Although it's only a Class AA school in softball, Christopher Dock has shown it can play with schools much bigger.
The Pioneers, who will face Class A Bristol next week for the championship of the Independence Division of the Bicentennial Athletic League, are 15-3 overall and eager to open the District 1 Class AA playoffs. Although they lost, the Pioneers were competitive this season against bigger neighbors Souderton (4-3), ranked 10th by The Inquirer, and Pennridge (7-4). They beat Catholic League leader Lansdale Catholic and split with Bristol.
The Pioneers won the District 1 Class A crown last season and reached the state quarterfinals. Three veteran players for the Pioneers think the team has a good shot at going farther this season even though coach Wayne Benner has had to shift some players to different positions because of injuries.
"We only have 12 players on the roster, but they have responded well to the changes," said Benner, who will lose only one player to graduation this year. "We have more girls playing travel ball, and that has helped us. We've been fortunate to get good pitchers."
Benner said three key contributors have been juniors Keli Krause, Rachel Ryder, and Holly Seiz. Krause has a 14-3 pitching record.
Ryder was moved from second base to shortstop because of the injuries. Seiz, who bats anywhere from second to fourth in the lineup, got moved into the catcher's slot.
"There's a lot more to think about at shortstop than second base," Ryder said. "I'm getting used to it, though."
Krause thinks the work she did over the winter has helped her spot her pitches better. She has a top speed of 60 m.p.h. on her fastball.
"We've all worked hard and hopefully we'll be able to match or improve on last year," she said.
No date or time has been set for the Bicentennial playoff game.
Changes coming? Speaking of the Bicentennial Athletic League there appear to be some changes on the horizon. Springfield (Montco), which left the Suburban One League to join the BAL, is expected to return to the SOL for the 2012-13 school year. Girard College, which has been in and out of the BAL, appears to be leaving again, although no official date has been given.
The departures would leave the league with 10 teams, five in each division.
Foul weather. The rainy weather, which caused havoc with the regular season, didn't help the Catholic League playoffs get off on the right foot Tuesday. And if the weather forecast holds for Wednesday, league officials would be scrambling some more.
Rain wiped out Tuesday's first-round game between Cardinal O'Hara, the eighth-place team, and Little Flower, the ninth-place team. That was rescheduled for Wednesday at O'Hara at 3:45 p.m. but with more rain predicted, it might have to be reset for Thursday.
The playoff game between 10th seed John Hallahan and seventh seed Archbishop Wood was set for 3:45 p.m. Wednesday at Wood. If it's postponed, the two teams would try again Thursday,
The quarterfinals are supposed to begin Thursday.
Top seed Lansdale Catholic and No. 2 Archbishop Ryan drew byes and are not scheduled to play until Friday.