"After we saw that, it didn't seem like such a good thing," said Richino. ''We didn't want to play a fun game one week and then have to go against them in the playoffs the next."
It's a good thing they reconsidered those tentative plans. The Hatters, as expected, breezed past West Chester Henderson, 12-3, Tuesday. The Panthers pulled an upset, nipping Great Valley, 2-1, and setting up this afternoon's showdown.
The Hatters (16-3), seeded fourth in the district, got a terrific pitching performance from senior ace Erika Hale, who allowed only 4 hits while striking out 13 against Henderson.
Richards' biggest concern going into the game was overconfidence. Henderson finished fourth in the four-team Ches-Mont League and was seeded 28th among the 32 teams in the Class AAA playoff field.
Richards reminded the Hatters that although Henderson won only once in nine league games, the Warriors were 7-10 overall.
Hale helped her own cause with a pair of hits, including a home run and 3 runs batted in. Louise Brooks chipped in with 3 hits and a pair of RBI while Deena Cataldi added 2 hits and 2 rbi.
Tennent (11-7), seeded 20th, surprised Great Valley, seeded 13th, behind Sue Whisler, who allowed only 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out 4.
The winning run scored in the top of the seventh on a single by Ruthann Slaymaker.
TAYLOR FIRES NO-HITTER
Upper Moreland coach Doug Derstine brought his team together for a little heart-to-heart talk just prior to Tuesday's Class AAA playoff opener against Coatesville.
The gist of Derstine's message?
"The regular season is over and the playoffs represent a new beginning," he said. "I told them we just had to go out there and do what we are capable of."
Senior pitcher Melissa Taylor took Derstine's word's to heart. She pitched a no-hitter to lead the Golden Bears to a 5-1 victory and send them into this afternoon's second round meeting against 30th-seeded Truman. The Tigers posted a 7-5 upset victory over previously unbeaten Conestoga Tuesday.
Taylor, who walked 4 and struck out 6, received outstanding defensive support in pitching her gem. But the best play of the day came on a foul ball. With a runner on first, nobody out and the Bears ahead, 4-1 in the fourth inning, first baseman Anne Kenyon ranged far into foul territory to catch a fly ball and then made a terrifc throw to catch the startled baserunner.
CRUSADERS, MONARCHS FALL
The end of the line came quickly for both Lansdale Catholic and Gwynedd- Mercy Academy Tuesday, although in different ways. The Crusaders suffered an 8-1 setback at the hands of Downingtown while the Monarchs were edged by Pottsgrove, 2-1.
Lansdale Catholic (14-6) committed 6 errors in losing to the Whippets, who scored only 2 earned runs. Meanwhile, the Crusaders couldn't string together an offense against Pottsgrove pitching.
Monarchs (9-8) coach Mark Donnelly was disappointed but not discouraged by his team's season-ending loss in its first playoff appearance ever. Sophomore April Andruczyk pitched a fine game, scattering 6 hits. She didn't allow an earned run and struck out 2 while not walking a batter.
"Our goal is to improve the program each season," said Donnelly. "'We certainly did that this year. I don't think the girls ever really realized how good they were this season."
BUCKS, MAIDENS ADVANCE
Central Bucks West and North Penn both posted victories Tuesday to advance to this afternoon's second-round games.
The Bucks whipped Penn Wood, 11-1, and will take on Downingtown this afternoon. Senior catcher Debbie Zerbe cracked a pair of home runs and drove in 3 runs.
The Maidens topped Phoenixville, 6-2, and will meet Neshaminy this afternoon. The Redskins topped Interboro, 10-0.