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Sullivan: Indians Contending with Softball Defensive Issues
Written by Bradley Schllegel, Staff Writer
2024-03-27

            Upper Perkiomen's softball team has defensive issues, averaging more than five errors in its initial three games.

            "We're working things out," head coach Dean Sullivan said.

            During recent non-league losses to Souderton and Quakertown, the Indians

Ashley Forrest tags out a Souderton runner attempting

to steal home during the second inning on Monday.

committed 12 combined errors. According to their coach, their lackluster performance in the field helped make both games non-competitive.

            "We shouldn't be playing like this," Sullivan said.

            Qualifying for the Pioneer Athletic Conference playoffs for the third consecutive season could be tougher than initially expected, but Sullivan expressed hope that the situation would improve quickly. Sullivan identified its conference season opener against Perkiomen Valley on Wednesday, March 27 as an ideal time for the Tribe (1-2) to show improvement.

            Five starters return from the team that reached the PAC title game last season. They include infielders Darby Gasda, Kristina Molnar and Elizabeth Proctor along with outfielder Maddie Deeble and catcher Ashley Forrest, whose grand slam in the top of the seventh inning lifted the team to a semifinal-round victory over Spring-Ford.

            Eva McCormick, Genevieve McKeehan, Riley Eden and Erin Gray are receiving significant playing time. All four filled more complimentary roles last season for the Indians, who reached the District One Class 4A title game.

           Outfield play remains a specific concern, in Sullivan's opinion. In a 7-2 loss to Souderton on Monday, they misplayed two fly balls.

            One, off the bat of Kathryn Jones to open the third inning, sparked a two-run rally. A third miscue on a single to right field by Jones in the fourth inning helped the Suburban One team extend its lead to 6-0.

            The Indians' defensive issues have led the coach to field three different lineups. Five different players have started in the outfield, including ninth-grader Brooke Sullivan.

            The designated player spot will likely remain in flux also.

            "It feels like every game and every practice is an audition for the next game," coach Sullivan said.

             Souderton took advantage of six errors committed by the Tribe. The team pounded out 10 hits against Gray.

            The Indians managed just five hits off Souderton pitcher McKenna Schroding. She went the distance on the mound, registering 11 strikeouts.

            Upper Perkiomen's only runs came in the fifth inning. Kaylin Adair came off the bench to drive home Ryan Berg with a double down the right-field line. Gasda followed with an RBI hit.

            The Indians managed just two hits in a 10-0 loss to Quakertown on Friday, March 22. Gasda and Brooke Sullivan delivered them.
            The host Panthers scored five earned runs into the third inning off Gray, who was charged with only two earned runs over 2 1/3 innings on seven hits. Kira Jefferson delivered three hits, including a double and a home run.

            "Some of the younger players are not used to this level of play," said Dean Sullivan, whose team is scheduled to face Palisades on April 2. "I think they are starting to figure things out a little bit."


 

 

 

 

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