was definitely the kind of oomph we needed in a way.”

The first inning has been tough on Souderton all season, but Friday afternoon the Indians had a really good opening frame and they carried it through a 10-0, six inning non-league win over visiting Lansdale Catholic.

Indians pitcher Alex Scheeler was terrific, allowing just two hits, the defense had her back and the bats came to life, especially late. After being shelled by Central Bucks East on Thursday, Souderton (4-4) made a couple of changes but it was the team’s attitude that had just as much impact.

“We’re just shaking it up a little bit, seeing what everyone can do and what works,” Indians coach Steph Rummel said. “Some days it works, some days it doesn’t. We’re trying to switch people around, see what our best fit is and it seemed to work today. I also think the attitude today was much better than yesterday.”

After Bostwick’s grab helped Scheeler to a 1-2-3 first inning, the Indians were provided a golden chance to make a dent in the scoreboard. After Bostwick singled with two outs in the bottom of the first, an error allowed Missy Wiley to reach and bring Scheeler to the dish.

The sophomore pitcher delivered with a single to plate Bostwick, then another error allowed Wiley and Scheeler to come in and put the hosts up 3-0.

“The game was over in the first inning,” Crusaders (6-3) coach Paul Suder said. “We didn’t hit. (Bostwick) takes a hit away, then we throw away a ground ball where we should have been out of the inning and we gave up three runs. That definitely makes a difference. If that ball drops, who knows.”

Though LC was down just three runs, with the way Scheeler was pitching, that was enough. She gave up a leadoff double to Shannon Hill to start the second, then retired the next three in order to end the inning.

From that point in the second until a two-out single by Wunder in the sixth inning, Scheeler retired 14 straight batters and didn’t walk any LC hitters in the game.

“Everything was working, all my pitches were working and the team was getting along better, which helps me to throw a little better,” Scheeler said. “It makes me relax a little more. I feel like that set the game, we were focused for the whole game and didn’t give up.”

Scheeler said getting a hit and helping her cause gave her much more confidence going back out to the circle. Friday, she had senior Dayna Shelly behind the plate while Gigi Kehler played first and freshman Jen Klepfer took over in right field, moving Bri Neely to Shelly’s spot in left.

Shelly drew a walk to open the third, then came in to score on a well-struck double by Bostwick to left field for a 4-0 lead. The errors in the first hurt Hill, LC’s starter, but she threw well the next four innings until Souderton’s bats caught fire in the sixth.

Singles by Wiley and Scheeler opened the frame, followed by an RBI double by Neely though Hill was able to throw out a second run at home on a relay. An error and walk by Klepfer loaded the bases, Neely scored on a passed ball then Jordan Peacock drove in two runs with a long single.

A base hit by Angie Carty pushed Souderton to 9-0 then the fleet-footed senior scored the game-ending run on an error the very next batter.

“We always say it’s you and the next person, if they hit, you hit and if they don’t, you pick them up,” Bostwick said. “It’s always back-to-back and I think that came together today.”

Suder said his team’s schedule was a bit soft in the early stages, so Friday’s game could be a sign to his players it’s time to step it up. Souderton meanwhile gears up for the second half of SOL Continental play, starting with a road trip to Hatboro-Horsham on Tuesday.

Scheeler said that Friday’s win was what the team needed going into next week, re-establishing some confidence in front of some big games. The pitcher also noted that everyone played well Friday and that’s the type of showing the Indians will need moving forward, something Bostwick echoed.

“Everyone played really well where they were so I think we’re going to come back a lot stronger than we were,” Bostwick said. “I just think we are going to put up a fight the second time around (the conference.)”

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