NEW CASTLE —
It’s that special place batters can sometimes find themselves during the course of a season. The ball seems to be the size of a beach ball, a pitch left in the zone is greeted with authority and every hit seems to find a gap. It can happen several times during a career, while some may never get to experience the privilege in their playing days.
As the Neshannock High softball team prepares for the PIAA title game against Williams Valley at 3 p.m. Friday at Penn State University, the team’s second championship appearance in as many years, first basemen Alexandra Fischer finds herself in “the zone.”
“It all really started in playoffs,” she said. “I just tweaked one or two things to focus in on the ball and just kind of get my confidence back up from the regular season, make sure that I’m swinging the way I need to and not getting down on myself when something goes wrong.”
Fischer’s playoff performances have been nothing short of spectacular. As the postseason has progressed, with each game adding more weight and meaning, she’s managed to up her game another level.
As the state playoffs began last week, Fischer almost single-handedly did away with first-round opponent Elk County Catholic, hitting three triples in a row, driving in three runners, walking once and scoring three times en route to a 9-1 decision.
“It was the first time it’s ever happened,” she said. “I was excited. I’ve hit triples before, but not three in a row. It’s definitely one of the best times I’ve ever hit the ball.”
Over the weekend, Fischer was the only Neshannock player to collect more than one hit, slapping a single and a double and driving in a runner in a 6-1 defeat of Claysburg-Kimmel.
Opponents must be keeping tabs on Fischer’s hot streak. In yesterday’s 4-1 win against Southern Huntingdon to advance the Lady Lancers to the state finals, Fischer was intentionally walked in a crucial situation. It seems nobody wants to play with fire.
In her last three games, the junior has batted 6 for 9 with three triples, two doubles and four RBIs. That performance has earned her Lawrence County Athlete of the Week honors, an award sponsored by Washington Centre Physical Therapy and selected by the New Castle News sports staff.
NEW CASTLE —
Neshannock updates student handbooks
Neshannock school district student handbooks are being updated.
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Board, staff bids farewell to superintendent
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‘Great Honor’: Sansone competing in premier Cape Cod league
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Autumn Paolini has never been one to complain. But over a month’s span earlier this spring, the brown-haired, blue-eyed Neshannock Township teenager had migraine-like headaches and frequently went to her parents Jim and Cheryl for help.
Photo Gallery, Story: Neshannock girls softball team wins second straight WPIAL title
The Neshannock High softball team did it again yesterday. This time, the Lady Lancers had to overcome a feisty South Side Beaver squad as well as a determined Mother Nature.
Neshannock runner honored for positive attitude
Lizzie Manickas was rewarded for her great disposition. The Neshannock High senior cross country and track and field standout received western Pennsylvania’s Most Positive High School Athlete Award.
Athlete of the Week: Meet Madison Shaffer of Neshannock
Madison Shaffer nearly was unbeatable last year. The scary thought for opponents of the Neshannock High softball team is the junior pitcher may be even better in her second year inside the circle.
Fees divide Neshannock school board
Members of the Neshannock Township school board displayed disagreement over various items when they met this week.
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