Falcons have fun at CL Play Day
Of the set of six softball games at Pates Park on Saturday, the fourth game between Salisbury and Wilson figured to be one of the most competitive at the Colonial League’s Play Day event.
The Lady Falcons must have missed that memo.
Much like the rest of the five games that were decided by at least 10 runs, Salisbury, too, followed suit with the blowout victories. The Lady Falcons (7-3 overall; 6-4 Colonial League) used a nine-run sixth inning to separate themselves from Wilson (6-4) and defeat the Warriors in six innings, 15-1.
“This was the game of the day, and honestly for us it was probably our best game of the year,” said pitcher Emily Silberman, who allowed just two hits and struck out nine batters. “And it feels amazing to get back into winning after losing our last two games.”
Bangor (15-0 over Moravian Academy), Pen Argyl (14-4 over Catasauqua), Palmerton (11-1 over Palisades), Northwestern (15-2 over Notre Dame-Green Pond) and Saucon Valley (13-0 over Northern Lehigh) were the other winners on Saturday.
The victory ended a two-game losing streak for Salisbury. The Falcons now hold the tiebreaker with Wilson for fifth place in the Colonial League.
Salisbury held a 6-1 lead after five innings and broke free with a scoring barrage in the sixth inning, one in which the Lady Falcons batted around before Wilson was able to secure the first out.
In that frame, Lil Crouthamel (2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) and Anna Bishop (2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) secured back-to-back RBI hits that pushed Salisbury’s lead to 9-1. Then, Morgan Goletz (2-for-4, 3 RBIs) and Gretchen Helsel (3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) knocked in two runs apiece with gapping doubles that ended the game by virtue of the 10-run rule.
“No matter what happened, even if we made errors or someone struck out or got out, we were always talking,” Silberman said. “We were always up. That most definitely helps everyone stay up during a game.
“Our left fielder [Kelly Gardus] got her first hit of the season. That started a fire, and everyone just kept going. That was amazing.”
Kaitlyn Keller, pinch-running for Helsel, scored the Lady Falcons final run of the game when she crossed home on a Wilson throwing error from the outfield.
After Brooke Rogers (2-for-4, 2 runs) led off the game with a double and later scored on a Crouthamel fielder’s choice, the duo had a large part in Salisbury’s five-run third inning. Crouthamel led off the inning with a triple to right field, then Bishop walked, and Silberman crushed a two-run single to left field in the next at-bat. Rogers also had a double in the inning.
“We just came out and hit,” Rogers said. “Especially after losing to two good teams in Southern Lehigh and Palmerton…Southern Lehigh we hit, but then against Palmerton we had three hits. Coming into today we were like don’t take anything for granted, especially every hit, every pitch.”
Compared to scoring just one run on three hits against Palmerton two days earlier, the Falcon offense came alive at a crucial point in the season. The top of the lineup continued to lead the way, but Salisbury’s entire batting order may have put together its best offensive showing of the season.
“We just hit the ball hard,” Rogers said. “The bottom of the lineup stepped up, too. We were a little shaky there. The top of the lineup has been killing the ball.”
Rogers, who pitched the entire season in 2016, is now mostly seeing time at third base with Silberman taking over as Salisbury’s ace. The plan has certainly panned out this far with the Lady Falcons on the verge of qualify for a postseason league berth.
“Usually I think this is how our duo is going,” Rogers said. “She will start, and I’ll play third…To be honest I never really played third before. This is high school ball. We don’t have quantity. We have quality.”
Salisbury will get its chance at redemption with another game against Palmerton on Wednesday. Game time is set for 4 p.m. at Salisbury Middle School.