**Note: This article originally published in The Reporter and on PaPrepLive.com**
TOWAMENCIN >> It can be tough to get a gauge on where any team stands after the first game of the season. The North Penn softball team did not have that problem, as it faced a tough Central Bucks South squad in its opener.
The Maidens came in ready to establish themselves as a team to be reckoned with, used a five-run second inning to earn a 7-2 Suburban One League Continental Conference victory over the Titans Wednesday afternoon.
“We got some timely hitting, they gave us some walks and we were able to capitalize on them,” North Penn coach Rick Torresani said. “I’m very pleased with this. (CB South) is a good team. To come out with an opening day league win is huge.”
The reason the second-inning runs held up for North Penn (1-0, 1-0 conference) was thanks to a quality pitching performance by Bri Battavio, who allowed just two runs on three hits in seven innings. She did walk eight in her first career varsity start, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing if those free passes don’t score.
“Sometimes it’s really not that bad to be a little wild when you can throw the ball hard,” Torresani said. “The batters can’t dig in…she threw well and she threw hard. I was very pleased with her outing for her first outing as a varsity pitcher.”
CB South’s first hit did not come until the fifth inning, which was an RBI single by Mikeala Simons.
“I knew (CB South) was a good team coming in and I just had to hit my spots,” Battavio said. “Me and coach talked last night about how crucial it was to hit our spots because we know some of these girls are great hitters.”
Katie Beer, who drove home two with a single down the left field line, sparked the five-run second. Beer had two hits in the game.
The capper came from Tori Chiu, who scored three with a line-drive double that ran by the center fielder.
“It was very great, timely hitting,” Battavio said. “It was a team win, honestly. Everybody contributed something to the win.“
The bats would go silent for both teams until the fifth came around, when South (1-1, 0-1) got its first run in the top half. North Penn came through with two runs of its own in the bottom of the inning to halt any thoughts of a Titan comeback.
“You’re always worried that we scored five early,” Torresani said. “You’re always worried a team like South comes back and ties you up. When they got that run (our) girls came back and got two in the bottom of the inning. It shuts them down”
Kariam Bou highlighted the two-run fifth for the Maidens, with a run-scoring double over the left fielder’s head. The junior finished the game 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI.
North Penn graduated one of its best players in school history in Jackie Bilotti last season, but a win to start this season over a team like CB South showcases the Maidens’ program mantra of “Tradition Never Graduates.”
“I think that people weren’t sure what to expect from us this year,” Battavio said. “So I think beating a good team like South kind of sets how it’s gonna go for the rest of the season. That we are here to win and we’re gonna be better than people think we are.”