By Richard L. Gaw
Through the first seven innings of the District 1 Class AAAA softball playoff game between Avon Grove and Central Bucks South on May 21, the entire season for both club rested on which pitcher would blink first – Central Bucks South's Hailey Warner or Avon Grove's Maggie Balint. Warner completely shut down the 15-4 Red Devils, scattering only one hit and striking out 8, while Balint surrendered only three hits to the Titans.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Warner finally blinked.
After Logan Needham flied out to right field and Emilee Beck popped out to second, Balint was hit by a pitch. Alyssa Herion then walked, putting Balint in scoring position. Courtney Gall then popped a bloop single to right, advancing Balint to third, but as she rounded second on Gall's hit, Herion veered wide of the bag, in an attempt to draw a throw from Warner, who took the relay throw from the outfield. Warner's throw sailed over the head of second baseman Hope Darreff, which sent Balint home with the winning run.
The win sets up a quarterfinals home game for Avon Grove on May 23 against Neshaminy, who defeated Kennett 4-2 on May 21.