There was no pressure on William Tennent in its district playoff opener Wednesday. At least coach Biz Keeny didn't think so. He was more concerned with a week of inactivity.
"I don't think it was so much (the number one seed) as the fact that the last time we played was Thursday,' he said. "You sit, it's almost a week and you don't see any live pitching.'
The layoff has taken down more than one team over the years, but Sara Keeny made sure it wasn't going to happen to the Panthers. Keeny stroked four hits, including a double and a triple, scored a run and knocked in two more as Tennent topped Methacton, 4-1, in the second round of the District One Class AAAA playoffs in Warminster.
"There was pressure, but I don't know if it was because we were the number one seed,' Sara Keeny said. "I think it was because we were nervous at first, especially in the field. I felt like we were a little tense.'
After the Panthers loaded the bases with no outs in the first but failed to score, pressure could have started to build. But Keeny took care of that.
With two outs, Kery Ledford walked and Keeny rifled the first pitch she saw into right-center field for an RBI triple. Jackie Heim followed with a single to plate Keeny and the Panthers had all the runs they'd need for the victory.
"It was right there,' Keeny said. "I liked it. I saw a first-pitch strike and I went for it.'
"She's been really swinging the bat well for most of the season,' Biz Keeny said. "She's been able to stay out of those peaks and valleys. I thought our one and two hitters were excellent getting on base, but after that we struggled a little bit.'
They struggled because Methacton's Megan Stauffer kept them off balance. The sophomore hurler limited the Panthers to just three hits, other than the four Keeny registered. And it came as no surprise to her coach.
"I thought Stauffer was going to keep us in it and that 2-1 score makes anything possible,' Methacton coach Cathy Miller said. "We don't hear too much from the Suburban One anymore, but I think (the Panthers) all hit.'
Methacton cut the lead in half in the fourth when it took advantage of a pair of Tennent errors then left a pair of runners on in the fifth when Panthers' rightfielder Kery Ledford made a running catch of a sinking liner off the bat of Dani Duda for the final out of the inning.'
"They found a hole and we didn't find a hole,' Miller said, "and I think that's the difference in the situation.'
Tennent put the game away in the sixth and Keeny was right in the middle of the action again. The Panthers scored one run when Ledford dropped a perfect squeeze bunt to knock in Karissa Govan, then Keeny roped her fourth hit of the day to left to drive home the final run.
Tennent hurler Nikki Alden retired the final seven hitters she face to clinch the win. Alden allowed just three hits, while walking two and striking out one.
While the loss ended Methacton's season, Miller was far from displeased.
"We hit it and they caught it or it was an out and they got a couple that were in play,' she said. "We played well.
"We had the PAC-10 (championship), we won that, which is good because it gives them something to look at. But I always, in 33 years, looked at the districts as gravy.'
The win advances Tennent to Friday's quarterfinal round when it will face ninth-seeded North Penn, a 2-0 winner over Central Bucks East in eight innings Wednesday.
"We did the things we had to do,' coach Keeny said. "There were still some playoff jitters. I thought for the most part, we did some good things, but there's always room for improvement. It will give me something to do tomorrow in practice.'
Methacton ab r h bi Tennent ab r h bi
Stauffer p 3 0 1 0 Keeny 2B 4 1 4 2
Lowery ss 2 0 0 0 Heim ss 4 0 2 1
Harris c 3 0 1 0 Alden p 3 0 0 0
Rambo 3B 3 1 0 0 Petri lf 3 0 0 0
Duda cf 3 0 0 0 Delagol 3B 3 0 0 0
Olivieri 2B 3 0 0 0 O'Toole cf 2 0 0 0
Thompson 1B 3 0 0 0 Govan c 2 1 0 0
Triantafilou DP 3 0 1 0 McMahon 1B 3 0 0 0
Damato rf 2 0 0 0 Brancato pr 0 1 0 0
Primavera rf 0 0 0 0 Ledford rf 2 1 1 1
Totals 25 1 3 0 Totals 26 4 7 4
Methacton 000 100 0—1
William Tennent 020 002 x—4
Ip h r er bb so
Stauffer (L) 6 7 4 4 2 8
Alden (W) 7 3 1 0 2 1