New Castle News


June 3, 2014

Photo Gallery, Story: Neshannock rolls past Smethport in PIAA playoffs

WEXFORD — Make it happen.

That’s the philosophy Neshannock High’s softball team took into yesterday’s PIAA Class A first-round game at North Allegheny.

The Lady Lancers did not sit around and wait. They used an aggressive approach and rolled to an 11-1 win over Smethport. The game was halted in the fifth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule.

Neshannock (17-2) meets Burgettstown (18-5), a 6-4 winner over Southern Huntingdon (17-5), on Thursday at a time and site to be determined by the PIAA. The Lady Lancers beat the Lady Blue Devils, 11-0, in the WPIAL semifinals on May. 22.

“They know us and we know them. It’ll be tougher the second time,” Neshannock junior Marissa DeMatteo said. “I think if we stay focused, we can definitely do it.”

Lady Lancers coach Tracy Kimmel knows that his team should not overlook Burgettstown. Neshannock lost in the WPIAL semifinals two years ago, but went on to win a PIAA title.

“We have to guard against that. I told the girls already that they are in the same position we were in 2012. We had to play our way into the state tournament and made a run. That could be them,” he said. “They have a good team.”

The Lady Lancers knew they had to work for their win against the Lady Hubbers (17-4).  

“We’ve always said the first game of a tournament is the hardest to win,” DeMatteo said. “We wanted to come through with a win and just keep it going.”

That’s why Neshannock was aggressive at the plate and on the bases. DeMatteo, the team’s leadoff hitter, provided a spark. She had two singles and a double and scored three runs.

“That’s what we asked of her today. She has been a little unlucky; teams have made some good plays on her. She hadn’t been getting on much the last couple games,” Kimmel said. “We wanted her to get on base early and make things happen and get things going. She is a very good baserunner.”

DeMatteo, a Pitt recruit, led off the bottom of the first with an infield single. She scampered all the way to third on a throwing error. Alexandra Fischer’s two-out single brought her home for a 1-0 lead.

DeMatteo led off the bottom of the third with a blooper to left to help spark a seven-run rally. She hustled around the bases to turn it into a double. Eventually, she scored on a wild pitch.

“We like to be aggressive because it does rattle the other team and causes some errors,” DeMatteo said. “I feel like when you’re up, it’s hard to come back. So we just have to keep putting the ball in play and get good hits and keep it going.”

Neshannock stayed aggressive on the bases. Cassidy Burrelli and Madison Shaffer both came home on double steals in the inning. Marissa Kirkwood and Kaela Zingaro both drove in runs as well. The Lady Lancers batted around in the frame and DeMatteo added a two-run single to give the squad an 8-0 lead.

“We wanted to score runs early,” Kimmel said. “I thought we manufactured some things. That one big inning, we got some good bunts down. That’s really key for a big inning is usually they can get some bunts down and get on base.”

Fischer blasted a triple in the fourth and came home when Madison Altmyer reached on an error. Two more errors led to both runs in the bottom of the fifth for Neshannock. Burrelli drove in one with a single.

That was more than enough offense for Shaffer. She twirled a two-hitter and struck out six. Smethport’s lone run in the fifth inning was an unearned tally.

After DeMatteo’s three hits, Burrelli and Fischer both finished with two. Gina Zingaro, Altmeyer and Kirkwood all added singles.

***To view a photo gallery and to purchase pictures from the game, CLICK HERE.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Steelers.jpg Steelers WR Antonio Brown aims for repeat of 2013

    Antonio Brown rolled up to the dorms at Saint Vincent College last week in a Mercedes conversion van. It’s fitting in a way. Five years into a blossoming career, the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver is playing the role of dad — OK, maybe slightly older brother — to a group long on talent but short on experience.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lauren_Barber.jpg Wilmington teen national swim champ

    Lauren Barber of New Wilmington is a national champion.


    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 3on3.jpg Law enforcement youth tournament set

    The second annual law enforcement 3-on-3 youth basketball tournament will be Aug. 9 at New Castle High School.


    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Taggart.jpg Arsonists damage New Castle’s football field

    With the New Castle football team just days away from the start of practice, vandals have hit Taggart Stadium. Someone set fire to artificial turf at the stadium and damaged a blocking sled the team uses in practice.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • pennstate.jpg Big 10 commission noncommittal on Penn State sanction cuts

    Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany took a non-committal stance on an effort by five Pennsylvania Congressmen to rescind sanctions against Penn State for its handling of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal.


    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • SteelersSpence.jpg Steelers LB Spence caps lengthy comeback

    The whistle blew and Sean Spence sprinted forward, each cathartic step distancing the linebacker from the horrific knee injury that threatened to end his NFL career before it even really began.


    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wheaton.jpg Steelers' Wheaton eyeing chance after tough rookie year

    Markus Wheaton realizes the pressure is there, but he doesn’t mind.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Polanco.jpg Harrison’s four hits leads Pirates past Rockies, 7-5

    Josh Harrison had four hits, including a tiebreaking homer, to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Colorado Rockies 7-5 on Sunday. Gregory Polanco and Travis Snider also went deep for the Pirates, who avoided being swept in Colorado for the second straight season.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates Rockies Baseb_Fusc.jpg Anderson leads Rockies over Pirates 8-1

    Brett Anderson pitched effectively into the seventh inning for his first win in more than a year and the Colorado Rockies beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-1 on Friday night.


    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • MANGINO.jpg Mangino finding new home at Iowa State

     The first time Iowa State defensive end Cory Morrissey saw Mark Mangino, the former Kansas coach and current ISU offensive coordinator stopped him in his tracks.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

Shoot For 2
House Ads
Photo of the Day