West Middlesex got nine hits from seven different players in beating Kennedy Catholic a second time.
By BILL ALBRIGHT
HERMITAGE -- Like Old Man River, the West Middlesex High softball team just keeps rolling along.
The Big Reds made a major statement to area high school squads Thursday by defeating previously once-beaten Kennedy Catholic, 10-1.
"I had a tough day in school," said West Middlesex coach Gene Rubeo. "I was nervous all day long because we had to come up to their field. They hadn't lost since we beat them earlier in the season and they were coming off a big win over Grove City."
The game was a matchup between two of the area's best pitchers -- the Reds' Rachelle Gill and Kennedy's Traci DeGarmo. However, Gill took command from the first pitch she threw and she and her teammates did the rest with the bats.
"But what a group," Rubeo said of his kids. "They are not only great ball players, but good students and just good all-around people off the field as well. They execute all aspects of the game to perfection and they make us very proud of them. It was a case of textbook softball from them today."
Gill struck out 16, walked just one and yielded only a wind-blown double to Leanne Madden in the fourth when Kennedy scored its only run of the game. Gill also finished with a pair of doubles, one run scored and two RBIs.
Made a statement
"That girl [Gill] is such a hard worker," said Rubeo. "Last year they had three co-MVPs in the league, and this year, I can't believe that anybody is even close to her. She really made a statement today between two of the best pitchers in the league. This was definitely a 'no contest' game because she just dominated all aspects."
The Reds (10-0) came up with nine hits from seven different players. Rachel Donner, Mel Polonsky, Shannon Baker, Alicia Stefanak, Kris Wingard and Brandy Parker all reached base.
"We really started preparing for this game a little last Friday by turning up the pitching machine," explained Rubeo. "We tried to get the kids to shorten their strokes with the bat and just concentrate on making contact. I thought we were prepared, but I never expected to see anything like the performance these kids put on here today. Everybody hit the ball hard and even some of the outs were hit like rockets."
Didn't answer bell
"Coach Rubeo had them well prepared and we just weren't ready to play today," said Kennedy (7-2) coach Joel Giroski. "They executed, they put pressure on our girls and we didn't answer the bell. They bloodied our noses the first time we played them and today, she [Gill] just dominated us again.
"We still like our positioning for getting into the playoffs," said Giroski, "but until we prove that we can beat them, they are the team we are going to be chasing."