After losing four times in the state championship game, the Brandywine Heights High School softball team finally broke through June 14 when it defeated Riverside, 1-0 to capture its first PIAA Class AA state title.
“For a high school softball team, there is no better feeling then winning the last game,” said Brandywine Head Coach Donald Roach. “We now know what other teams have felt when they became state champions.”
Jessica Musser singled home Amanda Hess in the fourth inning to provide the Lady Bullets with their only run of the game. But thanks to another great pitching performance from Megan Olsen, it was the only run they would need.
Hess singled to start the rally with two outs. An error moved Hess to third base to set up the heroics for Musser. Her single to right field proved to be the eventual winning run.
“Anytime you are successful,people will notice, and hopefully want to be a part of the tradition and be a part of what comes next,” said Coach Roach.
It was a hard-fought win for the Bullets who not only beat a team that came into the game undefeated, but a team that has shutout out their opponents 19 times in 22 games. Riverside’s Kirston Wilson has been about as ‘lights out’ as any pitcher can be, so there was little doubth that this one was going to be a pitcher’s dual.
“We knew this would be a scrape, scratch and claw type of game,” said Roach. “We knew we were the underdog. When a true competitor is challenged, and told they can’t do something, that’s the type of challenge they live for. That’s when they begin to “Play Big.”
Olsen pitched a great game as well, but the Brandywine defense was flawless behind her and that, in the end, was the difference. Olsen allowed just four Riverside hits and just one walk while fanning four batters. She finished her season with a record of 27-2. She was the pitcher of record in all 29 of her team’s wins during the season.
The Bullets had five hits in the game, including two each from Hess and Sam Sweigart.
It was the fifth state championship game the Lady Bullets have played, but the first time they won it all. Coach Roach gives part of the credit for this year’s victory to all of the previous teams.
“We didn’t lose four other state championship, we were the runner-up state champions. The past experiences, teams and girls all showed this team how to get through the door. We thank them for that.”