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Softball: Quakertown, CR South win PIAA thrillers; Wood in quarterfinals


Council Rock South (21-3) remains unbeaten all time in state playoff games.

In their first-ever PIAA appearance Monday, the Golden Hawks topped District 11 champion Liberty 1-0 at DeSales. Kelly Delise’s fielder’s choice plated Katie Aamland for the game’s lone run.

“We have five seniors and they’ve never been in this situation before,” reminded CR South head coach Scott Molle. “They were very loose before the game. In the first two innings, we didn’t have anything going but then we got grounded and played the way we needed to play.”

Lexi Waring struck out 11, giving her 162 for the year, in spinning a three-hit shutout.

“Grace Stepp has caught Lexi for a long time and her thought was Lexi threw the best she ever saw,” Molle shared. “Lexi’s velocity, spin and placement of the ball were just perfection yesterday. She struck the side out in the first inning. It was an indication she was going to have a good game.”

The hero of the game might have been right fielder Gabby Bloom, who gunned down a Patriots runner at home for the game’s final out.

“We always preach ‘practice repetition brings game excellence.’ In practice, we will do reps and reps of certain situations and do it and do it until they are sick of it,” Molle said. “But this is the perfect example.

“It was a shot between first and second. Gabby exploded to the ball, came up with all of her momentum and fired the ball on a dime. Grace had an incredible tag on the runner as she was sliding. Everything about that play was perfect. And it had to be the perfect play,” Molle concluded, “to get the out.”

South finished in fifth place in District One after beating Boyertown 9-2 in Friday’s seeding game. The Golden Hawks face District Three’s Warwick in Thursday’s PIAA quarterfinal.

Quakertown (23-2), the District One runner-up after losing last Thursday’s championship game to Downingtown West 7-5, walked off District 11 runner-up Freedom 7-6 on Monday in another District One-District 11 first-round thriller.

The host Panthers dug themselves a 6-0 hole before Mary Wilkinson thumped a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth. Quakertown plated four in the seventh with the big blow coming from freshman Cadence Jozefowski. Called up to replace an injured starter, Jozefkowski delivered the two-out, two-run single that won the game.

Quakertown, returning to states after a one-season hiatus, plays District Three champion Central Dauphin in Thursday’s second round.

Archbishop Wood (12-7), the third seed in District 12, earned a Thursday date with District Nine champion St. Marys in the 4A quarterfinals. The Vikings used a six-run fifth inning to roll District Three champion Trinity 8-1 in Mechanicsburg during Monday’s opening round.

District 11 champion Palisades (19-6) fell 11-1 to District 12 champion Conwell Egan on Monday in a first-round 3A matchup with the Eagles, battle tested from the Philadelphia Catholic League. The Pirates closed the year winners of 15 of 18.

Palisades beat District One champion New Hope-Solebury (13-8) 5-4 in Friday’s PIAA play-in game. The Pirates built up a 5-1 lead and held on as the Lions plated a run in the final three frames. Karlye Teman and Catie Russo both had two hits and an RBI for the Pirates. Teman also went over 800 career strikeouts in the ring.

Palisades won the season series – and more importantly, three-peated as District 11 3A champs – last Thursday in their wild, 10-inning 6-5 win over top-seeded Palmerton in Allentown. The game was scoreless through six innings.

New Hope-Solebury had an easier path to the District One title. The Lady Lions thrashed MaST Charter 17-1 on May 21 to earn the spot in the PIAA play-in game. Mabel Klossner, recently selected for the SOL Carpenter Cup team, had two hits and two runs to lead a multi-pronged attack. Emily Wilson had two hits and two RBIs.

NH-S were tri-champions of the SOL Freedom Division. This season completes a remarkable turnaround; the Lady Lions had just 10 total wins between 2021 and 2023.

No. 4 South Hunterdon (14-9) had its remarkable turnaround season end last Thursday with a 10-0 loss to No. 1 New Egypt in the Central Jersey Group 1 semifinals. The Eagles, who went to the semifinals in 2022, spiraled to a 2-16 record last year. Georgia Andreoli (.548 average, five homers and 30 RBIs) won the team’s Triple Crown.

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