Upper Perkiomen Tribe's U-12 player Carley Burnhart slides into third base safely on a steal in Tuesday night's home game against Parkland Youth Center.
Improving their record to 9-1-1 Tuesday against the Parkland Youth Center (PYC) girls softball team, the U12 Upper Perkiomen Tribe sealed their spot in the upcoming playoffs.
Ending in an 8-1 decision, Tuesday’s game moved the team to a second place standing within the Lehigh Valley Girl’s Softball League. The top four teams within this competitive fast-pitch league are the ones which advance to the playoffs beginning Monday, July 9.
“I think for an Upper Perk girls softball team these girls are doing a fantastic job,” expressed second-year head coach Jackie Fretz.
Referring to past struggles which the Upper Perk softball program has come across, Fretz clearly said the organization is headed in the right direction. This past season the Tribe has travelled to Ocean City, Maryland for the “Beach Blast” tournament and other locations such as Middletown and Quakertown.
Although proving to have been more successful this season in league play than in tournament play, Fretz believes the traveling has made the team more experienced, and ultimately better than they were this time last year. She explained that with each win the girls' drive to succeed becomes stronger.
That drive was in full gear Tuesday evening as the girls defeated PYC. A combination of pitching efforts from Karlee Fretz, Emily Kern, and Alyssa Sullivan earned the Tribe a remarkable 14 total strikeouts against the opposing team.
“We could have hit better this game, but our defense was definitely good,” remarked catcher Claire Stoll.
The Tribe may not have accumulated a vast amount of hits throughout the seven innings of play, but they did achieve timely hits enabling them to string together runs and the win.
Despite a slow start, after the team’s first two at-bats, Upper Perk generated at least one run per inning.
Coming up big in the bottom of the fourth inning, Autumn Gahman led off the inning with a single, then proceeded to steal second. A fake bunt from teammate Carley Burnhart allowed Gahman to steal third. Burnhart, having earned a walk, put two runners on with Emily Kern at the plate. Crushing a fly ball to deep left field allowed Gahman enough time to tag up after the ball was caught and cross home plate safely. This play was the start of the team’s ongoing offensive momentum.
Also assisting the team offensively were Erin Lee, who singled twice, and Burnhart, who drove in two runs.
Hoping to advance into the playoffs without another loss, the Tribe will play their final regular-season game today at 6 p.m. at the Upper Perkiomen High School JV softball field.