PHILADELPHIA >> The Suburban One League was one out away from the championship game.
With a one-run lead in the seventh inning, the SOL appeared on its way to the Carpenter Cup final after it turned an impressive doubleplay to clear the bases with the bottom of Jersey Shore’s lineup looming.
The Shore’s No. 8 hitter ripped a triple to the left field fence and raced home to tie the game when the relay throw missed the cutoff. The Shore added five runs in the top of the eighth inning and the SOL’s Carpenter Cup run ended with a 6-2 loss in the semifinals at FDR Park Wednesday afternoon.
“There is a little frustration but it’s nothing big,” Souderton rising senior Sierra Miller said of being so close. “It’s just the game of softball. Things happen and there’s nothing you can really do about it except try and come back.”
“It was pretty frustrating but we played our hardest,” North Penn rising junior Bella Nunn added. “We had a lot of fun all playing together.”
The go-ahead run in the top of the eighth scored on a bases-loaded walk and the lead doubled on an error. The Shore took a 4-1 lead on a wild pitch and extended its advantage to 6-1 on a two-run single.
SOL’s Hannah DeFinis (Pennsbury) made it 6-2 with a pinch-hit RBI single in the bottom of the eighth, but that’s as close as the home team would get.
Miller broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the sixth to give SOL a 1-0 lead. Ava Storlazzi (Pennsbury) reached with a one-out single and moved to second on a Marissa Perez (Plymouth Whitemarsh) groundout. Miller followed with a two-out single passed a diving second baseman to get SOL on the board.
“(The pitcher) was hitting mostly outside,” Miller, who went 2-for-4 in the game, said, “so I knew she was going to come back inside. I took a step off the plate just to prepare myself and she hit right inside. I knew what to do.”
Lainey Freiband (Pennsbury) took the loss for SOL. In four innings she allowed six runs on five hits while walking two batters.
Nunn started and threw four shutout innings. She struck out five batters to two walks while allowing three hits.
Earlier in the day, SOL defeated Delaware North, 3-0, in the quarterfinals.
Nunn also started the first game and threw four shutout innings. She earned the win, allowing one hit while striking out two batters to no walks.
The right-hander hasn’t had many opportunities to pitch at North Penn during her first two high school seasons. The Knights had pitchers win the Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year award the last two seasons – Mady Volpe in 2020-21 and Julia Shearer in 2021-22. Nunn took advantage of her chance to pitch at the Carpenter Cup.
“I learned a lot (from Volpe and Shearer),” she said. “I learned how to hold yourself together when you get into sticky situations. Just watching them pitch is amazing because they’re so good.
“It was good to be able to get my name out there and show that I can pitch and I’m not just a bench player at North Penn. It was nice to show people what I can do.”
Perez went 3-for-3 with an RBI and run scored in the win over Delaware North. She singled home Grace Christie in the bottom of the third before scoring when Nunn grounded into an error.
Despite coming up short of the championship, SOL players enjoyed their experience in South Philadelphia.
“It was really fun to get together with girls that are usually your rivals,” Nunn said. “Now you’re all rooting for each other. I had a good time.”
“It was really fun meeting new people and getting to know everybody because usually we’re rivals,” Miller added. “It was nice actually meeting them and not be rivals like that.”
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