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LANGHORNE, Pa. — Coach Tim Quense could not have envisioned a much better opening day outing for his Neshaminy High School softball team.
Taking on Bensalem on its beautiful brand new artificial turf field, Neshaminy run ruled the Owls, 10-0, in a game that was halted with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning.
As the final score might indicate, a Neshaminy team with a lot of new faces in its lineup was strong in all three facets of the game.
Pitching-wise, senior Ryleigh Bilbrey was spot on with a three-hitter, just one walk and six strikeouts.
Defensively, the Redskins did not commit a single error and showed it has a very rangy outfielder with Morgan Volgraf in center.
And at the plate Neshaminy pounded out 11 hits, including two singles and a RBI double by Lindsey Gorka in the clean-up. Neshaminy’s offensive pressure was consistent as it had at least two runners on base in every inning but the sixth and only failed to score in the first.
Heading into the season one of the biggest questions for Neshaminy was how it was going to replace four-year starting pitcher Kennedie Ruth. After patiently waiting for her turn, Bilbrey showed she sure looks up to the challenge with her solid opening performance.
Bilbrey is not overwhelmingly fast, but she does throw strikes and brings some gas low in the strike zone. Although Owl No. 2 batter Ayva Knowles was able to get to her for a single and double, that was pretty much it as Bensalem’s only other hit was a double by Abby Cornett.
The key to slowing down Bensalem, of course, is shutting down lead-off batter Megan Klein, who was named to The -’s All-Area team last year. This Bilbrey was able to do very effectively by twice striking out Klein swinging before getting her to ground out to short.
Truth be told, although Neshaminy hit the ball well, Bensalem pitcher Kayla Clarkson did not receive a lot of defensive support.
The Owls ended up with four errors and the game ended on a throw that sailed over the first baseman’s head.
Whatever, Neshaminy got lots of production up and down the lineup. especially in the middle of its order where Morgan Leonhauser had two hits batting behind Gorka. One of Leonhauser’s hits was a two-run triple to right center when Neshaminy blew the game wide open with four runs in the fifth.
All in all a great start to the season for a Neshaminy team that once again figures to be in its annual hunt for a division title.
Bensalem (0-1) 000 000 – 0 3 4
Neshaminy (1-0) 012 241 – 10 11 0
WP-Bilbrey. LP-Clarkston. 2B-Cornett (B), Knowles (B), Gorka (N). 3B-Leonhauser (N).
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