NEW CASTLE —
Madison Shaffer continues to get it done for the Neshannock High softball team.
The starting pitcher for the Lady Lancers didn’t allow a run at South Side Beaver in a 1-0 victory in eight innings in WPIAL Section 4-A action.
Shaffer (5-0) held the Lady Rams (5-1 section, 5-1 overall) to four hits, striking out 17 and allowing four walks. She was coming off a five-inning no-hitter in a 14-0 win over Western Beaver on Saturday.
“She took a big step,” Neshannock coach Tracy Kimmel said. “She’s only a sophomore and she hasn’t pitched much in high school, but she came through in flying colors. She’s just only going to get better.”
The Lady Lancers (5-0, 5-0) outscored opponents by a total of 66-1 in their four previous games, which averages to more than 16 runs a game. However, South Side Beaver pitcher Michelle Klein was able to match Shaffer with seven scoreless innings before Neshannock broke through in the eighth.
Rayanna Furst led off the inning with an infield single. A sacrifice bunt by Jamie Graziani worked to perfection as not only did Furst get to third, but Graziani was safe at first on the play.
Marissa DeMatteo bounced a groundball in the infield but a mishandled play at the plate allowed Furst to score the lone run.
“It was a close ballgame and a well played game,” Kimmel said. “It was a tight game. We needed a game like that. This is the kind of game you like to play. These are good games.
“Our defense showed up again. We make all the plays. We don’t give runs away. When we do that, we’re going to be in every game.”
The Shenango High softball team bounced back yesterday.
Alexa Owrey and Jenna Petrucci belted two hits each for the Lady Wildcats in a 6-3 WPIAL Section 4-A road win over Union. The win came after a 10-1 loss to nonsection foe Mohawk on Monday.
“I definitely thought this was a big game,” Shenango coach Amy Delaney said. “Union is always a good team in the section.
“I wanted to see what type of intensity we would come out with. It was nice to see us come out ready to play.”
Delaney was pleased with Owrey and Petrucci’s effort.
“I think Alexa and Jenna stepped up at the plate for us,” Delaney said. “Megan Gecina hit the ball well, too, and they all showed upperclassmen leadership. They looked for their pitch.”
Shenango (3-1 section, 4-4 overall) took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third and the Lady Scots (3-2, 3-2) answered with a run in the bottom half. The Lady Wildcats plated two more runs in the fifth and Union countered with two of its own in the bottom of the frame to make it 4-3.
But Shenango scored a run each in the sixth and seventh to put the game away.
“It was just one of those games,” Union coach Gary Trimble said. “It was a very competitive game.
“We hit the ball hard, but we didn’t seem to get the breaks we needed to to score some runs.”
Macy Rubin (4-4) earned the win. Rubin went seven innings, giving up eight hits and three earned runs with three walks and nine strikeouts.
“I thought Macy pitched pretty well,” Delaney said. “She kept the hitters off balance.
“That was definitely a pleasant surprise, her strikeouts. Union has a strong lineup. Our defense was pretty strong behind her.”
Ariel Junkin (3-2) suffered the loss. Junkin tossed seven innings, allowing nine hits and six runs — four earned — with three walks and eight strikeouts.
“I thought Ariel pitched well and kept them off balance,” Trimble said. “I really thought we played good enough to have a chance to win.
“They seemed to take advantage of their opportunities. I’m not disappointed in how we played. I’m happy and the kids played hard. We just didn’t seem to get the runs across when we needed to.”