FRANCONIA TOWNSHIP — The ball was flying over the fence at Souderton Area High School as the Indians hosted Central Bucks South in a Suburban One League Continental Conference softball game.
Four home runs were hit, three by Souderton and one by the Titans. But they didn't decide the outcome of the game.
The game was won by Souderton on a walk.
A big sixth inning had put South on top 5-4. But the Indians came back to score two in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 6-5 victory.
In that seventh frame, Souderton used three singles and a walk to score the tying run and to load the bases on South pitcher Hailey Warner. Then Katie Kehler worked on Warner and finally drove in the winning run with a base on balls."It was very strange,' said Souderton coach Steph Rummel. "We were all a little off there for a second."Katie struggled in her at-bats earlier but you could tell she wanted it. She wasn't going to let her (Warner) win.'
Kehler took the first two pitches from Warner for balls. But Warner came back with a pair of strikes before issuing the third ball and then the final one to force Amanda Brush home from third."The more that we battled, the more they battled,' Rummel said. "We didn't give up at the very end and, since we had the advantage of the last at-bats, that came up big for us.'
It got to that point in the seventh when Angie Carty led off with a single. She went to second on Brush's hit and scored on Dayna Shelly's single to tie the game.
South walked Haley Delaney intentionally to load the bases. But Warner rallied and struck out Missy Wiley for the second out of the inning.
Kehler came up with the game riding on her at-bat. And she came through for the Indians."We did what we wanted to do,' South coach Dan Hayes said. "We walked Delaney to load the bases and then got the next girl to strike out and then we lose it on a walk."It's a disappointing way to lose a game.'
The Souderton players also knew that, while a win is always good, it was a strange way to win a game."It was all kind of weird,' Dayna Shelly said. "You're not used to ending on a walk."You want to get back up when you're down and we just got pumped up again at the end. We pulled it through.'
It might have been a strange way to end a game but the build-up to that point wasn't strange at all. It was a display of power.
Paige Shelly got things started for the Indians. With one out in the bottom of the third inning, she belted one of Warner's pitches over the wall for a 1-0 lead.
The Titans came right back, tying the score in the top of the fifth. Maddie Bieber singled, went to second on Lauren McCarthy's single and scored on a hit by Hope Darreff.
Souderton took what looked to be a commanding lead in the bottom of the fifth. The Indians scored three runs for a 4-1 lead.
Paige Shelly walked and then rode home on sister Dayna's home run to right-center. Delaney followed that with another homer, this one to left-center.
South wasn't done, however. The Titans bounced back in a big way in the sixth.
Maddie Decker led off the inning with a home run. Warner and Sophia Boggs followed with singles and Taylor Risich walked to load the bases.
Bieber singled in one run and she and Meghan Bradley, running for Risich, scored on a single by Darreff. Bradley got caught in a rundown between third and home and scored only when the ball was bobbled at the plate.
That set everything up for the bottom of the seventh and Kehler's important walk."We did a great job battling every single inning,' Rummel said. "We did not let down."We do have a bunch of power hitters. We have a lot of power but we have to use it back to back, work on big innings.'
Erelle Sowers got the win in the circle for the Indians. She struggled but battled the entire way."She did pitch very well,' Rummel said of her starter. "In the end, some of her balls started to get up a little bit I was a little worried about that especially in the meat of their order."Overall, she did a great job. She kept moving the ball in and out, up and down."She's a gamer; she works hard. That's what you want on the mound, someone who's going to take that leadership role.'
It was an unfortunate day for Warner. The Titan starter allowed eight hits including the three home runs, walked five and struck out 11.
Sowers had a similar line. She also gave up eight hits with four walks and four strikeouts.
All in all, it was also a big day for the Shelly sisters. They hit two home runs, had three hits combined, scored three runs and drove in four."We cheer each other on,' Dayna said. "We want each other to do good.'
That seems to hold true for the entire Souderton team.
Souderton 6, CB South 5
CB South 000 014 0 -- 5 8 1
Souderton 001 030 2 -- 6 8 0
WP: Erelle Sowers (S) 7 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 4 K
LP: Hailey Warner (CBS) 6.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 5 BB, 11 K
2B: Amanda Brush (S). HR: Maddie Decker (CBS), Paige Shelly (S), Dayna Shelly (S), Haley Delaney (S).
Multiple hits: CBS -- Hope Darreff 2-4, 1 RBI; Maddie Bieber 2-3, 2 R. S -- Amanda Brush 2-4, 1 R; Dayna Shelly 2-4, 1 R, 3 RBI.