The Panther Valley softball squad has certainly had its struggles this season, but on Friday afternoon it seemed to all come together for the young Lady Panthers. For the first time this season, Panther Valley was able to play seven innings without committing an error. In turn, the Panthers defense helped them gain their first win of the season with a 6-2 victory over the Marian Fillies.
The win for the Lady Panthers couldn't of come at a better time, facing rival Marian. The Fillies beat the Panthers 11-1 back on April 3rd and it became evident that PV wanted vengeance.
The Panthers got to work early with a leadoff single from Bryanna Kehrli. An out and a ground out later and the Panthers were heading into the bottom of the first with a one run lead. A lead that they would never relinquish as the game went on.
Panther Valley hurler Sam Zlock controlled the Marian hitters all day hitting her spots and allowing just six hits. Zlock mentioned that with her teammates playing great defense behind her, it gives her more confidence as a pitcher.
"Coach Hull said all season long that if we cut down on the errors we can compete with anybody and today showed that," said Zlock. "Mentally I pitch better when I know our defense is playing well and we couldn't have played any better today."
Marian's Bethany Shaud also had a nice day on the hill. Shaud only allowed four runs on nine hits, while striking out nine. She had only allowed five hits for the first six innings, but then the Panthers reeled off four hits in a row in the seventh.
"Bethany held her own out there and she pitched well," said Marian head coach Joe DeAngelo. "You have to give Panther Valley a lot of credit today. They got the early lead and kept us from getting any momentum going. They pitched well and played good defense and that's what led them to the win."
Zlock, Kristyn Gates, Megan Marouchoc, and Sarah-Mary Tucker all had RBIs for the Panthers. Tucker broke the game open for the Panther Valley in the fourth, hitting a double to the right centerfield gap bringing in two runs.
"I just approach every at bat focused and ready to drive the ball," said Tucker. "Getting that hit felt great and I knew I got a hold of it because it hit the sweet spot of my bat."
Tucker's hit gave the Panthers a three-run cushion and the Panthers fielders, like they did all afternoon, gave the Fillies little opportunity to score runs.
"I've been telling the girls all year that we have to cut down on the errors," said Panther Valley head coach James Hull. "The first five out of the six games of the year we lost in early innings by ten runs or more and lately the girls have been showing improvement. We just needed that one game to come together for us so the girls could see they have the ability to compete and today proved that for us."
Sierra Snyder had three hits, Jeanne Cannon, Shaud, and Sam Faust also had a hit a piece for Marian.
With the loss Marian drops to 6-6. Panther Valley improves to 1-12.
Panther Vy. 100 103 1 - 6 9 0
Marian 000 001 1 - 2 6 2
Zlock and Kehrli; Shaud and Hill; W - Zlock L - Shaud.