TOWAMENCIN >> Sarah Sabocsik’s day included two titanic home runs and a Gatorade bath provided by her teammates, as North Penn went screaming into the district semifinals with a 13-0, five-inning victory over Ridley on Friday.
“It definitely shows what we can do,” Sabocsik said of North Penn’s impressive District 1-6A quarterfinal outburst. “We’re really excited. We’ve been waiting for this all year.”
Sabocsik’s fifth-inning grand slam was the grand finale for a North Penn team that has now scored 24 runs in two district contests. The top-seeded Knights (22-0) advanced to Tuesday’s semis against Plymouth Whitemarsh and also locked up a spot in states.
“It definitely feels great – it puts us into states, which we’re all really excited about,” said Sabocsik, North Penn’s catcher and No. 2 hitter. “(My performance at the plate today) feels great because I had been struggling a little bit lately and it definitely helps boost my confidence and it helped the team out.”
There is still life for No. 8 Ridley, which will host Pennridge Tuesday in a loser’s bracket contest. The loser of that game is eliminated.
Paige McLaughlin and Caitlyn Senkow legged out infield singles in the fifth for the Raiders.
“It wasn’t our day. North Penn did a great job and (pitcher Julia Shearer) really shut us down,” said Ridley coach Brooke Roark. “The best we can do is fight on Tuesday and try to keep it going.”
It was another masterful performance by Shearer – on the mound and at the plate.
She fired a no-hitter into the fifth, racking up 10 strikeouts, and offensively she went a robust 3-for-3 with a double, home run, four runs and four RBI’s.
Shearer and Sabocsik belted home runs on back-to-back pitches in the fourth.
Said Sabocsik: “You never really see that happen so that was definitely something.”
Sabocsik finished with six RBI’s in the victory, thanks in part to her game-ending grand slam in the fifth.
“I was just trying to put the ball in play – something out of the infield,” she said. “Luckily it went over so that was something.”
North Penn scored in every inning against a tough pitcher in right hander Jolie Torrens. Bella Nunn, Casey Sokol and Reyna Doherty all scored multiple runs for the high-powered Knights.
“They are just so psyched and they’re playing well fundamentally. They’re getting the clutch hits, they’re playing well defensively and Julia’s pitching great,” Knights coach Rick Torresani said. “They’re playing relaxed and you can see it. It’s a joy to watch. The whole team – one through nine – is doing so well.”
Said Torresani of his senior catcher: “She doesn’t miss a thing behind the plate. And now all of a sudden she’s hitting over .500, she’s hitting bombs and that one-two (Shearer and Sabocsik) is tough to face.”
District 1-6A Quarterfinals
North Penn 13, Ridley 0 (5)
(8) Ridley 000 00 – 0 2 1
(1) North Penn 131 35 – 13 13 0
WP: Julia Shearer (5IP, 0R, 2H, 10K, 1BB).
LP: Jolie Torrens (3+IP, 8R, 8ER, 9H, 3K, 2BB).
HR: NP-Shearer, Sarah Sabocsik 2. 2B: NP-Shearer, Annabelle Smink.
Multiple Hits: NP-Shearer 3-for-3, BB, 3R, 4RBI; Sabocsik 2-for-2, 2 SAC, 2R, 6RBI; Smink 2-for-3, RBI; Casey Sokol 2-for-3, 2R; Reyna Doherty 2-for-3, 2R, RBI.
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