Knights season comes to end in thriller


Prasham Jobanputra

The Rams celebrate after their extra inning victory

BETHLEHEM- It was a game that every softball player dreams about from the moment they start playing.  A playoff game that went 11 innings and included an outstanding pitching duel.

At the end of an 11-inning affair, the North Penn Knights (22-3) lost to the Central Dauphin Rams  2-0 in the state quarterfinals at Moravian College.

“In playoff softball there’s three things that you gotta do.  You gotta get good pitching, defense, and timely hitting. Today, we just didn’t get the timely hitting,” Head Coach Rick Torresani said.

What a battle in the circle, that’s all that can be said about this one.  Central Dauphin’s pitcher, Sam Gress, and North Penn’s Mady Volpe put on a clinic to show why they’re some of the best at the position in beautiful Pennsylvania.  Gress gave up 4 hits and walked 3 batters (one hit by the pitch) while giving up no runs and striking out 17. Volpe gave up 4 hits, 2 runs, and walked 4 (one intentionally), while striking out 18.

Prasham Jobanputra
Mady Volpe delivers the pitch.

“I was really trying to keep them off balance and I was throwing a lot of riseballs and changeups but they just got the clutch hit and that what happens especially with two amazing teams,” Volpe said.

In the top of the third, the Rams worked the bases loaded with 2 outs but Volpe, calm and composed, went to work as she got Tyler White to swing and miss on a 2-2 count and ended the inning.  In the bottom of the ninth, the Knights gained some momentum. Jordan Pietrzykoski walked and Elia Namey hit a single. Then Jamie Beer put together possibly the best at-bat of the Knights season as she saw 17 pitches.  After foul ball after foul ball, Beer walked and the bases were loaded with 2 outs, but Gress got out of a jam herself by striking Carley DiGiuseppe.

“Every pitch I was like this is the one, I’m gonna do it here, and then I would foul it off and then I’d be like alright the next one is the one and I’d foul it off again.  I wasn’t looking for a walk. I was really looking to put the ball in play so I could score that run for my team,” Beer said.

In the top of the 11th, Tyler White got her revenge as she came through with a double to score 2 runs.  The Knights looked for one last bit of magic to save their season but just ran out of it. Gress got a 1-2-3 inning to put an end to the Knights season.

“It was a great season.  The kids all worked hard from last September.  They accomplished a couple goals, we didn’t get all of our goals accomplished but they worked extremely hard, they worked together.  I think they all learned something from the season and a lot of hard work to make good things happen and we had a lot of good things happen.  I’m gonna miss the seniors, a lot of great leadership there and it was a lot of fun. Just a tough ending,” Coach Torresani said.