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CR South softball “Stepps” into states


The wind was blowing in on Tuesday’s District One PIAA playback between No. 11 Central Bucks West (15-7) and host No. 2 Council Rock South.

When catcher Grace Stepp batted in the bottom of the third, it didn’t matter.

Stepp lofted a two-run home run to right-center that gave the Golden Hawks (19-3) a 3-1 lead they wouldn’t relinquish on their way to an 11-1 defeat of the Bucks. The game ended in the bottom of the sixth inning.

“The first pitch was not it,” Stepp remembered. “The second pitch, I went oppo. I saw it deep. It looked good off the bat.”

The Golden Hawks added three runs in the fourth on a two-run error and Gabby Bloom’s sacrifice fly that plated speedster Helen Woloshyn. Kelly Delise’s RBI single in the fifth made it 8-1. Stepp and Carpenter Cup selection Julia Scannapieco closed the game with back to back doubles in the sixth; Scannapieco’s two-bagger ended the game.

In the ring, Lexi Waring struck out six and scattered four hits. “Lexi’s spin was really good today. She was on,” Stepp noticed. “She took a few innings, got in her groove and never came out.”

Waring faced the minimum final 12 West batters, thanks to Woloshyn, who robbed Avery Rubenstein of a sure hit with a diving grab in the fifth and gunned down a runner at home to end the third.

“Before the play, you have to know where you are going and I wanted to make sure I got the ball in my glove before I threw home,” explained Woloshyn, who also scored three runs and stole four bases. “Thankfully I have Grace behind home to make a great tag.

“We’re friends outside of school. Playing with her puts me at ease and I feel confident throwing home,” Woloshyn added.

West’s run came when Molly Gibson singled and came around to score on Taylor Hooven’s double and a throwing error.

The win gave CR South its first-ever PIAA berth. The Golden Hawks will host No. 8 Boyertown in Thursday’s 5/6 seeding game. The 6A state tournament starts on Monday.

“Today, we had a big blow,” shared first-year head coach Scott Molle. A senior South starting infielder had to miss the game because of a medical emergency. “They had an extra thing to fight for and they played for her today.”

CB West came one chapter short of authoring its own storybook season. The Bucks last went to PIAAs in 2000; this season was the closest they have come to breaking that drought.

South defeated West in the regular season. The Golden Hawks had a practice plan in place around West’s pitching style that they worked on all through Memorial Day weekend.

Ironically, Stepp and Woloshyn will both continue Hawkish ways in college: Stepp for the UMass-Lowell River Hawks and Woloshyn for the Lehigh Mountain Hawks. But both have June softball to play for their high school.

“They dig down deep. They’ve been amazing,” Molle praised. “We brought in a whole new staff in January and they bought in. They continue to make school history. It’s the first time we’ve ever made a state tournament and the first time they’ve won a division. They just don’t want to give up. The grit and resiliency of this group is bar none.”

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