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Baseball, softball recap: 4 in states; South Hunterdon softball in semifinals


Central Bucks East and Faith Christian baseball joined Quakertown and Council Rock South softball in punching their tickets to the PIAA tournament this week. Several other area teams remained alive in postseason action – including a Cinderella South Hunterdon softball nine.

In baseball, No. 7 CB East (16-7), the SOL Colonial champ, fell to No. 6 Downingtown West 7-5 in Tuesday’s District One 6A semifinal. CB East clinched a PIAA spot when it beat No. 2 Neshaminy 3-2 in Friday’s quarterfinals. Chase Harlan’s RBI double keyed a three-run sixth in that win.

The Patriots head to No. 5 Plymouth Whitemarsh for the district 3/4 game on Thursday before PIAA play starts on June 3.

No. 1 Quakertown (16-7), the SOL Liberty champion, had its season end in playbacks on Tuesday with a 7-4 loss to No. 14 North Penn.

No. 1 Faith Christian (19-0) won its first district A title since 2019 when it beat No. 3 Delco Christian 11-4 last Thursday at Boyertown. Up next is District 11 champion Nativity BVM in the opening round of PIAAs on June 3.

No. 3 South Hunterdon (13-10) dispatched No. 14 Highland Park 9-1 on Thursday in the opening round of Central Jersey Group 1 sectionals. Cooper Currie doubled twice, Nate Lawton drove in three and Danny Rose drove in a pair as Lawton and Dillon Gallagher combined to four-hit the Owls. The 13th win ties the unofficial school record.

The Eagles season ended to No.11 Florence 1-0 in Tuesday’s second-round game. Calling it a “pitcher’s duel” was an understatement. Lawton was perfect through 5.1 innings but Florence’s Josh Pagano allowed just one hit and the Flashes eked out an unearned seventh-inning run.

No. 3 Palisades (12-10) had its season end on Sunday in the District 11 2A semifinals with an 11-1 loss to No. 2 Tri-Valley. The Pirates beat No. 6 Shenandoah Valley 4-1 last Wednesday in the quarterfinals. Palisades had won eight of 10 entering the semifinal.

Tyler Bonelli (.351 average, five extra-base hits) and Teddy Musselman (.358 average) led the offense. Bonelli also fanned 62 in 47.2 innings.

In softball, No. 3 Quakertown (22-1), the SOL Liberty co-champs, beat No. 7 Downingtown East 3-1 in Tuesday’s semifinals to earn a chance at a District One title. The Panthers face No. 1 Downingtown West on Thursday at Spring-Ford.

No. 2 Council Rock South (19-3), the SOL Patriot champ, punched its ticket to states on Tuesday with an 11-1 playback win over No. 11 CB West (15-7).

No. 2 Faith Christian (10-10) fell to No. 1 Dock Mennonite 9-3 last Thursday at Souderton in the District One A softball championship.

No. 3 Palisades (17-5) topped No. 2 Pine Grove 3-2 last Thursday in the semifinals of the District 11 3A softball tournament. As the Colonial League runner-up and defending District champion, Palisades has won 13 of its last 15. Both losses were by one run.

The Pirates faced No. 1 Palmerton in Wednesday’s late final. The Pirates lost to Palmerton 1-0 on April 27 and waxed Palmerton two and a half weeks later in the Colonial semifinal, 11-2. The winner awaits New Hope-Solebury on Friday to face the SOL co-Freedom champs and host NH-S (13-7) for a PIAA berth.

A special story continued to be written on the other side of the Delaware River. No. 4 South Hunterdon (14-8) thumped No. 5 Point Pleasant 10-0 in the second round of Central Jersey Group 1 sectionals. Georgia Andreoli homered, Lina Weiland hit a three-run double and Elsie Scheetz had three hits batting and a three-hit shutout.

The Eagles have now won as many playoff games (two) this year as regular season games in 2023.

South Hunterdon beat No. 13 Burlington City 6-1 last Wednesday in the opening round. Scheetz fanned 10 and drove in three at the plate behind a three-hit day. The Eagles travel to No. 1 New Egypt in Thursday’s semifinal.

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