Softball Consecutive State Champs!
Let's face it. Many teams would be thrilled to win a state championship every so often . . . Even ever.
Not Penn Charter's softball squad, as guided by Doc Mittica.
His Quakers now own two in a row and the 2016 title in the PAISAA tournament was garnered May 28 in uncommon heat – especially for this spring – vs. visiting SCH Academy.
The final was 4-3 and PC had to go the not-easy route after star junior righthander Faith Fenton was forced to sit down in the visiting fifth, with the bases loaded and nobody out, due to back pain that had been bothering her since early in the week.
Most sophomores would have gone the deer-in-headlights route. Instead, Ava Nicolucci wriggled out of the inning while allowing just one runner to make it home. She collected the outs on two whiffs and a groundout.
The final line for Fenton, the winning pitcher: four innings, two hits, one run (earned), two walks, four strikeouts.
The final line for Nicolucci, who earned a save: three, three, two (unearned), zero and four.
PC scored on a two-run single by Eileen Hennessy, a one-run single by Emily Zurcher and an RBI groundout by senior Ayanna Matthews. Also, Brigitte Gutpelet went 2-for-2 with a steal and two runs scored and Grace Stansfield went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
"It was a hard-fought game," Mittica said. "It's tough to beat a team three times in a row. SCH improved through the season.
"The seventh was almost 1-2-3. But an error enabled SCH to rally for two runs with two out. There was a grounder to Eileen, who played shortstop today, and she threw to Emily at first to end it. That was the same ending combo as in last year's championship game . . . Ava did a superb, gutty job. She came up big."
The Quakers, who also own two consecutive Inter-Ac League titles, stormed to a combined record of 43-4 in the 2015-16 seasons -- 25-2, then 18-2.
"Not shabby," Doc noted with pride.
Choose groups to clone to: