PHILADELPHIA – There’s no way anyone saw this coming. Simply no way.
If someone says they did, call him a liar.
Lansdale Catholic beat defending league champion Bonner-Prendergast, 15-4, in a Catholic League semifinal yesterday afternoon at La Salle University. That final score is not a misprint. The Crusaders advanced to Friday’s title match against top-seed Archbishop Ryan at the same location.
“It was a lot of fun, it was awesome,” said Lansdale Catholic senior Lauren Crim. “That was pretty unbelievable.”
That’s as perfect a summary as one could offer.
Against senior league MVP and pitcher of the year Meghan Sullivan, the Crusaders scored 15 runs on the strength of 17 hits. The final statistics took a while to condense. Some of the eye-popping numbers included huge games from Crim (3-5, 2 RBI), freshman Julia Marozzi (3-4, 3 runs scored, RBI), junior Rebecca Tiley (3-5, 3 runs scored), senior Rachael Harryn (2-4, 3 runs scored, 2 RBI), senior Delaney Smith (3-5, 3 RBI, 2 runs scored), and sophomore Casey Meenan (2-5, 5 RBI, run scored).
All of that, and more, helped sophomore pitcher Megan Burns forget about letting up two runs in the first inning. Before being tagged for four straight hits and two meaningless runs in the seventh, Burns kept the Pandas at bay, including preventing them from taking advantage of four fielding errors that proved futile thanks to her pitching.
“We also made a lot of great plays,” said Burns. “It was definitely a team win. Every single player did something good. It was amazing.”
Perhaps the signature defensive gem was performed by Smith to lead off the home seventh. Junior Meghan McNulty hit a hard grounder in the hole. Smith reached far to her right, backhanded, and fired a laser to freshman Kaitlyn Leshak at first base for the out.
Right behind Smith’s highlight was sophomore Mary Picozzi. With two on and two out in the sixth, freshman Madison Thompson sent a deep drive to left field. Picozzi tracked the fly ball, reached up against the fence, and probably saved a three-run homer. Picozzi added fuel to the highlight reel when BP’s runner at second was doubled off to end the inning.
At every level, it was Lansdale Catholic’s day.
(Videos By John Knebels)
“I honestly felt that we would win, but never a blowout like this,” said Smith. “It was like a contagious thing. We came out in the first inning kind of tense. But after we got a little more confidence in the field we were more relaxed.”
As for the fairy tale-turned-reality offense, Crim tried to explain.
“She’s (Sullivan) a really good pitcher,” said Crim. “All pitchers want to get ahead, so you see a first-pitch fastball, you gotta swing at it. It’s gonna be right down the plate. You gotta go for it. When someone hits, it’s a pattern. Everyone hits.”
After Lansdale Catholic’s epic performance, can’t argue with that.
(John Knebels can be reached at Jknebels@gmail.com.)
Lansdale Catholic moves on to the PCL finals tomorrow at 3PM vs. Ryan at La Salle University - PSD Photo by John Knebels