NEW CASTLE —
The Neshannock High softball team is closing in on a section championship.
The visiting Lady Lancers completed a season sweep of Mohawk yesterday, 8-3, in a WPIAL Section 5-AA matchup.
Neshannock (10-0 section, 13-0 overall) paces the section standings by a game-and-a-half over Riverside (8-1, 10-1) and three games over Mohawk (7-3, 9-5). The Lady Lancers have four section games left.
“That was a great win for us,” Neshannock coach Tracy Kimmel said. “We haven’t swept them in several years. Usually it’s been the other way, they’ll sweep us. But it’s good to get both wins against them.
“I like the way we’re hitting the ball. We’re putting the hits together. That makes all the difference in the world.”
Neshannock is ranked No. 3 in the WPIAL in Class AA by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Amanda Furst (13-0) earned the win, giving up five hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
“Amanda pitched really well,” Kimmel said. “She’s pitched well the last three games and she’s getting better and better.”
Madison Shaffer paced the Lady Lancers with three hits and Marissa DeMatteo added a pair.
Neshannock scored four runs in the top of the first and the Lady Warriors answered with a marker in the bottom of the frame. The Lady Lancers tacked on a run in the fourth and three more in the sixth. Mohawk notched a run in the sixth and one in the seventh.
Taylor Yarletts recorded two hits for the Lady Warriors.
Rachelle Miller (5-3) suffered the loss. Miller worked seven innings, surrendering 10 hits and eight runs — four earned — with six walks and seven strikeouts.
“It was a tough loss,” Mohawk coach Pam Beatty said. “They made the plays that they had to make.
“They put the runners on and were able to capitalize. We played a good game, we just didn’t score when we needed to. The section title was our first goal. But we just have to keep our focus on the playoffs.”
Quigley Catholic 0
A 10-run second inning lifted Shenango to a Section 5-A win over Quigley Catholic.
The game was stopped after 2 1/2 innings because of the mercy rule.
The Lady Wildcats had eight hits in 13 at-bats.
“We did a nice job at the plate,” Shenango coach Amy Delaney said. “Being able to see between balls and strikes was key and we were taking walks when we needed to.
“We were able to make solid contact. I’m very pleased with how we performed at the plate and I thought we ran the bases well, too.”
Michelle Watson (8-4) earned the win. Watson tossed three innings, allowing a hit with a walk and seven strikeouts.
“Michelle pitched another good game,” Delaney said. “She faced 10 batters and struck out seven of them.”
Kim Burdett had two hits and two RBIs for the Lady Wildcats. Watson and Jen Jopek drove in three runs apiece.
Jopek delivered a three-run inside-the-park home run in the second inning, her first homer of the year.
New Castle 0
Johnny Matarazzo’s fifth-inning single was the lone hit for New Castle in a Section 1-AAA road loss to Hopewell.
The game was stopped in the sixth inning because of the mercy rule.
The Vikings (8-1, 14-1) scored a run in each of the first two innings for a 2-0 lead. They added three more in the fourth, two in the fifth and closed it out with three markers in the sixth.
“It was a miserable start for us,” Red Hurricane coach Paul Malley Jr. said. “We just didn’t play well; we couldn’t get guys on base and we couldn’t get anything going.”
Matarazzo (2-3) started and took the loss. He tossed four innings, allowing five hits and five runs — all earned — with four walks and a strikeout.
The ’Canes (2-7. 5-9) have dropped four straight games.
Poland (Ohio) 0
Neshannock scored nine runs in the first inning and cruised to a nonsection win over Poland (Ohio).
The game was stopped after four innings because of the mercy rule.
Neshannock (14-2) is ranked No. 4 in the WPIAL in Class A by the Post-Gazette.
John Sansone paced the Lancers with three hits and four RBIs, while Marcus Giangiuli added three hits and two RBIs. Ernie Burkes had three hits as well.
Alex Strittmatter delivered two hits and Mike Ross knocked in two runs.
Strittmatter (6-0) started and earned the win. He tossed four innings, allowing one hit with two walks and a pair of strikeouts.
“It’s good that we continued our strong hitting,” Neshannock coach Mike Kirkwood said. “The guys are seeing the ball well right now and the bottom of the order is coming through.
“Our pitchers are just trying to throw strikes and stay ahead in the count. That’s our recipe for success and they’re doing a nice job of it.”
Neshannock teams ousted
A pair of Neshannock teams fared well in the Section 2-AA doubles tournament at Brady’s Run.
The Lancers’ team of Jono Acosta/Anthony Martone were seeded fourth. In the round of 16, the duo defeated Nate Kilany/Colin Paich (Central Valley), 10-0. The Neshannock tandem knocked off Jimmy Covatto/Jack Kroger (Beaver), 10-7, in the quarterfinals.
But the duo lost in the semifinals to top-seeded Clint Davies/Nick Kinger (Blackhawk), 6-2, 6-3.
Acosta/Martone lost to Kevin Houghton/Dante Nardolli (Riverside), 6-4, 1-6, 6-2, in the consolation match, earning fourth place.
The Lancers’ Eric Salle/Max Watters defeated Scott Lewis/Beau Ewing (Ellwood City) in the first round, 10-8. In the quarterfinals, Salle/Watters lost to Houghton/Nardolli (Riverside), 10-5.
“This is kind of a tough tournament,” Neshannock coach Chuck Dess said. “A lot of the guys that play in it usually play singles.
“The guys were just relying on their past experience, but they did really well and I thought they competed really well.”
NEW CASTLE —
The Neshannock High softball team is closing in on a section championship.
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