The season that started with inconsistency and uncertainty will culminate Thursday in the Tri-County Independent School League championship game. Early on, Perkiomen School's softball team faced its share of concerns, according to head coach Melissa Gaiser. She said inclement weather and a handful of inexperienced players prevented the Panthers from figuring out who would play where.
On Tuesday, with those issues long settled, Perkiomen School clinched a berth in the title game with a 15-0 semifinal playoff victory over Barrack Hebrew Academy. The Panthers invoked the mercy rule in the bottom of the third, clinching the win on a two-run hit by Meghan MacIntyre.
"This was a very good game," Gaiser said. "We got our offense going early, and were able to maintain." Dorita Deveney delivered a two-run single for Perkiomen School. MacIntyre, Deveney and Sarah Chiesa each registered two hits. MacIntyre drove in three runs. Isabella San Miguel and Mindi Gallagher each scored three runs for the Panthers, who will compete for the title Thursday. They batted around in two of three innings against Barrack pitcher Tali Glickman.
In the first, Perkiomen took advantage of two errors to score five runs (two unearned) and send 11 hitters to the plate. Deveney's two-run hit opened the scoring. The team added six more runs in the second. Three scored on a wild pitch and two came home on a walk.
A Barrack fielding error to open the third set up the decisive rally. Chiesa's RBI-hit preceded the final hit by MacIntyre. On the mound, MacIntyre permitted two runs in three shutout innings. "Meghan seems to be improving every game," Gaiser said. "She helps us perform well in the field."
The team played two or three "really bad games" early in the season, according to the coach. She said the inclement weather and a senior class that included three inexperienced players factored into the early issues.
According to Gaiser, Perkiomen School's first game was only its second time outside.
She said she needed another game to figure out who should play which position. "Early on, we had a lot of mixed positions," said Deveney, a four-year starter. "Right now, we've got a lot of confidence in what we are doing."
By the second game, the coach figured out who would play where. "We figured out pretty quickly what it would take for this team to be successful," Gaiser said. "Every game has gotten better and better. The players have each other's back, and they know what's going on."