By BILL RUDICK
LIONVILLE — Put the ball in play, and good things will happen.
Wednesday afternoon, Downingtown East perfected that saying as they scored seven runs in the second inning, then Paige Warfel made the early outburst stand up in a convincing 8-1 Ches-Mont League National Division softball win over crosstown rival Downingtown West."It was great to see the kind of production we had today from the bottom of the order,' said East coach Brian Stackhouse. "We put the ball in play really well today, and took advantage of whatever opportunities we got.'
All but one of the nine runs scored in the game came in the second. West (5-4) struck first, getting on the board with a solo home run from Katy Steffon, who cleared the fence in deep center.
East (9-4) answered back in a big way, plating seven runs with only one extra base hit -- a two-run double from Bridget Nordberg that capped the inning."It's always great to get a win over West,' said Nordberg. "It was a big deal for us to get out in front like that getting Paige's back. Paige was pitching great, and the whole lineup really came through for her.'
East tallied the remaining runs on RBI singles from Aryah Aungst, Claire Riley, Courtney Flach, and Sara Ercolani."We might not have made any errors in the book in that inning,' said West coach Joey Germani. "But we walked too many and we were sloppy hitting our cutoffs. To their credit, they took advantage.'
The Cougars got either a run or a hit from all but one slot in the order, with Warfel, Aungst and Ercolani contributing two hits apiece.
"We're really starting to gel as a team,' said Stackhouse. "We missed having Sara in the lineup, so it's great seeing her back and playing the way she can. But every girl on this team is committed, and we're starting to play they we we're capable.' East tacked on an insurance run in the sixth. Pinch-hitter Amanda Violante kicked things off with a single, coming in to score when Warfel stroked a one-out double.
Warfel earned the victory, scattering seven hits, while striking out eight and walking two.
"Both my change and my curve were working well,' said Warfel. "It's huge to get a win over West. We started out kind of slow, but it seems like things are starting to turn around for us.'
After dropping four games early in the season, the Cougars suddenly find themselves right in the thick of the National division race. East now sits in third place, trailing Avon Grove and division-leading Henderson.
"We kind of dug ourselves a hole, but were climbing out of it,' said Stackhouse. "This is a good softball team, and we beat a good softball team today. There's a long way to go, and we're going to need a little help, but we're still in it.'
West, meanwhile, will look to rebound from a couple of tough losses. Getting starters like Amanda Sekinger and Jamie Rothenberger back helthy won't hurt.
"We've actually got three starters still out with injury,' said Germani. "We should get them back next week. Still, we didn't play badly today. But they strung together hits, and we didn't. That was the big difference in the game.'
Downingtown East 8, Downingtown West 1
WEST ab r h bi EAST ab r h biBurgette 2b 4 0 1 0 Warfel p 3 1 2 1
Hays cf 4 0 2 0 Aungst 3b 4 1 2 2
Fagan c 3 0 1 0 S. Ercolani ss 4 1 2 1
Melillo 1b 3 0 0 0 Nordberg c 2 1 1 2
Williams p 3 0 0 0 D. Ercolani cf 3 0 0 0
Steffen ss 3 1 2 1 Riley 1b 3 0 1 1
Wagner rf 3 0 0 0 Roth pr 0 1 0 0
Johnston 3b 2 0 1 0 Flach rf 3 1 1 1
Ryherd dp 3 0 0 0 Freas 2b 3 1 1 0
Andrus lf 0 0 0 0 Evans lf 2 1 0 0Totals 28 1 7 1 Totals 27 8 10 8
Downingtown West 010 000 0-- 1
Downingtown East 070 001 X-- 82B - Warfel, Nordberg, Fagan. HR -- Steffen.
IP H R BB SO
Downingtown WestWilliams, L 6 10 8 3 3Downingtown EastWarfel, W 7 7 1 2 8