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Sullivan’s 100th Career Win Keeps Tribe on Playoff Path
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2023-05-03

            Dean Sullivan celebrated a coaching milestone last week. His 100th career win on Thursday, April 27 pushed Upper Perkiomen's softball team one step closer to a return trip to the Pioneer Athletic Conference playoffs and the top seed in the District

Dean Sullivan encourages an Upper Perkiomen

hitter from the third base coach's box on April 26,

against Owen J. Roberts.

One Class 4A tournament.
            Ashley Forrest's three-run triple propelled the team to a 14-4 victory over Phoenixville. The team utilized a balanced offensive attack to secure a six-inning road win over a Frontier Division opponent.

           Forrest's extra-base hit in the first inning against the host Phantoms highlighted a five-run rally. Genevieve McKeehan and Madalyn Dyer had two hits as part of a 13-hit barrage. 

            Sullivan, in his seventh season leading the Tribe (11-5 overall, 10-1 PAC), had to wait 24 hours for the milestone. Two late defensive miscues cost them in an 11-6 loss against Owen J. Roberts on Wednesday, April 26.

            Two infield errors in each of the final two innings prevented the Indians from posting consecutive victories over Frontier Division opponent Owen J. Roberts which rallied from a 5-4 deficit, scoring seven runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Only two of the runs were earned.

            "We had a few defensive issues, which allowed them some extra bases," said Sullivan, who added that his team could face the Wildcats in the Pioneer Athletic Conference playoffs. "We need to be better prepared for those issues, so that doesn't happen the next time."

            A misplay on Hayden Streeter's ground ball leading off the top of the sixth inning paved the way for the Wildcats' four-run rally against Madalyn Dyer. A single to right by Bella Winnick, which drove in the only earned run of the inning, forced a 5-5 tie. Grace Prysborowski's hit put them ahead for good. Consecutive two-out hits by Liza Flavia and Nat Allred capped the flurry.

            Morgan Robinson led the host Tribe with three hits and drove in three runs. Her two-run single to right field, with two outs in the fifth inning, rallied Upper Perk from a 4-3 deficit.

            In her last four starts, Robinson has posted a .429 batting average (6 for 14) and reached base in 13 of her 19 plate appearances.  According to Sullivan, she earned a spot in the starting lineup due to strong performances during batting practice.  "She swings very aggressively," the coach said.

            Darby Gasda added two hits and drove in two runs for Upper Perk which finished with 13 hits. Emily Proctor registered two hits, scored a run and drove one in.

            Down 8-5, the Tribe rallied in the bottom of the sixth off OJR reliever Ashlyn Kunkle putting runners on second and third with no outs.

            The team managed just one run during the frame. Genevive McKeehan scored on a one-out single by Ryan Berg. However, Berg was thrown out attempting to steal second for the second out.

            Sullivan said he called for a steal on the first pitch to Dyer, the team's cleanup hitter. He described it as a risk worth taking.

            "It was a little deflating," said Sullivan, of only ending up with one run during the inning. "I figured that if we could get Berg to second place, we had a good chance at pushing across two more runs."

            The Wildcats added three runs (one earned) in the seventh inning off relief pitcher Erin Gray. A two-run hit by Rachel Epps highlighted the rally.
            On Monday night, the Indians scratched out a 1-0 extra-inning victory over visiting Pottsgrove. Maddie Deeble's RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning, which drove home Kaylyn Adair, ended the game.

            Dyer outdueled Pottsgrove pitcher Mikayla Eckman striking out 13 and scattering eight hits.

            Eckman limited the host Indians to eight hits over nine innings. Forrest delivered three of them, while Gasda added two.

            With four games remaining, Upper Perk appears on a glide path for another division championship. They also have a firm grip on the number one seed in the district power rankings. 
            Sullivan downplayed his role in reaching triple digits in career victories, crediting the summer league travel coaches who developed his players and the girls.
            "I don't do a whole lot," the coach said after the loss to the Wildcats.

 


 

 

 

 

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