TOWAMENCIN >> Carley DiGiuseppe picked out a pitch she liked and pounced on it.
“It was a beautiful pitch,” the North Penn sophomore described. “It was a little outside, not too much in the middle. And it was just right there.”
DiGiuseppe belted it into the gap in right center, doubling in Elia Namey with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to give the Knights a thrilling 1-0 win over Hatboro-Horsham Friday.
“It felt amazing,” DiGiuseppe said. “(On Thursday in a win over Quakertown), I didn’t really have that good of a game. I came in today with a different mindset. When I went up to the plate, I was nervous, but when I heard the girls cheering me on in the background, it really boosted me up.
“It was amazing, a great experience. I knew I wanted to do it for my team.”
Seventh-inning heroics along with another stellar performance on the mound by Mady Volpe made the difference for the Knights, in a battle of two Suburban One League powers.
“That’s a playoff-type game,” said Knights coach Rick Torresani, who has his team one win away from clinching the Continental title outright — their next conference contest is home on Tuesday against Central Bucks West. “These are the kind of games you gotta win when it comes time for the playoffs.
“It’s two rivals and (Hatters coach) Joe (DiFilippo) and I are real good friends. (Pitcher Kendal Leitner) did a real good job and held us in check until the last inning. I was very pleased with the way we hung in there.”
Leitner limited the Knights to four hits, including two in the seventh. The right hander struck out eight and walked two.
“We proved that we can stick with the best,” said Leitner, whose squad is 10-5 (9-2 in the SOL American), with home games against Lansdale Catholic and conference foe Cheltenham slated for Monday and Tuesday.
The right-hander had tremendous success with the curveball and screwball.
“We worked them in and worked them out,” she said.
Meanwhile, Volpe was getting it done for the unbeaten Knights (15-0, 9-0 in the Continental). She struck out nine, walked two, and allowed six hits. Only once did she permit the Hatters to get a runner on with less than two outs.
“She pitched really well,” Torresani said. “One of her pitches wasn’t working today so we stopped using it. And then we just went with the fastball. She hit her spots, with a couple change-ups here and there.”
Hatboro loaded the bases in the third but Volpe struck out Britt Hubler to end the inning. The Hatters later got back-to-back singles from Alicia Tauber and Britt Hubler, but again Volpe came through, striking out Melissa Rapino to keep things scoreless.
It remained 0-0 until the bottom of the seventh, when Namey led things off with a single, Jamie Beer moved her over with a sacrifice bunt, and with two outs, DiGiuseppe sent one into the gap in right center.
“These games are tight,” the sophomore said. “There’s suspense, anxiety, and it just pumps you up more.”