NEW CASTLE —
Gina Gaibis got the Lady Scots off to a strong start in a Section 4-A home win over Rochester.
Gaibis swatted a two-run homer in the first inning, her first blast of the season, as Union (3-0, 3-0) built a 3-0 lead in the frame.
“It was a little bit sloppy, but I was happy with the win,” Lady Scots coach Gary Trimble said. “Rochester is a big rivalry for us. We’re always playing big games against them and I’m always happy to get a win against then. I’m happy for the kids.”
Johnna Johnston and Allison Bertolino recorded two hits each for Union. Hannah Booth drove in two runs for the winners.
Ariel Junkin (3-0) earned the win, pitching seven innings. Junkin gave up seven hits and three runs — all earned — with three walks and six strikeouts.
The Lady Rams cut the deficit to 3-1 in the top of the fourth, but Union put three more runs up in the bottom half for a 6-1 buffer. Rochester scored two more runs in the seventh.
The Lady Scots had chances to break the game open early, but didn’t capitalize. Union had the bases loaded in the second and third innings, but didn’t score either time.
“When you leave runners on and blow scoring opportunities, sometimes they come back to bite you. But it didn’t this time,” Trimble said. “This was a good game for us; we won a closer game.
“With the tough games we have coming up, we have three really good teams to play this week, it’s good to be able to play in those pressure circumstances.”
The Lady Scots play at South Side Beaver today, home to Shenango tomorrow and at Neshannock on Thursday.
New Castle 6,
Alyea Cioffi pitched and batted the Lady ’Canes to a Section 1-AAA home win over Blackhawk.
Cioffi (2-1) earned the win. She started and pitched 3 2/3 innings, allowing three hits and no runs with a walk and a strikeout.
Cioffi delivered a clutch two-run double in the fifth inning to lift New Castle (1-2, 2-4) to a 5-2 lead.
Carley Aven notched her first save. Aven tossed 3 1/3 innings, giving up two hits and two runs — one earned — with two walks and a pair of strikeouts.
“Alyea really stepped it up. She not only pitched well, but she had a big double,” New Castle coach Leah Ann Williams said. “I’m very pleased with Aven pitching well in relief. Blackhawk is very good. I just had a feeling it was time for a switch and it ended up being a good move.”
The Lady ’Canes had five hits as a team.
“We had very timely hits and we only had three strikeouts,” Williams said. “We really hit the ball hard.
“I was very impressed with the defense, too. We really played well in the field. It was a very good game by us.”
New Castle plated two runs in the third and four more in the fifth. Blackhawk scored a run in the fifth and one in the sixth.