Late runs lift SCH softball over Mount, 3-1

by Tom Utescher
Posted 5/17/23

The softball squads from Springside Chestnut Hill and Mount St. Joseph Academy turned out to be pretty evenly matched when they met at SCH last Wednesday.

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Late runs lift SCH softball over Mount, 3-1


The softball squads from Springside Chestnut Hill and Mount St. Joseph Academy turned out to be pretty evenly matched when they met in a late-season non-league encounter at SCH last Wednesday afternoon.

After two scoreless innings, the Mount Magic put up one run at the top of the third, then the Blue Devils scored three times in the fifth to emerge with a 3-1 victory.

The Mounties left for the short trip home with an overall record of 8-6 while they remained at 5-2 in the Athletic Association of Catholic Academies, where they're currently locked in a three-way tie for first place.

SCH, the defending Inter-Ac League and Pa. Independent Schools champion, has been coping with graduation losses and a spate of injuries this season. Two seasoned players were out of action last Wednesday, and longtime head coach Stephanie Mill noted that the team has not been at full strength since spring training.

Wednesday's non-league victory nudged the Blue Devils above the .500 mark, to 6-5, while their Inter-Ac League record stayed at 3-5. Episcopal Academy remains unbeaten both in the Inter-Ac (8-0) and overall.

Eighth-grade pitcher Sami Snyder went the distance for the Blue Devils, recording seven strike-outs while giving up one walk and four hits. Freshman starter Daria Yohe (3K, 0BB, 2H) threw four innings for the Mount, then turned over the circle to senior Emily Vinal (4K, 2BB, 3H).

MSJ freshman Emily Markowski drew a walk with two outs in the top of the first, then was left on base when the next batter grounded out. Senior Faith Scally led off for the Blue Devils by belting a double down the line in left field, then moved to third when her classmate Courtney Oliver hit the ball in the air over shortstop.

Oliver stole second, but Yohe struck out the player who was batting at the time. Next, the Mount freshman grabbed a ground ball hit back to the circle and fooled everyone with a fake throw to first base. She pivoted and tossed to third base, catching Scally off the bag. A strike-out ended the inning.

Both teams went down in order in the second inning, then the Mount scored its lone run in the top of the third. The Magic rallied with two outs after a pop-up and a strike-out started things off. Lead-off batter Vivian Moore (a junior) singled, and when Yohe put the ball in play on the ground to the left side of the infield, SCH tried for the force-out at second, but bobbled the ball.

Markowski then singled to left field for an RBI, but the Magic would leave two runners on base as the next batter grounded out. In the bottom of the inning, another Blue Devil blunder on the basepaths resulted in a successful rundown by the visitors.

The Mount was still ahead 1-0 at the end of the fourth frame. At the beginning of that inning, sophomore Jewel Shaefer had started the visitors off with a single, and after a strike-out the Magic got a second runner on base through an outfield error.

A low pop was hit near the third base line behind the bag, but Scally made a great play on the ball, diving and stretching out to make the catch in the air. Sadie Friedman, a freshman starting at second due to one of the SCH injuries, made an unassisted play at second for the third out.

In the bottom half, the Devils had a runner on first with one out (she'd been hit by a pitch), but the Magic retired the side with a classic six-four-three double play.

The Mounties went down in order at the top of the fifth, then Springside sophomore Zarin DeVeaux led off with a walk and went to second when senior Kaliyani Wardlaw was hit by a pitch. A strike-out followed, but then the Blue Devils loaded the bases when a ball smacked by Scally skipped off the lip of the third baseman's glove.

Oliver then walked, pushing home the tying run for the home team. Junior Kamaha'o Bode whacked the ball to left centerfield for a two-run single. The Mount got out of the inning with a strike-out and a pop-up, but the 3-1 final score was now on the board.

At the top of the sixth, sophomore Charlotte Gale started the Mount off with a single through the left side of the infield, then was forced out at second as Schaefer reached first on the fielder's choice. The next batter was tagged out heading for first after hitting a little dribbler down the line, and a strike-out wrapped things up.

The SCH pitcher, Snyder, singled to shallow center in the bottom of the sixth. Two strike-outs and a ground-out left her stranded, but the Devils now needed just three outs at the top of the seventh to seal the victory. A strike-out, a fly to center, and a pop to shortstop ended the game.