TOWAMENCIN — North Penn softball coach Rick Torresani began this season with the idea that he would alternate pitchers.
He would start junior Jackie Bilotti one day and senior Vicky Tumasz the next. So far, it seems to be working.
Wednesday was Tumasz's turn in the circle and she scattered eight hits in six innings of work to pick up the 8-4 victory over Archbishop Wood of the Philadelphia Catholic League. Bilotti pitched the final inning of the game.
But it wasn't a walk in the park for the Maidens and Tumasz. The Vikings took a 4-1 lead in the second inning and the wind was playing havoc with Tumasz's pitches.
"I think the wind was a big factor," said Tumasz. "You couldn't really tell where the ball was going to go.
"Even my curveball, when I was going outside, it would curve inside, so that was a bit of a struggle. Even my change-ups and my fastballs were moving so it was kind of hard today."
Torresani agreed with his pitcher about the wind.
"You couldn't throw a curveball," he said, "because it wouldn't curve the wind was so strong. We just went with the fastball and change-up, really a drop."
He is also liking what he is seeing from Tumasz as a pitcher. She played first base all last season.
"She just hasn't pitched a lot of innings," Torresani said. "I was only going to have her throw 70 pitches (today) but she was doing OK so I kept her in there.
"Then I saw that she started touching her back a little bit so I pulled her. I wanted her to finish, but I also know we have a lot more games ahead of us."
Tumasz is also liking the pitching situation but knows that it will pay dividends in the long run."It gives both our arms breaks," she said of the alternating starts in the circle. "Especially for Jackie, because we're going to need her in the playoffs."
The pitching situation must also be doing something for the Maidens' offense, at least for Tumasz and Bilotti. Both had very good days at the plate.
Bilotti, the No. 3 hitter in the North Penn lineup, was 3-for-3 with two runs scored. Tumasz, who was batting clean-up, also went 3-for-3 with one run scored and two RBI.
They both contributed to the seven-run fourth inning which sewed up the victory over the Vikings. The Maidens sent 11 batters to the plate and banged out six hits.
"Most of our games, we've had that four-, five-, six-run inning," Torresani said. "Today we had two chances at it and we didn't do it the first time.
"The second time, we did score a lot of runs. These kids are capable of doing that.
"What we are trying to do now is get them to do it in more than one inning. I don't want to be a coach where we play for one run in each inning because we have too many good hitters.
"When we don't have the big inning is when we lose. If we get the big inning, it works; if we don't, we could be in trouble."
The Maidens got on the scoreboard first. They scored a single run in the first inning on a single by Bilotti, a stolen base and a single by Tumasz.
Tumasz breezed through the top of the first, striking out two hitters. But she ran into trouble in the second.
Wood sent eight hitters to the plate, got four hits and scored four runs. Tumasz did strike out three but she also hit a batter.
The score stayed that way until the bottom of the fourth. That's when the Maidens' bats came alive.
Alyssa Shoulberg got things started with a single and advanced to second when Lauren Schwartz grounded out. Lauren Ostopowicz also singled to put two runners on base.
Erin Maher got an infield single to load the bases and Becky Christoffers drove in a pair of runs with a single.
Bilotti walked to load the bases again, Tumasz singled in another run and Meghan Curley plated one with a sacrifice fly. Jo Alfonsi walked and Shoulberg ripped a double to drive in three.
After that it was up to the pitchers. They both kept the Vikings off the board for the rest of the game.
"She did the best she could," Torresani said of Tumasz, "which is what Vicky always does."
North Penn 8, Archbishop Wood 4
Archbishop Wood 040 000 0 — 4 8 2
North Penn 100 700 X — 8 15 1
WP: Vicky Tumasz (NP) 6 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 1 HBP
LP: Maggie Lott (AW) 6 IP, 15 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 5 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP
2B: Katie Chiodo (AW), Maggie Lott (AW), Alyssa Shoulberg (NP).
Multiple Hits: Chiodo (AW) 2-4, 2 RBI; Meg Cook (AW) 2-4; Erin Maher (NP) 2-5, 1 R; Jackie Bilotti (NP) 3-3, 2 R; Vicky Tumasz (NP) 3-3 1 R, 2 RBI; Alyssa Shoulberg 3-4, 1 R, 3 RBI.