New Castle News

Sports

June 12, 2013

Photo Gallery, Story: Neshannock softball team advances to PIAA title game

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Pack your bags, the Neshannock High softball team is heading for the state championship — again.

The Lady Lancers clinched their second championship game appearance in as many seasons, getting plays when they needed them in a PIAA Class A semifinal-round triumph over Southern Huntingdon, 4-1.

As the ball slapped into the glove of first basemen Alexandra Fischer to record the last out of the game, a sense of relief was apparent throughout the Neshannock squad.

“It feels great,” Lady Lancers coach Tracy Kimmel said. “We’ve been looking for this game and a chance to go back there. Boy, this is what we’re looking for. This is what we were looking to do from the beginning of the year, even since last year. Our bar has been raised pretty high at Neshannock. I’m glad we got back there, but there has been a lot of pressures on these kids to get back there. They’ve handled it well, and it shows.”

The Lady Lancers (21-2) will battle Williams Valley (22-4) on Friday at 3 p.m. for the crown at Nittany Lion Softball Park at Penn State University.

BURRELLI DELIVERS

Expectations and the pressure of being a defending state champion have followed the team all season. Last year in Class AA, Neshannock claimed its first state crown with a 4-3 decision over Warrior Run. Eight of the nine starters returned from that squad, hoping to discover that a repeat is all the more sweeter.

“It’s so exciting after all that pressure the entire year because everyone expected us to be back. It’s good to actually be back and not disappoint anyone,” starting right fielder Katie Burrelli said. “As a team, we handle it pretty well. With the pressure that everyone else puts on us, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves as individuals.”

A second consecutive title shot may have not been possible without Burrelli’s contributions at the plate. She was 2 for 4 with a double and two RBIs, including plating the first run of the game.

Burrelli’s big day may have never happened if not for quick thinking by officials. The game, originally scheduled to be played at Brockway High School, was moved early yesterday morning to Harry Noerr Field in Punxsutawney after rain made for murky field conditions at Brockway.  

 After the teams went scoreless through the first two innings, Neshannock had action on the bases in the top of the third. A bit of two out magic was in store, as Rayanna Furst and Jamie Graziani led off the inning and accounted for the first two outs. Marissa DeMatteo reached on an error and advanced to second on a wild pitch by Lady Rockets pitcher Julisa Zinobile. Madison Altmyer drew a walk to put two runners on for Burrelli.

She would deliver, lining a single that would plate DeMatteo and give the Lady Lancers a lead they would never relinquish.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • 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

  • Pirates.jpg Pirates jump on Haren early, top Dodgers 6-1

    Josh Harrison had two hits with two RBIs and the Pittsburgh Pirates jumped on Dan Haren early in a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Aloi.jpg Aloi's PIAA eligibility hearing postponed

    The wait continues for Nick Aloi. Aloi, who transferred from Ellwood City Lincoln High to Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School on Jan. 21, still does not know if he will get to play a full season for the Leopards’ basketball team

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates.jpg Polanco, Walker lift Pirates over Dodgers 12-7

    Gregory Polanco broke out of a slump with a solo home run and a tiebreaking two-run single, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 12-7 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Shoot For 2
House Ads
Photo of the Day