UPPER DUBLIN — When games take little more than an hour to complete, there's often little to recap.
Save for an eventful first inning and a stellar pitching performance from Upper Dublin freshman Becca Matricardi, that was largely the case during the Cards' 3-2 over Norristown Thursday afternoon.
"She's really played very, very well,' Cardinal coach Heather Boyer said of Matricardi. "She doesn't act like a freshman — she's very composed, mature, and she's got a great demeanor on the mound.
"Things don't rattle here too much,' Boyer continued. "She really does maintain her composure for how young she is.'
Matricardi tossed a complete game for UD, striking out five while giving up a pair of runs on four hits.
She was short on words after the game — as many freshman are — but Matricardi offered a few thoughts on the adjustments she's had to make playing at the varsity level as a freshman.
"I've had to work a lot. It's a lot different being up here,' she said. "I was nervous at first, but now I'm getting the hang of it.'
Norristown's Stephanie Orman, another freshman, drove herself in the first after a home run to center, only to see the Cardinals answer with a three-spot in the bottom of the frame. Jacqueline Menamin led off the bottom of the inning with a walk and eventually came around to score on a passed ball, and an RBI single and fielders' choice by Sarah Weinberg and Mary-Kate McInerney, respectively, capped the Cardinal scoring for what ended up being the remainder of the afternoon.
Norristown tacked on another run in the sixth on Kathleen Watson's RBI groundout, but was unable to muster a rally in the seventh and went down 1-2-3 to end the game.
Despite the loss, Eagle coach Stephanie McCormick was encouraged by her team's performance.
"The girls played a hard, tough game,' McCormick said. "It's been a long time since we've even been on the field, and the girls played a great game.'
McCormick also had praise for Orman's performance thus far in the season, saying, "She's definitely one of our up-and-coming stars. It was pretty great for her to come out in our first away game and smack a home run.
"It boosts the morale of the team,' she went on. "It's definitely a positive to have her.'
Orman finished 1-3 on the day. Elsewhere for Norristown on the diamond, pitcher Allison Taylor turned in a solid outing in spite of the loss, going all six innings while striking out four and allowing only three hits across her final five frames.
Hyman and Rachel Stingal led the way at the plate for the Cards, each going 2-3 with a run scored.
As mentioned, UD struggled outside of the first inning, and squandered its only serious chance to pad a lead in the fifth when, with runners on second and third with only one out, the subsequent two Cardinal batters each grounded out harmlessly.
"We're right back at it tomorrow,' Boyer said. "Our motto early in the season is to win every inning and find a way to get runners on and get them across the plate.
"Live pitching and live hitting has been pretty minimal,' Boyer continued. "Now it's just a matter of getting them out there and getting their timing down. Their confidence will come with more reps.
"It's a process,' she went on, "and I'm not concerned at all.'
Norristown 2, Upper Dublin 3
Norristown: 1 0 0 0 0 1 0: 2
Upper Dublin: 3 0 0 0 0 0: 3
ab. r. h. rbi.
Rosetti SS: 3, 0, 0, 0
Orman 1B: 3, 1, 1, 1
Taylor P: 3, 1, 1, 0
Sinni 3B: 3, 0, 1, 0
Watson 2B: 3, 0, 1, 1
Mikalanis CF: 3, 0, 0, 0
Fineran LF: 3, 0, 0, 0
Gipe RF: 1, 0, 0, 0
Altieri RF: 2, 0, 0, 0
Ellick C: 3, 0, 0, 0
Total: 27, 2, 4, 2
2B hits: Sinni. 3B: none. HR: Orman. SB: Taylor.
ip. h. r. er. bb. k.
Taylor: 6, 5, 3, 2, 4, 4
ab. r. h. rbi.
Menamin 2B: 3, 1, 0, 0
Stingal SS: 3, 1, 2, 0
Weinberg RF: 2, 0, 0, 0
Hyman 3B: 3, 1, 2, 1
Cubit CF: 2, 0, 0, 0
Matricardi C: 2, 0, 0, 0
McInerney 1B: 3, 0, 1, 1
Gurian DH: 2, 0, 0, 0
Haber LF: 1, 0, 0, 0
Horn PH: 1, 0, 0, 0
2B hits: None. 3B: None. HR: None. SB: None.
ip. h. r. er. bb. k.
Matricardi: 7, 4, 2, 2, 0, 5