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Tigers slam Salisbury

The Lady Tiger softball team’s offense seems to have picked up right where it left off last season. Northwestern Lehigh is averaging 13 runs per game through its first five games with the result being a 5-0 record with all the wins coming against Colonial League opponents.

In a recent 15-5 win over Salisbury, the Lady Tigers went scoreless through the first two innings, falling behind 1-0 on a home run by Marcie Silberman in the top of the first.

In the third, Rylee McGinley started a seven-run rally with a one-out double down the third base line and then stole third. Sage Toman followed with a double to tie the game and Northwestern went ahead 2-1 on an RBI single by Izzy Akelaitis. After Morgan Farthing reached on an error, the Tigers got singles from Marissa Christman, Brynn Balliet, Olivia Stofflet and Izzy Teprovich followed by a groundout by Quinn Conrey that plated the final run of the inning.

Northwestern Lehigh continued to keep the heat turned up on Salisbury in the fourth when a walk, an error, an RBI single from Christman and an RBI double from Balliet made it 9-1. On a groundball back to the mound by Stofflet, Balliet went to third and then used some heads up baserunning to score on the play after a miscue by the Salisbury infield. Teprovich then stepped to the plate and delivered a long home run to right to make it 12-1.

“I knew she was a slower pitcher, so I just focused on staying back and I was able to foul off anything that I didn’t like,” said Teprovich of the home run. “Overall, it was a good at-bat, and I was happy about it.”

Teprovich had also made a big defensive play in the top of the inning when Sam Peffer launched a shot that appeared ready to cause some trouble by heading down the right field line. Teprovich calmly plucked the ball out of the air for the second out in what turned out to be a 1-2-3 inning for pitcher Peyton Neumoyer.

“She is doing a great job making the most of an opportunity,” said coach Josh Zimmerman of his senior first baseman. “She is establishing herself at the plate and at first base and she is getting more comfortable every day.”

Neumoyer breezed through the first four innings, allowing just the home run to Silberman and an infield single to Beth Carney. In the fifth, she needed just to keep Salisbury to one run or less to win the game by the 10-run rule, but the Falcons wanted to play a little longer.

Neumoyer ran into trouble when Salisbury got its first two hitters on base and one out later, Carney singled to load the bases, bringing Silberman to the plate. As she did in the first inning, Silberman stayed back on the ball and took it out to left center field to plate four runs, ruining the opportunity for the Tigers to pick up an early win, cutting the lead to 12-5.

Balliet came on to pitch and got the final two outs on an infield fly rule play when Peffer was called out on a pop to third and Abby Lipkin was caught off second base for the final out.

Northwestern Lehigh decided it had seen enough in the bottom of the fifth and used a two-run home run by Farthing and a two-out double by Balliet followed by an RBI single by Stofflet to end the game 15-5.

“It’s hard to complain when you are 5-0, but there are little things that we must clean up,” said Zimmerman. “Mainly, putting teams away when the opportunity presents itself. Other than that, the girls come to work every single day and want to get better. The tough thing right now is that we are outside only when we have a game, so hopefully we will get some good weather soon and that will change.”

Neumoyer started on the mound in place of Balliet, who is normally the team’s pitcher. The reasoning by Zimmerman is that games are going to start backing up and keeping Balliet fresh will be important as the team goes deeper into the season. Northwestern hosts Catasauqua Friday and then travels to Palmerton on Saturday before its first nonconference game of the season against Tamaqua on Tuesday.

PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Peyton Neumoyer delivers a pitch during Monday's win over Salisbury.
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Northwestern's Sage Toman is about to connect with a pitch during the Tigers' win over Salisbury Monday.