Central Bucks South's highly successful pitching duo of Devon Utterback and Francesca Carullo did it again yesterday.
The pair combined for a no-hit, 10-0 PIAA Class AAAA softball win over Central, the District 12 runner-up, at Spring-Ford. The opening-round game was shortened to 41/2 innings because of the 10-run rule.
Utterback, a junior, started for the 21-2 Titans and had a perfect game going through the four innings she worked. She struck out nine. Carullo, a sophomore, took over for one inning and allowed the Lancers' only runner when she walked Ashly Holland leading off the fifth inning.
The win puts the Titans, the runner-up from District 1, in a quarterfinal Thursday against the winner of yesterday's opening-round contest between Gov. Mifflin, the District 3 champion, and Owen J. Roberts, the District 1 fourth-place team. The Titans defeated the Wildcats, 9-4, in the quarterfinals of the District 1 playoffs.
"Some people might ask why take Devon out when she's pitching a perfect game," said South coach Jennifer Robinson, "but we wanted to play our game. Like I said before, the two of them have been rock solid all year for us. We were trying to find our rhthym, and we have another game this week. . . . I wanted them [both] to have a hand in the win."
It took the Titans a little while to get their bats moving against the Lancers (12-5). They had a little trouble adjusting to the slower offerings of Central pitcher Naijah Jacobs.
The Titans scored a run in the first inning on freshman Morgan Decker's double and added two more in the second thanks to another double by Molly Hare. Then, they exploded for six runs in the thing inning. This time, doubles by freshman Lauren Klepchick and Taylre Stocks did the trick.
"We're sometimes a little slow getting started," said Utterback. "It wasn't so much the pitching as we've been doing that [slow starting] all season."
Although she stuck with the shared pitching, Robinson said she was happy to get a number of her freshmen who don't start (three do) some exposure in playoff competition.
She began substituting in the third inning.
Central 000 00 - 0 0 2
Central Bucks South 126 1x - 10 12 0
WP: Devon Utterback. LP: Naijah Jacobs.
2B: CBS-Lauren Klepchick, Taylre Stocks, Molly Hare, Morgan Decker.