Broomall -- Christy Von Pusch got the season started right for Radnor as the junior Penn State recruit tossed a no-hitter as the Raiders downed Marple-Newtown in the Central League opener for both squads. Von Pusch registered 19 punch outs on the chilly afternoon and yielded 4 walks.
Radnor hit the ball early against Marple-Newtown starting pitcher Steph Reaves, but everything seemed to be up in the windy air. In the Radnor third, Brittany Bentz and Jackie Price singled, but the two seniors were left stranded.
In the fourth, Von Pusch, who was way out in front on her first two swings, showed a fake bunt in an effort to slow down her swing, then lined a double down the left field line. Freshman Berry Margolis' grounder up the middle deflected off of Reaves' glove, but had enough on it to get through the infield and score Ali Birtwhistle who was running for Von Pusch at second. Margolis later scored on senior Michelle Tolan's solid line drive to left-center to give Radnor a 2-0 advantage.
In the fifth, Birtwistle stroked a single to right, then scampered all they way around the bases when Kyla Crombie's fly ball was misplayed in left field for a two base error.
The Tigers had their biggest threat in the fifth with runners on second and third and nobody out when Crombie came up with the defensive play of the game. On the squeeze play, third baseman Crombie fielded the bunt, faked the throw to first, then fired to shortstop Margolis who was covering at third for the out. Von Pusch then did the rest of the work with two consecutive strikeouts to end the inning.
With two out in the Radnor sixth, pinch hitter Izzy Schaeffer hit a frozen (literally) rope to right-center that rolled to the wall and the freshman wound up at third in her first Varsity at bat.
The Red Raiders added an insurance run in the seventh when Price walked then scored from third on a tag play on a popout to short right field by Crombie.
Keep up with all of the Red Raiders' softball action on Philly.com, in the Delco Times, and in Main Line Media News.
Von Pusch Tosses Second No-No in 2 Days
The Red Raiders bats were swinging a powerful force all day long enroute to an 11 hit attack led by freshman shortstop and leadoff hitter Bari Margolis. Margolis singled in the first and scored the Red Raiders initial run, doubled to deep left field in the second for 2 RBI, then added a single in the fourth for her first ever 3 hit day.
Kyla Crombie's single in the first plated Margolis, after a Becky Maz sacrifice, to give Radnor the early lead. Jackie Price's single up the middle and Brittnee Mallory's walk set the table in the second for Margolis' bomb.
In the fourth, back to back doubles by Mallory and Izzy Schaeffer started off the inning, Margolis third hit put runners on second and third and Schaeffer scampered home on Maz's sacrifice fly to right field. Von Pusch then hit a rocket to third base that took a fortunate Radnor bounce and scored Margolis.
The Red Raiders added two insurance runs in the sixth when Ali Birtwistle led off with a double to right center, Crombie popped a single to center, and Von Pusch's groundout and a Warrior throwing error scored them both.
Once again, however, it was Von Pusch that shut down the opponent on a cold afternoon. The right-hander ended with a dozen strikeouts against just four walks. She was aided by two solid defensive plays--one in the sixth when Von Pusch herself snared a scorching line drive up the middle
and one in the third when second baseman Brittany Bentz gloved a line shot and quickly tossed to Margolis at second for a double play.
Von Pusch Causes Irish Hit Famine
Notre Dame pitcher Christy Boashager kept the Raiders in check for four innings before Radnor rallied in the fifth. Jamie Gorson walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch, then scored on Alexa Royle's sharp single to right center. Bari Margolis then belted a long triple to right center that sent Royle scampering in for the score all the way from first. Izzy Schaefer's liner to right bounced and tipped off of the right fielder's glove as Schaefer recorded an RBI double for the third Radnor run.
