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Tigers fall to Catty, rout Salisbury

Maybe Northwestern Lehigh just doesn’t like playing on a Sunday. The Lady Tigers met Catasauqua Sunday afternoon at Patriots Park in Allentown and fell to the Rough Riders in a 2-1 extra innings pitcher’s duel.

The good news is that the Tigers got right back on track the following day when they blasted Salisbury 12-1.

In the loss to Catasauqua (5-9 Colonial, 7-9 overall), the Tigers (12-1, 15-2) managed just four hits against starter Delaney Troxell, who struck out 10 hitters in the game.

Emma Freeman pitched all eight innings for Northwestern and allowed just four hits while striking out 13 Catasauqua hitters in the game. The two runs she allowed were both unearned. At the plate, Freeman picked up two hits while Ella Bressi and Sage Toman both had one.

The Tigers scored their only run in the bottom of the third after Bressi reached on an infield single and one out later, Toman doubled to center to give Northwestern a 1-0 lead. Catty came back with single runs in the seventh and eighth innings to get the win.

The following day, Salisbury (0-13, 2-13) got off to an early lead with a run in the top of the first against starter Lizzy Diehl.

In the bottom of the second, the offense officially took over for Northwestern when it scored three times.

Northwestern had runners on second and third with one out and Freeman stole home to tie the game with Diehl following in her path and taking third. Diehl then scored on an error and the Tigers went up 2-1. A two-base error by Salisbury put Avery Seyler on second with two outs.

Seyler used some alert baserunning to go to third on a wild pitch and then come home on another wild pitch as the Tigers upped their lead.

Northwestern didn’t need any errors to put up three more in the third inning.

Izzy Akelaitis singled to right to lead things off and then promptly stole second ahead of an RBI single by Abby Dunstan. One out later, it was Dunstan’s turn to steal a base and she scored when Shelby Mitman doubled to center and Diehl followed with an RBI single after Mitman stole third base. Catty was able to get the next two hitters, but by then Northwestern had a 6-1 lead.

The Tigers used two singles and a double by Akelaitis to go up 9-1 thanks in part to some strong baserunning to go with the hitting. With runners on second and third and two outs, Molly Schlofer stepped up and homered to center on a 1-0 pitch that made it a 12-1 lead and Diehl kept Salisbury off the board in the top of the fifth to win by virtue of the 10-run rule.

Akelaitis finished the day going 3-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored. Rylee McGinley, Freeman, and Diehl all had two hits in the game.

Northwestern is down to its final three games of the season with a game at Southern Lehigh (7-5, 7-8) before the home finale against Palmerton (11-1, 14-1). The Tigers and Rough Riders meet again on Monday to finish the regular season.

Northwestern stands at number-two in the 4A power rankings behind Blue Mountain (16-1) for districts. In the Colonial League, Northwestern has the best overall league record (12-1), holding a slight lead over Palmerton (11-1) for both the division lead and the top league ranking going into the postseason.

PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Rylee McGinley had two hits in a recent win over Catasauqua.