Perkiomen girls softball captured another Tri-County League Championship with a 6-4 victory over host West-Mont Christian Academy last Thursday.
Jasmine Cora approached her second at-bat Thursday with confidence, lining an inside pitch down the left field line. Unsure of the ground rules, Cora stopped at second after the ball bounced off the fence.
However Perkiomen School softball coach Melissa Gaiser, more certain of the play's outcome, waived her index finger above her head in a circular manor.
Cora's home run – awarded when it struck the tree line – sparked a five-run, third-inning rally and propelled the Panthers to a 6-4 victory over host West-Mont Christian Academy in the Tri-County Independent School League championship game.
Isabella San Miguel and Dorita Deveney drove in consecutive runs with a triple and single off West-Mont pitcher Emily Coffman during the third for the Panthers (12-6).
San Miguel and Deveney each posted two hits. Maddy Glinski and Cora each scored two runs.
Perkiomen School pitcher Meghan MacIntyre allowed five hits – including a three-run homer by Coffman in the bottom of the seventh – and struck out five to earn the victory and help secure the team's second league title under Gaiser.
Leading off the third, Cora swung aggressively at the first pitch from Coffman. The line drive collided with the bottom of the tree line, and fell to the ground inside an orange snow fence.
"I was totally elated," Gaiser said of the homer, which put her team ahead 2-0. "The fact that Jasmine hit it was fantastic. It was very exciting."
Cora, who expressed nervousness while striking out leading off the game, said she wanted to show her teammates they could get to Coffman, a hard thrower. The homer provided a boost of confidence for the Panthers, according to MacIntyre.
"[Coffman] is a real good pitcher," Cora said. "We haven't had much success against Coffman in the last two years."
Glinski, who reached on an error, scored on San Miguel's triple to right center field. Deveney's line single to left field put them ahead 4-0.
Deveney and Amelia Dormer, who reached on an infield throwing error, both scored unearned runs to cap the rally.
The Panthers spent a significant amount of Wednesday's practice preparing for Coffman by facing pitching machines set at a high speed, according to Gaiser.
"We did real well," Cora said.
After the Wings scored an unearned run in the fourth, they rallied in the seventh. MacIntyre issued two walks before surrendering the three-run shot by Coffman, a low line-drive down the left field line, with two outs.
However, MacIntyre retired the final hitter on a ground ball to second to clinch the victory. "The home run didn't bother me, even though it got them back in the game," said MacIntyre, who admitted that her mind sometime wanders on the mound. "I kept a good pace."
Gaiser said the home run made her nervous. "Meghan just brushed it off and kept pitching," the coach said. "She did a great job."