Avon Grove captures AAAA title

Avon Grove pitcher Maggie Balint (right) and catcher Alyssa Herion celebrate the team's championship.
Avon Grove pitcher Maggie Balint (right) and catcher Alyssa Herion celebrate the team's championship. (MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer)
Posted: May 31, 2014

Alyssa Herion was sure she was going to be walked.

With two outs and a 3-2 count, Avon Grove's junior catcher and cleanup hitter resigned herself to the fact that her first at-bat in the District 1 Class AAAA softball championship game was going to be a free pass.

Instead, Herion got an inside pitch, and she liked the looks of it.

She sent the ball flying over the fence at Great Valley for a two-run homer, and the Red Devils went on to capture the program's first district title by defeating North Penn, 4-2.

It was just one pitch, one swing, and one of three at-bats for Herion during the contest.

But it completely changed the game between second-seeded Avon Grove and the ninth-seeded Maidens.

The Avon Grove team that first walked out on the field was not the same one that returned in the second inning, after Herion's blast.

A much more confident Red Devils (19-4) emerged with the game knotted, 2-2. As for the Maidens (17-7), the two-run shot was deflating.

"I always feel like if they are going to pitch to me, I better capitalize on it," Herion said. "If they are going to pitch to me, I am going to make them feel like they shouldn't anymore."

Red Devils sophomore pitcher Maggie Balint, who gave up two runs in the first inning, demonstrated a much calmer and self-assured demeanor when she got in the circle in the second.

"I only need one run," Balint said. "If you give me one run, I will keep that run up on that board and not let anyone else score.

"That is my mentality."

Balint didn't let anyone else score, but Avon Grove still needed another run.

Allie Volko said she knew her squad needed to "make something happen."

The sophomore took care of it in the fifth inning, knocking in the winning run with a double.

"I just wanted to make contact with the ball," Volko said. "I knew there was a runner on second, and we had to score somehow."

North Penn 200 000 0 - 2 3 1

Avon Grove 200 020 x - 4 4 5

WP: Maggie Balint. LP: Jackie Bilotti. 2B: AG-Allie Volko; HR: AG-Alyssa Herion.


ONLINE EXTRA

See and hear from Avon Grove's Alyssa Herion.

inquirer.com/rallypa


rallysports@phillynews.com

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