New Castle News


June 8, 2012

PIAA Softball Playoffs: Neshannock girls rally for victory

MEADVILLE — It’s nothing new for the Neshannock High softball team.

The Lady Lancers have been doing it all year. No matter the situation, no matter the pressure, no matter the player. Neshannock finds a way to win — plain and simple.

The Lady Lancers discovered one more way yesterday at Allegheny College’s Robertson Field as they rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 4-3 walk-off win over Fairview in the quarterfinals of the PIAA Class AA playoffs. Neshannock advances to the semifinals Monday against the winner of today’s matchup between Central or Deer Lakes at a site and time to be determined.

The Lady Lancers are at this point because of Madison Shaffer. The freshman singled in the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. The Lady Lancers (22-1) entered the inning trailing, 3-2. After a strikeout to start the frame, Alexandra Fischer walked, Katie Burrelli singled and an error on Fairview’s first baseman loaded the bases for Rayanna Furst. Down to her last strike, Furst singled up the middle to tie the game, and Shaffer laced a single to right field with the bases loaded to win it.

“What was funny was (Rayanna and Madison) didn’t do anything the first few times up,” Neshannock coach Tracy Kimmel said. “But when the game was on the line, they came through. It’s funny how this game works. You can be struggling all day and come up and be the hero. You can’t think about what happened before.

“You’re going to fail most of the time (in softball), but when you have a chance to come through, there’s no greater feeling.”

The Lady Lancers were coming off their first PIAA playoff victory in school history, a 5-3 extra-inning win over Philipsburg-Osceola, the returning state champs. They didn’t get any breaks with Fairview (22-1), which was 43-1 over the last two years entering the game. But the same formula that led Neshannock to this point helped them advance: strong pitching and solid defense.

The Lady Lancers took advantage of three errors by the Lady Tigers and received another great performance from senior pitcher Amanda Furst. She allowed three runs — two earned — over seven innings and gave up seven hits and one walk while striking out five. She yielded just two singles after the third inning.

“We’ve played good defense and pitched well all year,” Kimmel said. “Those are two big keys. Defense and pitching will give you an opportunity to stay in the game, and if you can eke out a couple runs, you’ve got a good shot.”

They Lady Lancers’ next shot comes in the state semifinals, and getting there didn’t come easy.

They trailed, 3-0, after three innings but scored two unearned runs in the fourth on a passed ball and a ground out. The winning run in the seventh also was unearned because of an error on a bunted ball to first base. That opened the door for Neshannock, which enters Monday’s game playing as well as it has all year, Kimmel said.

“(Our confidence) can’t be any higher than what it is right now,” Kimmel said. “We don’t think we’re going to be beat. We believe in everyone who walks up to the plate. It’s one to nine, and we believe anyone who walks up to that plate is going to get the job done.

Burrelli led Neshannock with two hits and a run scored. Amanda Furst was 1 for 3, and Marissa DeMatteo went 1 for 3 and scored run. The Lady Lancers could have a rematch with Deer Lakes, which beat Neshannock, 2-0, in the WPIAL semifinals.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • meehan.jpg Meehan named Neshannock superintendent

    Terence P. Meehan is the new superintendent at Neshannock Township School District. Board members voted 5-4 last night to fill the post that will be vacated June 30 with the retirement of Dr. Mary Todora.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • meehan.jpg Neshannock board to name superintendent

    The Neshannock Township school directors plan to hire a superintendent at a special meeting on Monday. A hopeful for the position reportedly is Terence P. Meehan, currently assistant to the superintendent of the New Castle Area School District.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bus.jpg Car strikes Neshannock school bus

    A New Castle woman will be cited for failing to stop in time to avoid striking a stopped school bus. Neshannock police said Mary Clause struck the Neshannock bus, which had stopped in the 1800 block of Pulaski Road about 4 p.m. Wednesday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Author.tiff Arthur the author: Children’s writer/illustrator visits Neshannock Elementary

    A story about a grandmother and her granddaughter flying over a city grew from the vivid imagination of children’s author Arthur Dorros. “Abuela” also spurred the creativity of students at Neshannock Memorial Elementary School who had eagerly awaited a visit from Dorros yesterday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • school.jpg Neshannock approves resignation, agreement, related legal fees

    The Neshannock school board accepted the resignation of business manager and board secretary Melissa Morosky Thursday. Morosky’s resignation is effective Wednesday.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Serg.tiff Athlete of the Week: Meet Neshannock’s Rich Serignese

    Rich Serignese is no stranger to pressure on the baseball field. The Neshannock High sophomore twice defeated WPIAL Class AA champion and PIAA runner-up Beaver a year ago, so facing a team that put up eye-popping numbers the night before was a piece of cake.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Intermediate unit hosting 5-K in Neshannock

    The Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV is hosting the second annual Let Me Win 5-K Run/Walk. Runners and walkers of all ages may participate in the April 26 event at Neshannock High School’s John Thompson Memorial Trail, 3834 Mitchell Road.

    April 2, 2014

  • Neshannock kindergarten make-up day scheduled

    Neshannock elementary has set a make-up day for kindergarten registration.

    March 27, 2014

  • neshplay01.jpg Photos, Preview, Cast List: ‘Pajama Game’ returns to Neshannock

    At Neshannock High School, drama is serious business. The spring musical is one of THE events of the year at Neshannock, and this weekend’s production of “The Pajama Game” will be no exception.

    March 27, 2014 11 Photos

  • school.jpg Neshannock superintendent gets more responsibilities

    With less than three months remaining before her retirement, Neshannock’s superintendent of schools is filling two job vacancies. The board this week appointed Dr. Mary Todora as acting business manager and school treasurer.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed “unprecedented” legislation yesterday to expand gun rights in his state. Good idea?

Yes. Expanding the scope of where people can carry guns can help halt violent crimes and make those places safer.
No. Carrying guns into bars and schools is NEVER a good idea. I think it will lead to more violence.
Not sure, but I don’t plan to visit Georgia any time soon.
     View Results