Early-season softball scores are usually a bit high this time of the year. Pitchers are usually much more successful during warm weather, and so far, Mother Nature hasn’t provided much of that.

The following summary of what has occurred is, thus, dominated by hitting. In a week or so, guaranteed, that will change. {{more}}

* Improving Merion Mercy stunned Mount St. Joseph’s Academy, 6-5, as Emily Russell went the distance while adding a triple and three runs scored on offense. Lauren McMenamin hit a homer for the Mount.

Exactly one week later, on April 4, the Golden Bears won easily over Penn Wood, 16-1. Sarah Poplawski notched the win in a game highlighted by Kelsey Dougherty’s three-run home run and a pair of doubles. Caroline Finnegan also hit a two-run homer for Merion.

* Merion’s lone loss came at the hands of Gwynedd-Mercy Academy. The Monarchs scored four runs in the first and six in the fourth thanks to Haley Wood (double, homer, three runs scored, three runs batted in), Sarah Carey (home run, three RBI), and Kristen Lewis (three hits, two RBI).

* Behind pitcher Samantha Gibson’s four hits and five runs batted in, St. Basil’s defeated Villa Joseph Marie, 17-2. The Eagles’ bats were also on fire in a 16-5 victory over Mount St. Joseph’s, scoring eight runs over the final two innings. Kate Larkin contributed four hits and three runs batted in; teammate Erin Scanlon added three hits, three runs scored, and two RBI.

* Villa Maria Academy erased a 6-0, first-inning deficit and outlasted Gwynedd-Mercy, 8-7. Villa’s Kaylee Prendergast knocked in four runs, helping offset a home run by Gwynedd’s Sarah Carey.

* Kim Juhas knocked in two runs and Jul Abel pitched a shutout in Villa Joseph Marie’s 7-0 win over Cheltenham.

* Mary Cate Scott fired a no-hitter and Kaylin Wonder slammed a pair of three-run triples to help Lansdale Catholic, which tallied five runs in both the first and fifth innings, shutout Bishop McDevitt, 10-0.

* On March 30, Pope John Paul II stopped Methacton, 4-1, behind Nikki Troisi’s 14 strikeouts. The victory was the first ever for the program, which began this spring.

* Nazareth Academy’s 14-0 win over Sacred Heart was fueled by an 11-run first inning. Pitcher Taylor Lichtenhahn threw a no-hitter and struck out 10, and freshman Jill Bovitt had three hits and three runs scored. Nazareth also clipped Villa Joseph Marie, 16-1, helped by Melanie Kalesse’s second-inning grand slam.

* Conwell-Egan trailed 2-0 until scoring one in the fifth and three more in the sixth to defeat visiting William Tennent, 4-2. Stacie DeNucci allowed five hits to get the win, and Sabrina Gramiak knocked in two runs.

* Archbishop Carroll raced to a 7-0 lead before defeating Academy Park, 13-5. Kristin Beaty (two triples) and Julie Stipa knocked in three runs apiece while freshman Monica Clark scored four runs.

* Bishop Shanahan scored seven runs in the first inning and dumped visiting Downingtown East, 12-2. Kate Poppe was the winner and added a home run to her own cause, joining four-base sluggers Alyssa Lewis and Taylor Barbalace. The Eagles then blanked Oxford, 4-0, behind the four-hit, 11-strikeout pitching from Poppe. Heather Hays and Barbalace each knocked in two runs.

– By John Knebels