Seal sparks Lansdale Catholic's quarterfinal win

Posted: May 18, 2013

It was definitely not your typical rundown.

But then again, scoring the winning run in a quarterfinal playoff game on your 15th birthday isn't the usual way to celebrate turning another year older, either.

For Lansdale Catholic freshman Ashley Seal, both were parts of her special day Thursday, as the Crusaders defeated Archbishop Ryan, 5-0, to advance in the Catholic League softball playoffs.

Seal walked in the third inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice by Jenna Gibbons. A wild pitch moved Seal to third.

The next batter, Amanda Bradley, tried a safety-squeeze bunt. Ragdolls pitcher Nikki Michalowski fielded the ball and looked at Seal, who scampered back toward third base. Michalowski then looked at first base and threw the ball there, but too late to get Bradley.

The first baseman threw the ball home, and Bradley headed toward second base. The catcher then threw to second while Seal inched closer and closer to home before sliding over the plate.

"I couldn't just take off," Seal said. "I had to slowly creep down the line."

That gave the Crusaders (14-6) their first run. They added a second in that inning, and then continued to be aggressive on the base paths, advancing on wild pitches.

"We definitely took advantage of the situation. We waited and made [Michalowski] throw more pitches," Crusaders junior Greta Sheridan said.

A two-out double by Sheridan jump-started another Lansdale uprising in the fourth, as the Crusaders knocked in three insurance runs to take a 5-0 lead.

In the sixth, it looked as if Ryan (13-7) might make things interesting when it put runners on first and second. A batter later, the ball almost dropped in for a single in front of Sheridan in center field, but she made a terrific sliding play to end the inning.

"Greta's catch was big because it was a momentum saver," Lansdale coach Paul Suder said.

Overall, the Ragdolls stranded eight base runners, thanks to the excellent performance of sophomore pitcher Danielle Eckroth.

"She hit her spots. She didn't make any mistakes," Suder said. "She's not afraid to walk people, and she's not afraid to pitch with runners on base."

Lansdale Catholic advances to the Catholic League semifinals and will play St. Hubert on Monday at Arcadia University.

Archbishop Ryan 000 000 0 - 0 4 2

Lansdale Catholic 002 300 x - 5 3 0

WP: Danielle Eckroth. LP: Nikki Michalowski. 2B: LC-Greta Sheridan.

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