After a slow start, a big inning lifted Kutztown to a win on Monday night.
The second-seeded Cougars scored six runs in the sixth inning to earn a 6-0 win over seventh-seeded Lancaster Catholic in a District 3 Class 3A softball quarterfinal at Kutztown Park.
“We just know that we had to push ourselves and do whatever it took to win,” sophomore Sadie Berger said. “In that inning, we finally came together as a team and did what we had to do.”
Berger had the biggest hit of the rally, a two-run double that gave the Cougars a 4-0 lead. She finished 2-for-3 with the extra-base hit.
“I just had to believe in myself,” Berger said. “I had to have the mindset that I’m going to get a hit.”
The big inning came after Kutztown (19-5) had struggled mightily on offense through the first five. The Cougars left the bases loaded in the second, and otherwise struggled to get runners in scoring position.
“We just didn’t play our fundamentals,” Kutztown coach Kevin Conrad said. “We had some really bad at-bats early. We weren’t doing our job.”
While the offense was quiet, Cougars pitcher MaKayla Drey was dominant once again. The senior allowed just two hits and no walks while striking out seven in the shutout.
“She threw a heck of a game for us,” Conrad said. “She’s been lights out for us the last couple games.”
After sophomore Kourtney Dietrich reached on an error, pinch-hitter Jayden Gehris got the Kutztown offense going in the sixth with a sacrifice fly that brought home Dietrich to break the scoreless tie.
“She’s been doing that all year long for us,” Conrad said about Gehris. “She just seems to come in there and give us a spark.”
From there the floodgates opened. Drey drew a walk and came around to score on an RBI single from senior Meaghan Dietrich to make it 2-0. Berger followed with her double, which allowed Dietrich and freshman Felicia Oldt to trot home.
“Sadie has been getting a lot more confidence in herself,” Conrad said. “She came up big for us.”
Berger scored on a ’ throwing error to make it 5-0. Junior Samantha Furst followed with a sacrifice fly to drive in Marisa Berger.
Pitcher Madelyn Detz struck out two in seven innings for Lancaster Catholic (11-9).
“I’m just proud of them,” Drey said about her teammates. “It took a little while, but at least we got the runs we needed to win the game.”
The Cougars will continue their playoff run in the semifinals against No. 3 seed Susquenita on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at Kutztown Park. The Blackhawks beat No. 6 seed Pequea Valley 14-4 on Monday.
“That’s not going to pass,” Conrad said about the slow start on Monday night. “We need people to start a little bit sooner.”
Source: Berkshire mont