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Sports Article
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Dyer’s Swing Can’t Prevent Tribe’s State Tournament Loss
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Madalyn Dyer's fourth-inning swing Monday provided Upper Perkiomen's softball team with a burst of energy. She thought it would be enough to propel the team to its first state tournament victory in five years.

            However, the Indians suffered a season-ending loss in the opening round of the

Upper Perk catcher Ashley Forrest, with the ball in her 

glove, reaches to tag an Exeter runner out at the plate in 

Monday's opening round of the PIAA Class 5A Champ-

ionships in Exeter.

PIAA Class 5A Championships. Exeter scored twice in the bottom of the sixth inning to register a 5-3 victory.  "This team always fights," head coach Dean Sullivan said. "It's a good bunch of girls."

            Taylor Mentzer delivered the go ahead hit off Dyer, the Tribe's pitcher. Mentzer's two-out single with the bases loaded snapped a 3-3 tie for the host Eagles (21-4), who advanced to today's second round game against Oxford.  "Getting this far was a blessing," said Dyer, a junior. "We worked really hard."

            Upper Perkiomen (14-10), the No. 3 seed from District One, managed just three hits off Exeter pitcher Morgan Herb. She registered seven strikeouts. Dyer delivered her team's first hit of the game, a three-run homer to dead center field to overcome a 3-0 deficit.

            With the wind blowing out, Sullivan said he figured the ball had a chance to go over the fence once it left Dyer's bat. The hit scored Darby Gasda, who was hit by a pitch, and Dani Freer, who worked a two-out walk in front of Dyer.

            "When we put runners on base, good things happen," said the coach, whose team posted a 3-0 win over East Pennsboro in the opening round of the states in June 2017.

            The homer appeared to provide a spark for the Indians. Dyer tossed scoreless innings in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings. In the top of the sixth, Kylene Gooch delivered their second hit of the game with a double down the right field line. She stole third, but was stranded.  "Madalyn always keeps us in the game," Sullivan said of Dyer, who allowed 10 hits and struck out four.

            In the bottom of the sixth, the Eagles – who captured the Berks Conference and District Three championships – mounted the decisive rally. A one-out single to right sparked the outburst. They loaded the bases on a bunt hit and a hit batter with two outs. Then Mentzer drove in two with a sharp hit up the middle.

            The Indians brought the tying run to the plate in the top of the seventh following a two-out double by Mackenzie Schaffer. But Herb retired Kaylyn Adair to end the game.

            Herb dominated the Indians hitters early. She faced the minimum through three innings, including striking out the side in the third. Gasda, leading off the fourth, was their first base runner.  "We made some good contact early," Sullivan said. "But we couldn't get a few bunts down."

            The Tribe's shaky defense allowed Exeter to take an early 2-0 lead. Two infield errors in the second inning led to a pair of unearned runs.

            One runner scored on an errant throw on a bunt led to the first run. Cheyanne Boyle followed with an RBI single to left. Dyer retired the next three hitters to limit the damage.

            One inning later, the Eagles added another run.

            Mentzer led off with a double to the center field fence, then came around on an infield throwing error.

            Upper Perkiomen cut down another run at the plate during the third. Adair, its right fielder, combined with Gooch at second base to throw out a runner attempting to score on a double down the line.

            Dyer dealt with traffic on the bases the entire game. Exeter had at least one base runner in all six of its offensive innings and stranded seven.

            "I did my job, for the most part" said Dyer, who was charged with three earned runs. "Exeter has a lot of good hitters."






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