The Red Raiders bats exploded in the sixth. Von Pusch belted a single to left to start off the inning as the Notre Dame left fielder was playing especially deep or Von Pusch could have turned the hit into extra bases. After a Birtwistle sacrifice, Gorson and Colby Walker walked to load the bases. Britnee Mallory walked in a run. Michelle Tolan rapped a 2 RBI single to right field, Margolis reached on an error, and Schaefer was hit by pitch for another RBI. Von Pusch came back to bat for the second time in the inning and this time her shot to left-center cleared the bases for a double and 3 RBI. Birtwistle's single up the middle ended the 9 run Red Raider barrage.
Varsity Pictures vs. Penncrest
Radnor Hangs On
Radnor rallied early with a four run first inning with all four runs being scored with two outs. Becky Maz, Radnor's #2 hitter, walked to start the rally. Maz attempted to steal second base and the ball beat her to the bag, but shortstop Lindsay Mishler could not find the handle on the ball and Maz slid safely into second. With two out, cleanup hitter Christy Von Pusch pounded a single to right field that sent Maz scampering home from second for the Red Raiders first run.
But, the two out rally was not done there. Bari Margolis reached on an infield error, then Ali Birtwistle grounded a seeing eye single up the middle to score courtesy runner Jamie Gorson who slid past the tag and allowed Birtwistle to advance to second on the throw home.
After Brittany Bentz walked to load the bases, Michelle Tolan hit a grounder up the middle that second baseman Kristen Jondrasitz fielded and flipped to second, but a hustling Bentz beat the throw to keep the rally alive as Margolis scored. With Jackie Price at the plate, Birtwistle deftly raced home on a passed ball to give Radnor its fourth run of the inning.
Von Pusch mowed down the Jaguars the first time through the lineup registering 8 strikeouts with the lone contact resulting in a groundout to Raider first baseman Tolan. In the fourth, however, Garnet Valley pitcher Caitlin Medved bunted and Radnor mis-handled the dribbler for its only error of the game. After Medved stole second, Mishler lined a single to right center to give GV its first run. After Mishler stole second, Danielle Spina singled to the same spot to score Mishler.
Garnet Valley closed the gap to 4-3 in the fifth on a fluke play. With Jondrasitz on third and two out, Mary Schlosburn walked and after reaching first, the leadoff hitter immediately raced for second in an attempt to draw a throw. Von Pusch wisely ran toward Schlosburn and when Jondrasitz broke for home, Von Pusch turned to throw home, but lost her footing and was unable to make the toss to waiting catcher Britnee Mallory.
Radnor got the run back in the home fifth when Maz singled up the middle and Birtwistle's single to right field, her second hit of the day, scored Maz.
The Jaguars loaded the bases with one out in the 7th, but Von Pusch got the final two outs with strikeouts to end the Garnet Valley threat and give Radnor the home victory to run its record to 6-4 on the year.
Click this link Victory over GV to view pictures taken at the game by Mr. Griest.
Video of Varsity win over Garnet Valley
Von Pusch Fires Fifth No Hitter
The Tigers will be happy to know that they won't have to face Von Pusch again this season. The junior, who committed to Penn State last year, has no-hit Marple-Newtown twice on the season. Von Pusch was electrifying this night as she fanned 11 while walking just 4.
Radnor played perfect defense against Marple-Newtown and did not commit a single error in the contest. Britnee Mallory did a great job behind the plate in catching the fireballing righty. Meanwhile, Von Pusch got some outstanding defense from second baseman Brittany Bentz who saved the no-hitter with a terriffic defensive play in the sixth. On a hard hit ground ball up the middle, Bentz dove and snared the ball, then threw from her knees to first baseman Michelle Tolan to get the close call at first.
Von Pusch's offensive heroics began in the second inning when she belted a homerun to right-center that got in the gap and rolled 270 feet for the round tripper.
In the sixth, Becky Maz started the insurance rally with a single to right center. Ali Birtwistle then laid down a perfect bunt and beat the throw to first. As Maz rounded second, she instinctively noticed that third was uncovered and raced for the extra base. Von Pusch then bopped a single to left field that easily scored Maz and allowed Birtwistle to plate the third run of the game with a slick slide at home.