Hatboro-Horsham beats Neshaminy to reach state softball final

Posted: June 13, 2011

It wasn't your routine double play - not with the centerfielder making a putout at second base - but the Hatboro-Horsham softball team will remember it for a long time.

First baseman Danielle DiFilippo began the play Monday against Neshaminy by snagging Diana Lapalombara's pop-up bunt attempt with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning. She then fired to centerfielder Melissa Spinosa, who stepped on second base to double up Carly Coleman.

The double play preserved the Hatters' 2-0 Class AAAA semifinal win over the Redskins (20-5) and put them in the PIAA championship game Friday in State College. Hatboro-Horsham (25-2) will play Pennsbury at 1 p.m.

It will mark the Hatters' third state title game appearance in five seasons. Hatboro-Horsham won the PIAA title in 2008 after losing in the final the year before.

"We don't work on that specific play, but we do work on backing up and making sure all bases are covered," said DiFilippo, celebrating an early graduation present with her fellow seniors. Hatboro-Horsham's graduation was set for Monday night.

"I just turned and fired [to second] because I knew Melissa would be there," DiFilippo added. "I knew the Neshaminy runners would be going."

"That double play at the end of the game was huge," said Hatters coach Joe DiFilippo. "But then I wasn't surprised. They are used to playing heads-up ball."

The Hatters did not make an error behind junior Maggie Shaffer's six-hit pitching, and shortstop Val Sadowl took care of their offense. Her two-run double in the first inning scored Chrissy James (single) and Julie Wambold (walk) with the only runs of the game.

"I think it kind of helped us, getting to them early," Shaffer said. She faced Neshaminy threats in the first, third, sixth and seventh innings, as the Redskins put at least two runners on each time.

In the first, she fanned cleanup hitter Sarah McGowan and Julia McGovern to escape trouble. Her defense bailed her out of the other jams.

After Sadowl's double, Quense silenced the Hatters' bats. Julie Wambold got the only other hit off pitcher Lauren Quense on a bunt in the third. The only other Hatter to reach first was James, who was safe on an error.

First-year Neshaminy coach Dave Chichilitti said he was trying to move Coleman and Clee into scoring position with the bunt in the seventh.

"I'd give up an out to get our No. 3 and No. 4 hitters [Quense and McGowan] a chance to drive in two runs to tie it," he said. "If they chose to not pitch to Quense, they'd have to face McGowan with the bases loaded."

Hatboro-Horsham    200 000 0 - 2 3 0

Neshaminy    000 000 0 - 0 6 1

WP: Maggie Shaffer. LP: Lauren Quense. 2B: HH- Val Sadowl.

Contact staff writer Don Beideman at 267-815-0733 or dbeideman@phillynews.com

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