Seal puts stamp on Lansdale win

ALLENTOWN - Walking to the plate in the top of the seventh inning, Lansdale Catholic's Ashley Seal wasn't sure what to do.

Should she bunt to advance the runners, or swing away and hope to knock in one of her teammates?

Crusaders coach Paul Suder knew what he wanted to do. With runners on first and second, none out, and his team down by a run in the PIAA Class AAA softball quarterfinals, he wasn't going to have his team go for the tie, he said.

They were going to go for the win, and his sophomore pitcher, Seal, had the green light to swing.

As Seal's line drive hit the gap in left-center field, both she and Suder knew he had made the right decision. Her double led Lansdale Catholic to a 2-1 victory over Berwick at Patriots Park.

"They pulled the infield up, so I knew I had to hit it behind them," Seal said.

"It felt really good," Seal added. "When the ball just went off the bat, I was like: 'Yes!' "

The shot got past the Berwick centerfielder, who had run up to the gap to try to catch the ball, and drove in Alyssa Messina and Greta Sheridan. Messina had led off the seventh by getting hit by a pitch, and Sheridan followed by ripping a single to left field.

Seal allowed a two-out single in the bottom of the seventh before retiring the final batter on a fly ball to center field.

The game had been scoreless through five innings, as neither pitcher gave up much ground.

Seal, in particular, was in great command, as Suder said he thought she located her pitch accurately 98 percent of the time. He called her performance "outstanding."

Seal scattered six hits and struck out only two. But she didn't allow any walks and forced 12 batters to pop up or fly out.

"We had some girls who had some great hits, but they weren't dropping," Sheridan said. "We knew we had to go out there [in the seventh] and bring it."

Next up for the Crusaders (20-5) is a clash with Bethlehem Catholic in the state semifinals Monday, at a time and place to be determined.

"I think we will come out and battle," Suder said. "We are playing with some confidence right now, and we've got a little bit of momentum."

No doubt Lansdale Catholic will be going for the win and swinging away.

Lansdale Catholic 000 000 2 - 2 7 1

Berwick 000 001 0 - 1 6 2

WP: Ashley Seal. LP: Moriah Lynn. 2B: LC-Seal 2; B-Kylene Welsh.



Lansdale Catholic's Alyssa Messina looks back at the thrilling win.