Late rally gives Lady Knights 12th straight win

North+Penn%27s+Julia+Shearer+loads+up+to+swing+at+a+pitch+in+the+6th+inning+of+Tuesday%27s+game+against+CB+East.

Colin Davis

North Penn’s Julia Shearer loads up to swing at a pitch in the 6th inning of Tuesday’s game against CB East.

Towamencin – A close game is not very common for the Lady Knights. Only four games this year have been decided by less than 3 runs. Coming into Tuesday’s matchup with CB East, North Penn owned a +116 run differential and was riding a hot streak. So when finding themselves in a 1 run game in the 7th and CB East having the bases loaded, most would think the Lady Knights would be a bit off guard. If anything, it was expected. 

“To be honest, a game like this is something I expected,” North Penn coach Rick Torresani said. “I told them I’m just glad it happened today and not next week.”

Senior Mady Volpe shut the door and struck out the final batter to get out the bases loaded jam and get the win. A huge show of emotion by Volpe visualized how intense the situation was and Torresani prefers when his pitcher gets emotional. 

“I wish she did it a lot more, she gets mad,” Torresani said. “She’s usually humble and I have to tell her to get mad. When she gets mad I’m not sure if anyone can really hit her.”

She’s usually humble and I have to tell her to get mad. When she gets mad I’m not sure if anyone can really hit her.”

— Rick Torresani, Head Softball Coach

Volpe got her run support on RBIs from sophomores Sara Sabocsik and Bri Wilmot and freshman Gianna Cimino. Sophomore Julia Shearer went 2-3 with 2 runs scored in the contest as well. After struggling in the middle innings, the offense strung together hits for a 2 runs 6th inning that proved to be the deciding factor. 

“We just had to adjust,” Shearer said. “Whether it was to the strike zone or the pitching, once we adjusted we got some runs.”

The scoring started early as Shearer led off North Penn’s half of the inning with a double in the first inning. After stealing a base, Shearer scored on a grounder to the right side by Sabocsik, giving the Lady Knights an early 1-0 lead. 

The Patriots returned fire in the 4th. After a single and a walk, senior Bailey Shellborn got a ball into the outfield that scored a run and tied the game at 1. Volpe ended the inning and got out of it with her 10th strikeout of the game.

A clear pitchers duel was in the making and both offenses were quiet until the 6th inning. Shearer once again led off the inning with a double that sparked some energy into North Penn’s dugout.

“I just wanted to set an example for my teammates,” Shearer said. “When someone gets things started usually we are able to rally.”

A walk and a bunt single setup Wilmot in a 1 out and bases loaded situation. Wilmot lined a single into the outfield which scored one and kept the bases open. Cimino also hit a hard hit ball that wasn’t fielded cleanly in right and another run came in to score.

“That’s how you win playoff games,” Torresani said. “When you see great pitching sometimes you have to play small ball.” 

The Patriots would not go down quietly in the 7th. Sophomore Kayla Mitchell led off the inning getting to second due to an error in the outfield. The next hitter sat down on strikes to get the first out. Sophomore Elizabeth Gray got an infield single and advanced to second where no one was covering. Senior Alex Frenia grounded out to the right side and that scored Mitchell, cutting the deficit to just 1. An error and walk loaded the bases for East with 2 outs. Volpe showed off her composure and struck out the final hitter to get the win. 

“That’s the type of pitching you need,” Torresani said. “She goes out there and says ‘I’m going to strike this girl out’. No one can really hit her when she does that.”

Getting a clutch win on senior night can do nothing but positive for a team. North Penn currently sits very comfortably in the District rankings, currently in the number 3 spot heading into playoffs. North Penn hosts Perkiomen Valley in a game that won’t count towards District standings on Wednesday afternoon at 3:45pm.