**Note: This game originally published in The Reporter and on GameTimePA.com**
FRANCONIA — Not every District 1-AAAA softball game is a pretty one, but when you can get a win to advance to the quarterfinals you’ll take it.
Souderton capitalized on mistakes and got contributions from everywhere to pick up a 6-4 second-round victory over Abington Wednesday.
Of the six Souderton runs on the day, just two were earned. But the fifth-seeded Big Red is a winning bunch, and they know how to make the most of an opportunity.
“The best part is what I talked to (the team) about after the game — they came out and every single person contributed in some way, in a positive way,’ Indians coach Steph Rummel said. “Whether it was their hitting or their fielding or their pitching – whatever it was they contributed. It was a whole team effort, which is great.’
“The key was to make routine plays, and I don’t think we did that,’ Abington head coach Ellie White said after the game. ‘ I think we had like five errors, and you can’t beat anybody with five errors.’
Souderton advances to Friday’s quarterfinals take on 20th-seeded Great Valley, which upset No. 4 Springfield Delco 11-1 in the second round. The Indians have another home game, but they’re certainly not counting themselves in the semifinals just yet.
“Try to get the girls to focus on our game rather than the other team’s game,’ said Rummel said about her team’s strategy in the quarters. “Focus on making our strengths even stronger and our weaknesses our strengths. We focus on getting stronger with everything we do wrong in the game before… we’ll try to come out even harder.’
Much like Abington, Souderton wasn’t exactly sharp on this day — which ended up being a weakness Big Red turned into a strength in the win.
“We had a couple of errors and we had a couple bad at-bats, but we seemed to be able to wipe them off and forget about them and come back hard. I think that’s the difference,’ Rummel said.
Resilience was a theme for both teams in the game. Abington clawed its way back into the game after a Savannah Bostwick two-run single made the score 3-0 in favor of Souderton. The Ghosts got a run in the third and two more in the fourth to tie the game at three.
“These kids, honestly, that’s what they do. They have no die in them,’ White said. “They keep going, and they know if they can push a little bit more they can make things happen… We tied it up 3-3 because they just fought, fought, fought.’
From there it was the home team’s turn to bounce back and take control of the game. The go-ahead run was scored in the fifth on an RBI single from Katie Kehler, who was in the mix all day offensively. She ended up 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored on the day. Two more big insurance runs were scored in the sixth to make the score 6-3 headed into the final frame.
Abington got a run in the seventh, but once Souderton grabbed the lead late it never felt like they were going to lose it. That’s thanks to Big Red pitcher Alex Scheeler, who went the full seven innings and allowed just two earned runs.
“I think she came out extremely sharp,’ Rummel said about her pitcher. ‘ Having her come out hard and on fire is what we needed and she definitely did that today.’
Scheeler allowed only five hits while striking out four. Her counterpart was Abington’s Nikki Ray, who allowed just two earned runs herself in six innings of work.
District 1-AAAA Second Round
Souderton 6, Abington 4
Abington 001 200 1 — 4 5 5
Souderton 030 012 x — 6 10 4
WP: Alex Scheeler 7 IP 5 H 4 R 2 ER 0 BB 4 SO 1 HB.
LP: Nikki Ray 6 IP 10H 6R 2ER 2BB 1 SO.
2B: S-Shelly, Linke; SB: A-Worek; S-Bostwick
Abington: Washington 2-4, RBI, R; Worek 1-2, RBI, R; Sowell 0-3, RBI, R, HBP; McNally 1-3, RBI; Malfera 0-4, R.
Souderton: Bostwick 1-3, RBI, R; Kehler 1-3, RBI, R; Shelly 2-3, R; Gaydos 1-1, R; Yoder 2-4, R.