Council Rock South may only have one senior. But their underclasswomen are quick studies in how to win.
On a beautiful Monday in Buckingham, the Golden Hawks won their fifth game out of six, a convincing 9-1 defeat of host CB East in a game with important playoff ramifications for both teams.
Lexi Waring fired a three-hitter from the ring, fanning eight and walking none. Offensively, both Grace Stepp and Jordan Bobrin had multiple hits and a pair of RBIs. The Golden Hawks rapped out 14 hits and scored in every inning but the fifth.
“I think everybody in the lineup contributes one through nine. I really do,” said CR South head coach Dan Schram. “They hit well against a good pitcher yesterday.”
Waring “quite frankly, is one of the most competitive kids I have seen. If she gets slightly rattled, she battles harder,” observed Schram. “You see that she flipped a switch at varsity. We were at first splitting games with her and Julia Scannapieco, another freshman pitcher who has done very well for us.
“We realized that we were possibly pulling them a little too early and it might take a little longer for them to get going,” Schram admitted. “We’re alternating games for them to pitch, and they are gaining confidence. It’s nice to have this much pitching in the pipeline.” South has six freshmen pitchers in the program.
Both East and South won by 5-2 scores on April 25. Elise Waddington belted a two-run homer in the sixth to break open a 2-2 tie and help give East a win over archrival CB South. In Holland on the same day, Gabby Bloom’s RBI triple broke open CR South’s game with Archbishop Wood and helped the Golden Hawks get back to .500.
The following fortnight would be very different for both teams. South started to turn its stock into a “buy” as the Wood victory began a Golden Hawk streak of six straight games without a regulation loss. Waring retired 18 of the final 20 Pennridge Rams she faced to shut the door on a 4-3 win, and then followed it by throwing a one hit shutout, striking out 11 Titans, in a 1-0 pitcher’s duel against CB South.
“Timely hitting, doing the little things right and really good, up and coming pitching,” credited Schram, who is in his first year leading South after 11 seasons at Bensalem. “There is a willingness to do a paradigm shift at South and I’m really blessed to join them at the time I am. I think it’s a perfect storm.”
The Golden Hawks nearly avenged their 9-0 home opening loss to Neshaminy – the Redskins needed extra innings to win 4-3 on May 4. Shortstop Kaylie Walters, arguably South’s most consistent hitter of late and who Schram called “our catalyst for what we do,” scored twice. The next day, Avery Tumolo drove in seven in CR South’s 13-8 win over rival CR North.
“They are certainly learning how to win and winning breeds confidence,” Schram noted. “When we took over this team, we took a look at some of the things we thought we could excel with. We’re trying to maximize what their strengths are. As a coaching staff, we’re really trying to teach the kids how to play good sandlot ball, whether it’s base running or small ball. How to anticipate defense and the approach at the plate. All of these things are coming together.”
East however, dropped their next six, with the most agonizing loss occurring the day after CB South. Waddington, Sara Camposano and Amelia Funston all homered against Harry S. Truman, but the Tigers walked off their April 26 game as 13-12 winners.
Funston had multiple hits in the Patriots’ earlier season conference wins against Pennridge and CB West. Waddington, a potent bat, has also used her arm to collect several wins in relief.
On Tuesday, CR South (8-6, 6-5 Patriot) fell to first place Pennsbury 5-0 while CB East (6-9, 3-9 Colonial) dropped a 12-2 decision to CB South. The Golden Hawks were ranked 20th in the PIAA 6A District One playoff seedings while the Patriots were four spots below them at 24th. The top 24 teams advance to districts.