New Castle News

Sports

May 2, 2014

Spring Sports: A roundup of action from May 1

NEW CASTLE — The Laurel High softball team is back in the playoffs.

The Lady Spartans earned their first postseason berth in six years yesterday with a 10-5 win over visiting New Brighton in WPIAL Section 5-AA action.

“It’s a great feeling,” fourth-year Laurel coach Lori Krol said. “The girls are playing with such confidence and that’s great to see. They put in the time in the fall and in the winter. This team has matured so much from last year. Hopefully, we can ride the momentum we have and go far in the playoffs.”

Laurel (7-4, 8-5) is locked into the third spot in the section behind Beaver (10-0, 10-0) and Riverside (9-1, 9-1). The Lady Spartans will face Lawrence County rival Mohawk (3-7, 4-8) on Monday and Rochester.

“We’re going to try to schedule a couple more games to get ready for the playoffs,” Krol said. “We’re starting to peak and we’re doing it at the right time. The pressure’s off us now. We can just prepare for the playoffs. The whole team is playing really well. I can’t ask for more from them. They’re clicking on all cylinders.”

Laurel didn’t register a hit in the third inning, but still managed to score three runs on two walks and an error.

Rachael Baker plated both of the Lady Spartans’ runs in the third with a two-run single.

Clinging to a 5-2 lead in the fourth, Laurel slammed the door shut on New Brighton with five runs in the inning.

“Our bats came alive,” Krol said. “We finally started to hit. Once one person started to hit, it became contagious and they all started hitting.”

Makenna Natale and Baker paced the Lady Spartans with two hits apiece, while Kristan Fedrizzi and Ellen Shaffer each contributed a double.

Fedrizzi earned the win, allowing just three earned runs on five hits and five walks, while striking out six.

“She is clicking on the mound right now,” Krol said. “She knows she has a defense behind her now. She can go out and just pitch. That’s a big relief for a pitcher.”

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