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Sports Article
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Upper Perk Softball Continues to Struggle With Defense
Written by Bradley Schlegel Correspondent

Upper Perk second baseman Sarah Heidler puts the tag on a Boyertown base runner at the bag in the game at Upper Perk Monday night.

        Defense has set the tone for the Upper Perkiomen softball team's season, according to head coach Dean Sullivan.

        "When this team plays good defense, it is what it's supposed to be," he said. "We have a chance to win. When we play poorly in the field, we're probably going to lose."

        Recently, the Indians (3-8, 3-9) have shown flashes of both. On Monday, April 18, they played well in the field and posted a 5-1 victory over Phoenixville in the Pioneer Athletic Conference.

        Two days later, they committed seven errors and lost to 6-1 to Pottsgrove. On Friday, April 22, they committed three errors in a 7-1 loss to visiting Spring-Ford.

        Some games the infield struggles, according to the coach. He said in others the outfielders might have issues.

        Sullivan can't figure out why a team with so many travel-team players has continued to struggle on defense. The coach said he doesn't know if the players to trying to do too much or not concentrating.

        "There are only so many ground balls and fly balls the coaching staff can hit them," Sullivan said. "It's time to bear down and make the plays. If not, we'll have to find someone else."

        In the victory over the Phantoms, Upper Perkiomen held a 12-7 advantage in hits. Olivia Young finished with a team-high four hits, and Sarah Heidler added two hits and two RBI.

        The Indians scored three runs in the first inning to take command, then added two runs in the fourth inning.

        On the mound, Lynsey Quinn went the distance. She allowed one run while registering three strikeouts.

        Sullivan described the victory as a well-rounded effort. Against the Panthers, Upper Perkiomen's defense struggled. Its offense managed just one run on seven hits against Pottsgrove pitcher Gabi Ermish.

        On April 22, the Indians lost 7-1 to visiting Spring-Ford, which scored three runs in the third inning to snap a 1-1 tie. Carly Bernhart went 2-for-3 and scored their only run. Karlee Fretz contributed two hits, and Olivia Young delivered their only RBI.

        "We have our moments where we can't string hits together like I thought we would be able to," Sullivan said.

        On Monday night, looking to boost the team's defense, Sullivan started a freshman, Gail Kooser, at third base against visiting Boyertown. According to the coach, Kooser handled four defensive plays without a mishap.

        "Gail made every play she had to make," Sullivan said.

        Kooser delivered an RBI in her varsity debut, but Upper Perkiomen dropped a 5-3 loss. Fretz finished with two hits for the team, which built a 3-0 lead through three innings.

        With Quinn on the mound, the Bears rallied for five unearned runs. They scored twice in the fourth and fifth innings before adding an insurance run in the top of the seventh.

        Quinn went the distance on the mound for the Indians, allowing nine hits and one walk while striking out three.

        "Three wins in the conference is not a nice place to be," Sullivan said. "But this is a growing team."

        Upper Perkiomen travels to Owen J. Roberts on Wednesday before hosting Perkiomen School in a non-league game Thursday. Its PAC-10 game against visiting Pottstown on Friday afternoon was originally scheduled as a night game.

        Following the game, the Indians will host a pizza party for the Pottstown players, who suffered a 47-0 loss to Perkiomen Valley earlier this month.

        "There was talk that the Pottstown girls wanted to quit softball for school altogether because they were so mentally broken down after that game. Upper Perk would like to show support to Pottstown by letting them know they care and they've got their back," said Sullivan, who will field the JV team in the game.

        "After hearing what happened, we as a community, as parents, and as players felt that we needed to show our support to these girls in some small way and to let them know we do care about their feelings."






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