McKenna Seiler scores on first-inning wild pitch for the Pennsbury Gems.
By Sean Reilly
Paige Fidishun celebrated her 12th birthday on Friday, and she spent the weekend at Diamond Nation, competing with her Pennsbury Gems Premier team at the Finch’s Aces 12U Fall Invitational.
Her Saturday didn’t have the best of starts, but everything wound up working out fine in an 11-0 opening victory over the Rampage Red in Flemington.
Fidishun was the starting pitcher and the No. 2 hitter for her Pennsylvania team. And after leadoff batter Ryen Rittersbach began the game with a walk and steal of second, Fidishun was hit by a pitch that bounced off her right ankle. She was in pain, and at first, in a bit of worry.
“I need surgery on my left ankle because I have an extra bone in my foot,” she said. “But I have the same issue with my right.”
While that surgery will be coming soon, she might ultimately need a similar procedure on the foot that was hit on Saturday. And until then, she’ll keep performing for the Gems.
Although she was removed for a runner after that play, she was well enough to pitch in the bottom of the inning. And that task was made easier by her teammates, who gave her a bit of a birthday present by scoring eight times in the inning.
Most of the damage was done by an assortment of walks and wild pitches. It rained earlier on Saturday, and the two Rampage pitchers appeared to have some trouble gripping balls that were sometimes wet.
As that big inning was taking place, two specific things were taking place inside the Gems’ dugout.
First, the long inning gave Fidishun time for her ankle to feel better. Secondly, watching what was happening on the field presented a chance to prepare herself for pitching in the damp conditions.
“I was thinking I had to just stay positive and pitch the ball,” she said. “I saw she had trouble, but I figured it was okay for me because everyone pitches differently. I just had to throw strikes and keep going.”
The Gems made it a 9-0 game in the second inning, when Aubrey LaScala walked with two out, stole second and then scored when Madi Chartier reached on an error.
The Gems added two more runs in the third. Morgan Knight led off with an infield single and followed with two stolen bases. She scored when Anna Matcham grounded out to third. McKenna Seiler was hit by a pitch, Rittersbach followed with a single and Fidishun then followed with an RBI hit to left field.
Fidishun allowed no hits in the three-inning game. She struck out six, walked three and hit two batters.
The Gems played two more games on the day, defeating the Central Jersey Lightning 2K11, 12-0, and falling to Shooting Stars 2K28 by a 4-3 score. They were unable to complete pool play against the NY Nighthawks (0-3) on Sunday morning when the day was washed out by persistent heavy rain.
The Rampage, out of Morris County, ended the day with a 0-3 record.