When Hatboro-Horsham softball coach Kelly Crier got up Friday morning and turned on the television, she saw a clip dealing with the Flyers. The players were talking about believing in themselves as the key to their success.
Later in the day, before the Hatters faced Downingtown West in the quarterfinals of the District 1 Class AAAA playoffs, Crier thought that would be a good theme for her pregame talk.
"I said if you don't believe in yourselves it's not going to happen," Crier recalled of her talk.
But even she would have to admit that she didn't expect to get the explosive results from it that she did.
Freshman Kelsey Koelzer belted a grand slam in the host Hatters' six-run first inning that carried them to a 6-2 win over the Whippets.
The victory puts the Hatters (20-2) into the district final four for the fourth straight year. Although they won a PIAA championship in 2008, they have yet to win a district title.
Koelzer belted the first homer of her career over the left-centerfield fence off Caroline Raymond, one of the area's premier pitchers.
Raymond started the inning by allowing a leadoff single to Megan Kelly and a pop bunt by Chrissy James that went for a hit. Then Raymond hit third batter Chelsea Edwards with a pitch.
Daniella DiPietro walked to force in one run. Then Koelzer hit a fastball to give winning pitcher Maggie Shaffer a quick five-run cushion. Another run scored on an error.
"We took batting practice yesterday against a pitching machine to get used to their pitcher," Koelzer said, referring to the fact that Raymond has been clocked at 68 m.p.h.
"I just went up there to put my bat on the ball. I didn't think it was going over the fence. I thought it would end up in the gap. I went crazy when it went over."
The rest was up to Hatters pitcher Maggie Shaffer, who has battled a bad cold for a couple of days. Crier told her she should be home in bed.
"There was no way I was going to stay home," Shaffer said with a barely audible voice.
The Hatters will play Bishop Shanahan on Tuesday in a semifinal at a time and place to be determined. Shanahan beat Owen J. Roberts to advance.
The loss cost Downingtown West (19-4) its seventh straight trip to the PIAA playoffs. The district's final four teams make it.
"That's still a pretty good record," West coach Jeff Cellucci said. "Caroline struggled early, but if we had caught that popped bunt and possibly gotten a double play, things might have been different.
"Caroline's a great kid. She probably tried to do too much for us."
Downingtown West 0000020 - 253
Hatboro-Horsham 600000x - 660
WP: Maggie Shaffer. LP: Caroline Raymond. HR: Kelsey Koelzer.