SELLERSVILLE >> Pennridge has been in playoff mode in recent days and on Friday night, the Rams played like they belong there.
Pennridge bats were active early, as the Rams racked up six hits in the first two innings alone.
Pennridge led 6-1 by the third and went on to a convincing 7-2 victory over rival Souderton.
Despite it being a night game, the Rams were early risers.
“We haven’t really done that,” left fielder Catelyn Thrush said. “We usually start up in the sixth inning. And that’s how we win most of our games, but it was nice to see us start off strong.”
Thrush reached base all four times she went to the plate, scoring twice and driving in three runs.
Pennridge had a dozen hits and got a solid outing from Anja Puketza, as the Rams – ranked 29th in District 1-6A coming in – greatly enhanced their playoff chances (24 teams get in).
“We were on the edge of going to the playoffs and not going to the playoffs so this means a lot to us,” Thrush said.
Souderton, ranked 14th in the district coming in, is also thinking playoffs. Big Red hit it hard in the later innings but Pennridge made the plays, with Reagan Bauman playing a fine game in center.
“The more we get to know each other, the more we come together. We just wanna play for each other instead of just for the wins,” Thrush said.
An RBI single by Cassandra Schillo (2-for-4) gave the Rams a 1-0 lead in the first against Big Red righty Abby Burns.
Pennridge plated three more in the second, keyed by a two-RBI double by Thrush. Grace Helbling’s sac fly brought in another.
“We struggled midseason trying to string some wins together, so it was nice to see how well the girls were hitting the ball,” Rams coach Wendy Iadonisi said. “We hit the ball well the other day too so we’re just trying to keep that momentum together.”
Sierra Ripka (2-for-4) doubled and scored on a double steal for Big Red, making it 4-1 in the third.
Pennridge stretched the lead to 6-1 in the bottom half, as a hard-hit chopper by Puketza (2-for-3) plated a run and another RBI hit by Thrush (3-for-4) plated another.
Pennridge was earning some redemption after being mercy-ruled by Big Red in the first meeting this year between the two Suburban One League Colonial Division rivals.
“We had some additional incentive coming in, trying to answer for that first game,” Iadonisi said.
Kayley York (2-for-2, BB) belted a triple in the sixth for the Indians to bring in a run and slice the margin to 6-2, but Pennridge completed the scoring in the bottom half, however, with an RBI double by Madi Silber (2-for-4).
Chloe Coughenour went 2-for-3 with a run for the Rams.
Puketza went the distance, allowing just one earned run off of five hits while striking out three and walking two.
“She did an amazing job,” Iadonisi said. “She was hitting her spots, mixing her speeds. I couldn’t ask for anything more of her.”
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