By Ron Poniewasz Jr. and Andrew Petyak
New Castle News
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.”
New Castle 11,
The Lady ’Canes banged out 12 hits in a Section 1-AAA home win over Hopewell. The game was stopped after five innings because of the mercy rule.
Aleigha Withrow paced New Castle (2-2, 3-4) with three hits and three RBIs. Christina Evans added two hits, including a three-run home run in the first inning. Alyea Cioffi added two hits as well.
Jenna Frank drove in a pair of runs for the winners.
Carley Aven (1-3) went the distance for the win. Aven gave up three hits and an earned run with a walk and five strikeouts.
“I thought Carley pitched well and we tried a lot of different things,” New Castle coach Leah Ann Williams said. “Everyone contributed in one way or another.”
The Lady ’Canes plated three runs in the first, five in the second, two in the fourth and one more in the fifth to finish off the win.
The Lady Vikings (0-4, 0-5) got their run in the fourth.
Abby Sotter pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning to lift Wilmington to a District 10, Region 2-AA home win over Sharon.
The first three Lady Tigers reached base safely in the top of the seventh. But Sotter settled down, striking out the next two batters before getting the third batter to ground out to her to end the game.
Sotter (5-0) picked up the win, working seven innings. She gave up five hits and four runs — three earned — with three walks and 13 strikeouts
“Sotter displayed guts there in the seventh,” first-year Lady Greyhounds coach Tom Reed said. “She knew she had to do it.”
Alanna Elliott registered three hits for Wilmington (1-0, 5-0) and Megan Houyouse was next with two hits and a pair of RBIs.
Courtney Cohen and Alexis Donati knocked in two runs apiece.
The Lady Greyhounds scored four runs in the first and two in the fourth. Sharon (0-1, 3-1) plated three markers in the third and another in the fifth.
“It was nice to get the first region win,” Reed said. “It wasn’t one of our best defensive or offensive games. But a win is a win.”
New Brighton 3,
The Lady Spartans committed five errors in dropping a Section 5-AA road matchup to New Brighton.
Kristan Fedrizzi and Delaney Baumis notched two hits each for Laurel (1-4, 1-4).
Makenna Natale (0-3) went the distance and took the loss. Natale gave up eight hits and three runs — one earned — with one walk and no strikeouts.
“Our hitting came through for us,” Lady Spartans coach Lori Krol said. “They have a good pitcher and our girls kept battling at the plate.
“Unfortunately, we made five errors and two of them were the costly errors to cost us the game. We’re still young and we’ll learn from these mistakes. I’m proud of them. They’re battling back and making games close. It’s just a matter of keeping the faith and giving their best effort and that’s what they’re doing.”
Laurel scored a run each in the first and third innings. The Lady Lions (2-2, 6-2) tallied a marker in the third and two in the fourth.
Wilson breaks record
Ethan Wilson threw his name into the record book in Laurel’s 99.33-49.33 triumph over Neshannock.
Wilson set a Spartans record in the javelin with a throw of 162-3. The old record of 159-6 was set by Tony Seamans in 2007.
He also was a winner in the 3200 relay, 1600 relay and 800.
Laurel’s James Steele earned first-place marks in the 100, 400 relay, long jump and triple jump.
Clint Glenn also grabbed three events for the Spartans in the 3200 relay, 1600 and 1600 relay.
Docchio hurdles pack
Keaton Docchio’s record performance led Ellwood City Lincoln to a 80-70 victory over Shenango.
Docchio set a school record with a 14.2 in the 110 hurdles. He also captured victory in the 100, 400 relay and long jump.
Jake Cochran notched a win in the 400, 1600 and 1600 relay for the Wildcats.
’Canes top Central Valley
Three athletes lifted New Castle to an 85-65 decision against Central Valley.
Khalil Huddleston collected the top mark in the 100, 200 and 400 relay. Teammate Antonio Rudolph led the pack in the 400 and was a member of the 400 relay and 1600 relay winners.
Mike Mazzanti left the competition in the dust in the 800, 1600 and helped the 1600 relay squad.
Mohawk came up just short in a 79.33-70.66 loss to Riverside.
Lucas Grim placed first in the 400, 800, 1600 and 3200 relay for the Warriors.
John Zagotti tallied a victory in the long jump, triple jump and 400 relay.
The Greyhounds knocked off host Reynolds, 96-54.
Union drops meet
Cole Keister and Malik Williams won three events each, but Union lost to Beaver Falls, 102-43.
Keister recorded a victory in the 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles and 1600 relay while Williams notched the triple jump and 1600 relay crowns.
Nicole Watkins captured three events to propel Shenango to a 85-65 victory against Ellwood City.
Watkins gained wins in the 200, 400 and 1600 relay.
Angela McCowin was the individual star for the Lady Wolverines, recording a school record in the 110 hurdles with a mark of 15.4. She also took the top spot in the 300 hurdles, 400 relay and high jump.
Fleck paces Mohawk
Maria Fleck ran and hurdled her way to prominence in three events as Mohawk upended Riverside, 100-50.
Fleck was victorious for the Lady Warriors in the 300 hurdles, 400 relay and 1600 relay.
Three other Mohawk athletes won two matches.
Paige Ruby had the top distances in the shot put and discus while Kim Masone launched to victory in the pole vault and high jump. Katherine Harding took first in the 100 hurdles and 1600 relay.
New Castle falls
The Lady ’Canes couldn’t keep up with Central Valley in a 106-44 loss.
Tara Treloar was a winner in the javelin and pole vault for New Castle.
Kelsey Scott, Andrea Lansdowne and Allyson Hood also won events for the Lady ’Canes.
Glasser leads Laurel
Laurel received four wins apiece from Ashley Glasser and Jessica Conrad in an 84-60 decision against visiting Neshannock
Glasser registered the best times in the 100, 400, 400 relay and 1600 relay.
Conrad ran ahead of the field in the 3200 relay, 1600 relay, 400 relay and 200.
Natalie Sheen took the 1600 and 3200 for the Lady Lancers.
Lady Scots upended
Union dropped a 79-44 meet to Beaver Falls.
Janis McGill and Alyson Conrad were multiple winners for the Lady Scots.
McGill took home a victory in the 800 and 1600 while Conrad placed first in the shot put and discus.
Lady ’Hounds win
Wilmington cruised to a 103-47 win over host Reynolds.