Bucks County Herald

Softball:

CB South captures district title

DAVID CAMPBELL



CB South smiles with the trophy for winning the District One Class AAAAAA championship last Thursday at Immaculata. The Titans defeated CR North, 1-0, for the title. Kylie Kenney threw the shutout.

Kevin Rosini is running out of superlatives to describe his ace.

But the Central Bucks South head coach is still more than happy to keep heaping praise on Kylie Kenney, who last Thursday afternoon in the District One Class AAAAAA final at Immaculata University tossed her third shutout of the postseason.

“She’s a warrior,” Rosini said of his junior righthander. “You can throw whatever you want at her. She finds a way. She finds a way to get outs, whether it’s with a strikeout or whether it’s forcing a groundball, just whatever. She’ll do whatever she has to do to get out of the inning.”

“She has such amazing ball movement,” said senior Maddie McShane, Kenney’s batterymate. “Even great hitters have a hard time hitting her.”

Council Rock North, which had posted four straight upsets (based on seeding) to reach the district finale, was Kenney’s final victim in districts. Kenney held the No. 19 Indians to four hits and fanned six in another 1-0 triumph, the top-seeded Titans’ third such outcome in four district games. Only No. 8 Conestoga managed a run off of Kenney, in the quarterfinals; CB South won that game 5-1.

“I have the best defense behind me,” Kenney deflected. “They saved a couple of close ones near the fence today, so I’m thankful for that. Yeah, we don’t get the hits that we want all of the time, but I know that our defense will make up for it – and that’s how we win games.”

Kenney didn’t rely on her defense to record the final two outs against Rock North. She relied on her arm, getting a pair of Indians to whiff with Abigail Seiple and Elena Calibeo, both of whom had singled with one out, at second and first, respectively. Kenney ended the contest with a called third strike.

“There were two people on and I was so nervous,” McShane admitted, “and Kylie just kept throwing strikes and she looked so calm and composed.”

“Every time you need her to, she gets the big out,” Rosini added. “First and second in the seventh inning and she finished the game with two strikeouts. She’s amazing. I’m just so proud of her. It’s unbelievable.”

Kenney got all of the run support that she would need in the third. Rebecca Brennan led off with a walk, moved up on Olivia Robinson’s sacrifice and Alexa Ortman’s grounder to second and scored on Tara Tumasz’s two-out single that scooted through the left side of the infield.

“I just saw a first-pitch strike,” smiled Tumasz, a sophomore.

“I’m so proud of both of them; this is their first year playing varsity,” Rosini said of Brennan and Tumasz. “Offensively, they won us the game today.”

Brennan and Tumasz had two of the Titans’ four hits off of Indians hurler Lauren Begg. Katie Hines and Nicole Pilla had the others, both in the sixth.

Tumasz had an unforgettable week. She also plated the winning run in CB South’s narrow victory over No. 4 North Penn two days earlier.

“Never would have thought of it,” Tumasz grinned.

Prior to last Thursday, the last time the Titans had hoisted the district trophy was 2010. It had been six years since they last qualified for states.

“It’s crazy; it’s so nice,” said Brennan, a junior. “Everyone’s so hyped up and it’s great.”

“Amazing,” Kenney chimed in. “We had lost our first game [in districts] all of the years that I played. To win districts and then have a spot in states is just the most amazing feeling.”

There were a lot of unanswered questions entering the 2018 campaign. Rosini had graduated a lot of offensive firepower. His young talent, time and again, stepped up in the clutch.

“We keep fighting,” McShane said, “no matter what happens. In the sixth inning against North Penn, Tara had an RBI. She had an RBI today. It’s just really a whole team effort.”

CB South (20-4 overall) played District One fifth-place Neshaminy on Tuesday at Plymouth Whitemarsh in the first round of states and dropped a 9-0 decision. Redskins pitcher Sarah Dowalo silenced the Titan bats. It was a rare off day for Kenney and company, who saw their splendid season – and the CB South careers of five seniors, McShane, Alex DeLeon, Marissa Mancini, Amanda Hughes and Kate Carfagno – end. Neshaminy, meanwhile, moved on to this Thursday’s quarterfinals against District Two champion Hazleton Area.

For Rosini’s squad, there were many more positives than negatives this spring. Kenney made sure of that.

“I don’t want anyone else pitching for me, in a clutch situation, in a big game,” Rosini reminded in last Thursday’s district final aftermath.

dcampbell@buckscountyherald.com



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