Photo by Bill Rudick
Photo by Bill Rudick

WEST GOSHEN--The biggest difference between the West Chester East and Henderson softball teams Friday was a simple matter of execution. When the Vikings had opportunities to push runs across, they executed and scored. Henderson, meanwhile, left eight runners on base, including twice leaving the bases loaded.

The end result was a 5-1 victory for West Chester East over its crosstown rival in Ches-Mont League National Division action.

"You don't always need a grand slam,' said Henderson coach Sarah Norris. "Sometimes a single up the middle is all you need. It all comes down to execution and toughness, mental and emotional toughness as well as physical.'

It started with the very first hitter in the first inning for the Vikings. Olivia Francoromano drew a lead-off walk. Amy Atwell moved her up with a sacrifice bunt on a close play at first. Then, with two outs, Sarah McDade brought Francoromano home with a single.

East struck again in the second, plating a trio of runs on a single base hit. Taylor Judge and Olivia Rogers drew back-to-back walks. It was the first of three times that Rogers worked the count to a free pass. A single to right off the bat off Carolyn Degurski brought Judge home, while a sacrifice fly to center from Steph Botag scored courtesy runner. All of a sudden, it was 4-0 on just two hits for the Vikings.

'I thought we executed very well in the early going,' said Vikings coach Chuck Lindsay. "That first inning was a perfect example of how to manufacture a run -- walk, sacrifice them over, RBI single.'

Henderson got on the board in the fourth, when Allie Barnes hit a bullet into right field to score Miranda Mikelson, who had reached on a walk. The Warriors (3-2) then loaded the bases with just one out, but Rogers bore down and got out of the inning with a weak pop up and a slow roller to first.

"I always know my team has my back,' said Rogers. "I'm not going to get a lot of strikeouts, so it's good to know I have a team behind me that is going to make the defensive plays we need to make. I might get credit for the victory in the box score, but it's really a team win for our defense.'

Rogers allowed just one run, scattering five hits — two of which came from Henderson's Lauren Butts. Rogers struck out two and walked three."It's always nice to get a win over Henderson,' said Rogers. "We know so many of the girls over there, and they are always such a good team, you know you've done something if you can get a win over them. And they are our biggest rival on top of it.'The Vikings got one more run when Steph Batog singled up the middle to knock in Hill, who had stolen second after coming in to run for Rogers. It was the second run batted in for Batog.

"I always just try to get ahead in the count,' said Batog. "On this team, we really just seem to feed off one another. Once one of us gets on base or we put runners in scoring position, we all just seem to do what we need to do to get those runners home.'The Vikings improve to 5-0 in the Ches-Mont and are getting it done by playing loose and having fun."Sometimes it's loose to a fault,' said Lindsay. "There were a couple times today where they were a bit too aggressive and ran ourselves into outs when we might have been able to score a few more runs. But I'm OK with it. This is just a happy, goofy group of girls that just seems to really enjoy playing softball with the other girls on the team. It's a great bunch.'

W.C. East 5, W.C. Henderson 1

HEND ab r h bi EAST ab r h biFriedman cf 4 0 0 0 Francrmano 2b 2 1 1 0

T. Fouracra 2b 4 0 0 0 Atwell cf 2 0 0 0

McCollester c 3 0 1 0 Andraos dp 1 0 0 0

Mikelson ss 2 1 0 0 McDade ss 2 0 1 1

M. Butts 1b 2 0 0 0 Judge 1b 1 1 0 0

Barnes rf 3 0 1 1 Rogers p 0 0 0 0

L. Butts p 3 0 2 0 Hill cr 0 2 0 0

Harris lf 3 0 1 0 Degurski c 3 1 1 1

A. Fouracre 3b 3 0 0 0 Ludovico 3b 3 0 0 0

Batog rf 2 0 1 2

Bond lf 0 0 0 0Totals 27 1 5 1 Totals 17 5 4 4

Henderson 000 100 0-- 1

W.C. East 130 100 X-- 5

IP H R BB SO

HendersonL. Butts, L 6 4 5 7 6W.C. EastRogers, W 7 5 1 3 2