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Freshman Help Upper Perkiomen Return to District One Title Game
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Jenna Sullivan staked her claim as Upper Perkiomen's fastest player during the team's tryout period. The ninth grader was clocked as the fastest player from

Jenna Sullivan hustles to first base during the District

One Class 4A softball playoffs.  The ninth-grader

scored twice and stole two bases to help lead 

Upper Perkiomen to a 7-1 win over Nazareth Acad-

emy on May 23.

home to second and home to third, by far. During the latter, she edged the nearest participant by a second.

            "That gave me some confidence," she said. "This was an established team, and I knew I would have to compete."

            Sullivan played a vital role in helping the Indians qualify for the Pioneer Athletic Conference Final Four playoffs for the second straight season. Last week, she delivered the key defensive play in their 7-1 victory over Nazareth Academy in the District One Class 4A playoffs. The right fielder threw out an opposing runner at second base attempting to advance on an errant throw in the second inning on May 23.

            On offense, the leadoff hitter stole two bases and scored two runs for Upper Perkiomen, the No. 2 seed, which advanced to Wednesday's district title against Pope John Paul II, the No. 4 seed, at Immaculata University. Her classmate, Sierra Fretz, delivered a solo home run for the district champion Indians (16-4).

            "Sierra is swinging a pretty good bat right now," head coach Dean Sullivan said. "She's been working a lot on her swing. She's very strong."

            The freshmen played a major role in helping their return to the post-season, according to Sullivan. He said both have significant experience on travel teams competing against high-school aged players.

            "Those girls are not afraid," he said.

            Upper Perkiomen's more established players contributed to the victory, as well. Taylor Lindsay delivered a team-high three hits at the plate and allowed just one run on six hits to earn the mound victory.

            Morgan Lindsay and Alyssa Sullivan each posted two hits. Morgan Lindsay's solo homer in the first inning opened the scoring. Alyssa Sullivan moved within two hits of 100 for her career. Karlee Fretz posted a two-run single in the sixth inning to cap the scoring.

            Jenna Sullivan's heads up defensive play in the second inning erased a leadoff hit. She backed up an errant pickoff throw by catcher Morgan Lindsay, and easily threw out Pandas base runner Julia Nocito at second base.

            Jenna Sullivan, who has thrown out three other runners similarly, has caught the opposition by surprise, according to the coach. "She is always backing up first base," Dean Sullivan said. "Right field is her territory. No one else wants to play there, but her."

            In the second inning, Jenna Sullivan manufactured a run with her legs. She legged out a two-out bunt single, stole second and scored on a single to center by Morgan Lindsay. According to the coach, she has the freedom to bunt at her own discretion. Jenna Sullivan looks to lay one down when the infielders are positioned behind the bag.

            "Not a lot of girls have that ability," she said.

            On the mound, Taylor Lindsay notched seven strikeouts but issued five walks. The senior, who had only thrown two innings over three previous weeks, stranded 12 runners on base.

            "Taylor knows what she is doing," the coach said. "She was able get out of trouble."





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