NEW CASTLE —
The Laurel High softball team struggled at the plate yesterday.
The Lady Spartans managed just one hit in a 15-0 WPIAL Section 5-AA home loss to Riverside. The game was stopped after five innings because of the mercy rule.
Erica Latess smacked a first-inning single to account for Laurel’s lone hit. She was the only baserunner as well for the Lady Spartans (2-7 section, 2-9 overall).
Riverside has a two-game lead over the Lady Warriors (7-2, 9-2) with three section games left.
Kirsten Wilson tossed a complete game to earn the win. Wilson walked none and struck out 13.
The Lady Panthers (9-0, 9-0) are ranked No. 3 in the WPIAL in Class AA by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. They have allowed just six runs this year, all against Mohawk in two games — 9-5 and 4-1.
“Wilson is a good a pitcher,” Laurel coach Lori Krol said. “This is a really good team; they’re No. 3 for a reason.
“We got beat by a really good team. We couldn’t do anything with our bats.”
Makenna Natale (1-5) took the loss, tossing four innings. She gave up nine hits and 11 runs — seven earned — with four walks and two strikeouts.
“Makenna is pretty confident,” Krol said. “She knows Riverside is a good-hitting team. I’m not worried about her mentally.
“She’s a strong player and a good player. She’ll bounce back from this.”
Laurel committed five errors as well.
“We need to focus on our defense,” Krol said. “Our offense is there. This is the first game that we really got shut down.”
Riverside scored one run in the first, five in the second, five more in the fourth and four in the fifth.
Beaver Falls 4
The Mohawk High softball team wouldn’t be denied yesterday.
Despite a late Beaver Falls rally, a two-run eighth inning carried the host Lady Warriors to a 5-4 decision.
With Mohawk ahead 3-2, the Lady Tigers forced extras in the WPIAL Section 5-AA clash with a run in the top of the seventh. Beaver Falls (3-5 section, 3-5 overall) took its second lead of the game on an unearned run off Lady Warriors starter Jaki Bender in the eighth.
Mohawk (7-2, 9-2) responded with the game on the line, starting its own rally with an RBI single by Devon Giancola that scored Lucia Fee, who reached on an error. Fee also knocked in two runs.
After a double play, Hannah Morrow hit a bunt single and advanced into scoring position on a passed ball. Lea Brown drove her in with a game-winning single.
“Good teams step up and do it,” Lady Warriors coach Pam Beatty said. “We’re trying to get them to learn that you don’t have to get in that hole to be a good team. You can come out and get a few runs ahead and not worry about it.”
Bender (8-2) pitched all eight innings, allowing six hits, one earned run and striking out five.
“She just keeps fighting hard,” Beatty said. “I try to tell her the defense is back there and they’re going to make plays.”
Leah Woytek and Shelby Brown combined for four of Mohawk’s six hits with two singles each.