North Penn's Rick Torresani says it's all about getting the message through to the batter when he is coaching at third base.
He has found that verbal messages work better than the usual hand signals when he's trying to tell a batter to lay down a bunt, take a pitch, or hit-and-run.
Before each pitch, instead of going through hand signs, he'll shout out a string of college names - Duke, Virginia, Maryland, for example. The order of the names tells the batter what Torresani wants to do.
Torresani, who has been using the system for a few years, says he got the idea from some college teams that are using it.
"We were missing [hand] signs," Torresani explained, "so I decided to use this system. The players like it. We haven't missed a sign yet."
The Maidens, ranked No. 4 by The Inquirer, are in a tight race for the Suburban One League Continental Conference title. They have key conference games against Souderton (Thursday) and Hatboro-Horsham (Monday) to close out the regular league season.
The Hatters, ranked No. 1 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer, lead the conference with a 10-2 mark, and Souderton, one of the hottest teams in the area with an eight-game winning streak, is 8-3.
The Maidens are 8-4.
Bright future. Lansdale Catholic is looking forward to the Catholic League playoffs and an opportunity to improve on what it did in the postseason last year.
At the same time, coach Paul Suder is also smiling knowing what he has coming back next season for the Crusaders (10-5 overall, 10-1 league).
"We'll lose five seniors, but our leftfielder [Bridey Harkins], third baseman [Alyssa Messina], and rightfielder [Greta Sheridan] are all freshmen," Suder said. "Our pitcher, Mary Cate Scott, is a junior, so she's back, too."
In 2010, the Crusaders finished with the best league record in the regular season but lost to St. Hubert in the league playoff final. A win Thursday over Neumann-Goretti would give Lansdale the best regular-season mark.
Lansdale took the District 12 Class AA title in 2010 before losing to Donegal of District 3 in 11 innings on the international tiebreaker rule in the PIAA playoffs.
Another tight race. Speaking of tight races, thanks to Council Rock North, the Suburban One's National Conference has gotten closer.
Through Tuesday, Pennsbury and Neshaminy were in the lead with 10-1 records. Council Rock North, which surprised Pennsbury, 7-1, on May 5, was 10-2.
Neshaminy must play Truman, North, and Pennsbury in its final three games. Pennsbury will face Council Rock South in addition to Neshaminy, and North's other remaining game will be against Bensalem.
District 1 playoffs. Twenty-four teams will be selected for the District 1 Class AAAA playoffs at a seeding meeting next Thursday at Plymouth Whitemarsh. Play will begin May 23, and five teams will qualify for the PIAA playoffs. The district championship game will be on June 3.
The Class AAA playoffs, with 10 entries, will start May 25. The finals are set for June 2, with the two finalists advancing to state play.
The Class AA and A playoffs will open May 31 with four teams each. Just the district winner from these two classes will advance to the state playoffs.
Contact staff writer Don Beideman at 267-815-0733 or firstname.lastname@example.org.