In a championship game that at times didn't look very much like one, Hatboro-Horsham won its first District 1 Class AAAA title in three tries by beating top seed Pennsbury, 8-5, Thursday in eight innings at North Penn.
The Hatters entered the game as the No. 2 seed.
The game, thanks to an uncharacteristic combined seven errors from both teams, followed a script that could be described only as unpredictable.
The Hatters (21-2) built a 5-1 lead in the first five innings, thanks to Julie Wambold's two-run homer in the fifth inning and a couple of errors and a passed ball that figured in the other three runs.
Pennsbury then tied it, 5-5, in the sixth. Savanna Grantham's bases-clearing double sparked the four-run uprising. An error allowed the fourth run to score.
The Hatters earned the victory with three runs in the top of the eighth, thanks to doubles by pitcher Maggie Shaffer and right fielder Heather Lutz, plus two errors.
First-year Hatboro-Horsham coach Joe DiFilippo probably described the game best after his team had collected the championship trophy.
"When two quality teams get together like that, it's often an error that makes the difference," said DiFilippo, whose team will open the PIAA playoffs Monday against the third-place team from District 3. No time or place for the game has been set.
Pennsbury also moves into the PIAA playoffs Monday, facing the second-place team from District 12, also at a time and place to be determined.
Hatboro-Horsham appeared to be in the driver's seat with the 5-1 advantage and Shaffer rolling right along. In the first four innings, the junior righthander faced only one batter over the minimum, issuing a walk to Kelsi Bunda.
Shaffer, who has figured in every Hatters decision this season, yielded five hits, all in the final three innings. She struck out 10.
Sophomore Val Buehler, who has figured in all of the decisions for Pennsbury (20-3), struck out eight and walked three.
"We battled and did not give up," Buehler said. "My teammates make an error and they try to redeem themselves. It was a tough loss, but we never deflated."
Wambold's home run was her second in two games. Tuesday in a 3-0 semifinal win over Spring-Ford, she hit one over the left field fence, almost in the same spot as Thursday's.
"I was frustrated with my first two at-bats," she said, referring to a strikeout and fly ball to right field. "We had a leadoff runner [Chrissy James] on, and I wanted to move her around. The adrenaline was flowing."
Hatboro-Horsham 110 030 03 - 8 7 3
Pennsbury 000 014 00 - 5 5 4
WP: Maggie Shaffer. LP-Val Buehler. 2B: HH-Shaffer, Melissa Spinosa, Heather Lutz; P-Savanna Grantham, Kelsi Bunda. HR: HH-Julie Wambold.