By: John Knebels
PHILADELPHIA – It was as though they heard an alarm clock and realized they were late for the airport.
Trailing 1-0 through five innings on a gorgeous April 4 afternoon, St. Hubert’s scored eight runs in the sixth inning and rode the complete game pitching of senior Lindsay Davies to an 8-1 victory over disappointed Little Flower.
In the sixth, nine of the 12 batters reached base for the host Bambies via five hits, three walks (one intentional), and a costly error.
“I don’t think when we’re down that it’s a time to get nervous,” said Hubert senior Jordan Frye. “You have to go back to your practices and your roots. Take a deep breath, go up to the plate, and do what you know how to do and hopefully start something.”
Hubert’s big inning started with a walk to Davies, followed by a Frye double and an intentional walk that loaded the bases.
Senior Erin Hogan patiently waited out a walk to tie the game, and three straight singles increased the lead to 4-1. Four batters later, Frye came up again and delivered a two-run triple to cap the scoring.
“I think our team really needed that,” said Frye, referring to seven different players knocking in runs. “It was definitely good to go into the last inning with a cushion.“
The player who appreciated the offensive explosion was Davies, who admitted that the warmer the weather, the better she pitches.
“The score really doesn’t matter much to me because my teammates are going to have my back at the end,” said Davies, who allowed only two hits and struck out 12. “We had a little bit of a cushion, so if an error was made, we would be okay.”
The win helped ease the frustration of a 6-5 loss to Archbishop Carroll two days earlier, a game Hubert’s led until late.
“We were very angry after that Carroll game,” said Hogan. “It was a little rough. We wanted to come out today and really prove to ourselves and to everybody else that we could do it. We needed this win, and we got it.”
Hubert coach Dave Schafer addressed his troops at practice on Wednesday and spoke frankly. The final message was that the Bambies needed to put the game behind them immediately.
“You have to give Carroll all of the credit in that game because they only got one ball out of the infield,” said Schaefer. “We made four mistakes, and their base running was the key.
“But we hit the ball and I knew we would eventually hit it today; it just took a matter of time today to get started. We had a couple of base running mistakes early, but we are very inexperienced.”
Asked about the improvement of teams such as Little Flower, Schafer recognized the Catholic League’s changing landscape, but also lauded Hubert’s winning reputation.
Little Flower sits in the middle of PCL standings with a 2-2 record - PSD Photo by John Knebels
Little Flower junior pitcher, Ginny Britto - PSD Photo
“I think our program has kind of stood on its own over the years so we’re always one of the top teams, so you’re going to have a bulls eye on your back,” said Schaeffer. “Other teams are going to try to judge how good they’re getting by the way they play us and a few other teams in the league. So we have to be at the top of our game.”
Although it’s difficult any time you come up six outs shy of beating a team like Hubert’s on the road, Little Flower has the look of a playoff squad. At 2-2, the Sentinels have defeated Archbishop Wood (10-9 in nine innings) and Conwell-Egan (11-7), and lost 6-5 to an undefeated Lansdale Catholic team.
According to Little Flower junior hurler Ginny Britto, the Sentinels are prepared for the long haul.
“This year our team is full of talent with a lot of potential,” said Britto. “We have really had to come together to get the job done, especially in our game versus Archbishop Wood.
“We have faced tough pitchers and good teams, but together we have what it takes. Whether we win or lose, we have great faith in one another on and off the field.”
At 4-0, Lansdale Catholic has won close games against Carroll and Little Flower while adding two victories via blowouts. On April 9, the Crusaders will visit defending champion Archbishop Ryan in a battle of two undefeated squads.
According to Lansdale Catholic senior Rebecca Tiley, the Crusaders are learning from some of last year’s lessons.
“After starting kind of slow with two big losses early in the season, we knew we had to come out strong this year,” said Tiley. “Those early losses turned out to cost us a run in districts and states.
“We have been practicing well and are looking forward to more games.”
Last year Lansdale Catholic advanced to the PCL championship. The Lady Crusaders sit a-top PCL standings at 4-0 looking - PSD Photo
Standings Through April 8
4-0 Lansdale Catholic
4-0 Cardinal O’Hara
3-0 Archbishop Ryan
3-1 Bonner Prendergast
3-1 Archbishop Carroll
2-2 St. Hubert
2-2 Little Flower
1-2 John W. Hallahan
1-3 Archbishop Wood
1-3 Bishop McDevitt
0-3 West Catholic
April 9 Schedule:
Lansdale Catholic at Archbishop Ryan
Archbishop Wood at West Catholic
Cardinal O’Hara at Little Flower
St. Hubert at Bishop McDevitt
Archbishop Carroll at John W. Hallahan
Neumann-Goretti at Conwell-Egan
(Contact John Knebels at Jknebels@gmail.com or on Twitter @johnknebels.)
Tag(s): Home Schools Philadelphia Catholic Softball Philadelphia Catholic League Arch. Carroll Softball Arch. Ryan Softball Arch. Wood Softball Bishop McDevitt Softball Bonner & Prendie Softball Cardinal O'Hara Softball Conwell-Egan Softball John W. Hallahan Softball Lansdale Cath. Softball Little Flower Softball Saint Hubert Softball Neumann/Goretti Softball West Catholic Softball