NEW CASTLE —
The Neshannock High softball team suffered a rare loss yesterday.
Riverside pushed a run across in the fifth inning and made it stand in a 1-0 nonsection victory over the host Lady Lancers.
The Lady Panthers worked a leadoff walk in the frame and the runner advanced to second on a wild pitch. A single plated the runner with the winning marker.
Neshannock (15-2), which is ranked No. 1 in the WPIAL in Class A by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, is the Section 4 champion. The Lady Lancers won the PIAA Class AA championship before dropping to Single-A this year.
Riverside (14-0), the Section 5-AA champion, is ranked No. 1 in double-A by the Post-Gazette.
“I’m glad we played them,” Neshannock coach Tracy Kimmel said. “It will get the kids up more when they realize there’s something big at stake; it was a good tune-up for us. The game could have went either way.
“Riverside is a quality team. We were looking forward to playing them.”
Madison Shaffer (15-2), a sophomore, took the loss. Shaffer pitched seven innings, giving up two hits and an earned run with a walk and 12 strikeouts.
“Madison pitched very well,” Kimmel said. “She was under the gun. She’s right there.
“She’s done well this year.”
Marissa DeMatteo posted a single to account for Neshannock’s lone hit. The Lady Lancers didn’t get a runner past second.
Kirsten Wilson walked two and struck out 11 to earn the victory.
The WPIAL will release the softball pairings Thursday.
“We’re looking forward to the pairings being released,” Kimmel said. “This is a fun time of year; this is what you play for.
“I don’t think this loss will affect our seeding.”
New Castle 10,
The Lady ’Canes’ Carley Aven shut down Laurel in a nonsection home win. The game was stopped after six innings because of the mercy rule.
Aven picked up the win, pitching four innings. She allowed three hits with four walks and two strikeouts.
Dana Perrotta paced New Castle with three hits, while Christina Evans, Alyea Cioffi, Aleigha Withrow and Shannon Dudich added two each. Evans and Sarah Antonelli drove in two runs apiece.
The Lady ’Canes scored three runs in the first, four in the third, one in the fifth and two more sixth.
Laurel saw its record slip to 3-13.