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Kooser Leads Upper Perkiomen Softball to Victory
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2019-03-27

            In past seasons, pride never prevented Gail Kooser from allowing Upper 

Upper Perkiomen's Kylene Gooch races towards the plate

as Quakertown catcher Maddie Moyer waits for the throw

on Monday. The Indians opened the season with a 7-5 win.

Perkiomen's softball coach to replace her in the lineup with a better hitter. According to Dean Sullivan, Kooser sent him email messages encouraging him to utilize her only in the field.

            "Gail said, 'Do what you have to do,'" Sullivan said of Kooser, a standout defender at second base. "She said I never had to feel bad for not letting her hit. She's a true team captain."

            On Monday, Kooser went a long way towards securing her spot in the Indians' lineup. The senior second baseman, hitting in the No. 9 hole, reached base in all three plate appearances and stole two bases to help spark a 7-5 victory over Quakertown.

"Gail is making good contact," the coach said. "She has a line drive swing that always sends the ball to right field."

            Kooser says she has figured out a way to eliminate a hitch in her swing by holding her hands steady the pitch approaches. Sullivan said he is constantly reminding her not to drop her hands.

            "There's a lot of communication between us," the coach said. "Gail always just smiles at me."

Morgan Lindsay finished with three hits, including a home run and a double, and scored two runs for the host Indians. Taylor Croak and Lynnsi Joyce, a ninth grader, each added two hits off Quakertown pitcher Tori Caputo.

            "We've got a deep lineup," said Sullivan, whose team rallied for three runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a commanding 7-2 lead after the visiting Panthers scored twice in the top of the fifth. "There are no holes. They all can play. They all can run, and they all can hit." 

            Dani Freer and Kylene Gooch, Upper Perkiomen's other freshmen starters, a trio of ninth graders each made significant contributions. Freer, who handled three chances flawlessly at shortstop, posted two hits and stole two bases. Gooch, the left fielder, singled and scored in the second inning. She added an RBI on a squeeze bunt in the fourth inning.

            "The freshmen did very well," Kooser said. "They're pretty good. They've played travel softball at a high level for several years, so they have an idea of how to compete at this level."

            Taylor Croak, a sophomore, captured the mound victory for the Indians. In seven innings, she allowed five runs on nine hits while issuing six walks and striking out three. Croak allowed three runs in the seventh inning, permitting four runs and walking two before inducing a ground ball to Kooser to end the game.

            "Taylor's nerves may have gotten the better of her," Sullivan said. "Moving forward, she can't let that happen. Taylor has got to be able to battle through that."

            The Panthers rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh on four hits. Abby Schwartz, and Sarah Stofik each delivered run-scoring singles. They loaded the bases with two outs before Morgan Thrush grounded out to Kooser to end the game.

            Leadoff hitter Bri Lefkoski finished with three infield hits and scored twice for the Panthers. Abby Schwartz and Morgan Thrush each added two hits.

            Quakertown second baseman Kara Gallagher left the game with an apparent injury to her left leg.


 

 

 

 

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