New Castle News


May 10, 2012

Spring Sports: A roundup of action from May 9

NEW CASTLE — The “first” season has come and gone, and the Neshannock High softball team left it unscathed.

The Lady Lancers finished the regular season 18-0, taking advantage of five errors and six passed balls in a 7-2 road win over Shenango.

Neshannock is the lone Class AA team to finish the season unbeaten and is one of only two teams in the WPIAL to not lose a game (Sto-Rox of Class A is 17-0). The Lady Lancers can now foucs on the second season: the playoffs. They’ll find out who they play and what their seed is today when the WPIAL softball playoff pairings are announced.

“We’re hoping for the No. 1 seed this year,” Neshannock coach Tracy Kimmel said. “I don’t see any reason why we wouldn’t get it, but stranger things have happened.”

The Lady Lancers scored four times in the first inning against Shenango. They had just one hit, but scored three runs off passed balls. Four of the Lady Wildcats’ five errors came in the first, and the damage was more than enough for Lady Lancers pitcher Amanda Furst (18-0).

Furst allowed two runs — one earned — on five hits and one walk. She struck out two.

“She threw well,” Kimmel said. “She didn’t have many strikeouts, but that’s how she always pitches. We have a good defense, so it works out. She threw some nice off-speed pitches at key times and got some ground balls.”

Alexandra Fischer paced the Lady Lancers’ offense by going 2 for 4 with an RBI. Rayanna Furst drove in two and stole a base.

Michelle Watson took the loss for Shenango (12-7). She yielded seven runs — one earned — on five hits and two walks. She struck out eight. Kim Burdett led the offense, going 2 for 3 with a double and a run scored.

Shenango, a Class A affiliate, also enters the playoffs with a good chance for respectable seed. The Lady Wildcats finished 11-1 in Section 5-A and six of their seven losses came to teams in a higher classification.

“We never take a game easy,” Shenango coach Amy Delaney said. “We played Mohawk on Monday, then Neshannock today, two really good teams, and we were hoping to come out good against both teams to get ready for the playoffs. That was definitely our approach to these two games. Unfortunately, we went in Monday with that attitude, but today was a little different story.

“We have to come out with the mindset that we’re going to play at all times. We keep preaching first pitch to last pitch, but we were just one step behind today. We were being reactive instead of being proactive and making the plays”

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