Tuesday, June 15, 2021


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Sports Article
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Phantoms Take Softball Showdown from UP
Written by Ernie Quatrani, Correspondent

            Tuesday's 7-3 loss to Phoenxville, in a battle for first place in the Frontier

Upper Perk's Sierra Fretz tags out a Phatoms runner as she slides

into third base during a battle of the two top teams in the Frontier 

Division in the Pioneer Athletic Conference, on Tuesday.  

Division in the Pioneer Athletic Conference, marked unfortunate changes of pace for Upper Perk softball.

            For one thing, it was the first time in six years that the Tribe had lost to the Phantoms; for another, it was the first time in a long time that the team lost back-to-back games; and it was the off-speed offerings of Phoenixville hurler Aryana Ashlie that throttled Upper Perk's line-up.

             Ashlie scattered eight hits while striking out three and did not allow a run until the sixth inning in handing Upper Perk its first Frontier Division loss of the season. Both teams are now 8-1.

            "She has some really good spin on her pitches," Phoenixville coach Claire Emplit said of her junior right-hander. "She's got a great mix of pitches that she's able to go to. She forces the batters to hit into outs."

            The Tribe was coming off a grueling 2-1 loss to Methacton in a crossover game on Monday night, an affair that was decided by a walk-off homerun in the ninth inning.

            "We saw a really quick pitcher last night, and then today was like a big change of pace for them," lamented Upper Perk Coach Dean Sullivan. "The first three times around we just weren't ready for the little slower and location and then we end up catching it in the end, but it was a little too late."

            Phoenixville took control early, scoring six runs before the Tribe had put a runner on base. Upper Perk starter Taylor Croak, less than 24 hours removed from throwing 101 pitches against Methacton, did not have her best stuff.

            The Phantoms Courtney Gable led off the game with a no-doubt-about-it homer over the left field fence for a 1-0 lead. Later in the frame, Kendall Brown stroked a ground rule double to left to plate two more runs.

            In the third, the visitors doubled their lead on Aubrie Breisblatt's RBI double and a two-run single by Chloe Johns.

            The Tribe stirred to life in the bottom of the inning with singles by Lily Dibble and Elizabeth Proctor but Jenna Sullivan lined into a double play to end the inning.

            Dani Freer drove in Sullivan with an RBI single in the sixth to break up Ashlie's shutout bid, but Upper Perk gave that run back with a throwing error in the seventh.

            Sierra Fretz homered for the Tribe to lead off the seventh and another run scored on an error, but Ashlie ended the game by striking out Proctor.

            In the Methacton game, Freer had two hits. Proctor had the Tribe's other hit and Kylene Gooch drove in the team's lone run against Paige Deal. Croak gave up four hits including two home runs.

            Last Friday, the Tribe pounded out 16 hits in a 10-0, five-inning, win over Pottsgrove. Sullivan (2 runs scored), Gooch (3 runs scored, triple), Freer (4 RBI, double), and Dibble (double) had three hits apiece.

            Croak allowed four hits and struck out five in a complete game.

            Despite the recent losses, Upper Perk is in a solid position in the District I rankings and, barring catastrophe, should reach the postseason. There are no league playoffs this year.





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