By Ron Poniewasz Jr. and Andrew Petyak
New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
It’s title time for the Wilmington High softball team.
The Lady Greyhounds clinched their first District 10, Region 2-AA title since 2010, rolling past visiting Lakeview, 13-0, in five innings.
“We played our best game by far,” the team’s first-year coach Tom Reed said. “Everybody hit the ball well. Abby Sotter had her normal game. Defensively, we had no errors.”
Sotter (13-2) was dominant from the circle again for Wilmington (6-1 region, 14-2 overall), allowing just two baserunners on two hits and one walk.
Reed believes, with a region title on the line, his girls were “extra motivated” for this one.
“The girls worked hard all year. That was one of their goals,” he said. “We’re basically a junior-led class other than a couple girls who are seniors. These girls have been playing together all their lives.”
The bats certainly played up to the excitement, as four Lady Greyhounds hitters collected at least two hits.
Alexis Donati showcased her power and speed in slapping a triple and a two-run inside-the-park home run, her first round-tripper of the season.
“She’s fast, there’s no doubt about it,” Reed said. “She’s got a lot of power.”
Cassidy Marett got in on the act with a triple, two singles and three RBIs.
Alanna Elliott also reached third on a triple and smacked a single while Ashley Houk added two singles.
“We reached our first goal,” Reed said. “We still have a couple more to reach.”
Slippery Rock 6,
Shenango 3 (9 innings)
The Wildcats ended their campaign with a loss to visiting Slippery Rock.
The game went nine innings after Shenango erased a two-run deficit on a Brian Tanner triple that scored Greg DePorzio in the seventh. Tanner would come around to score and tie the game at 3 after a throwing error by the Rockets.
“He’s been coming around lately. He had an injury earlier in the year in Florida,” Wildcats coach Mike Othites said. “I think just now he’s feeling comfortable.”
A scoreless eighth led to a three-run ninth inning by Slippery Rock that turned on an unexpected play. With runners on second and third, the Rockets executed a squeeze play with their cleanup hitter to perfection, taking a 4-3 lead. The flood gates would open afterward, as Shenango reliever Evan Kendall (2-3) allowed two more to pick up the loss. Kendall went four innings, scattering seven hits and three earned runs.
“We competed really well with them. I was pleased with the effort defensively, really until the last inning,” Othites said. “The squeeze took us by surprise, but you’ve got to be ready for everything.”
Improving against tough competition is the goal for the Wildcats (10-10) if they wish to make it to the playoffs next year.
“We need to start to beat the big boys,” Othites said. “We’re in the games, but we always have an inning or two with a defensive lapse or we can’t get the timely hit.”
Ellwood City 0
Ernie Burkes was stellar on the mound for the Lancers against Ellwood City Lincoln in the first game of a pair of home matchups. The teams are Section 5-AA rivals, but this was a nonsection clash.
Burkes (1-0) pitched six innings to get the win. He allowed two hits with nine strikeouts.
Frank Fraschetti, Rich Serignese and T.J. Scott supplied two hits each for Neshannock.
The Lancers scored two runs in the first, one in the third, one in the fifth and another in the sixth.
Zach Mathias took the loss. Mathias worked four innings, giving up eight hits and four runs with four walks and six strikeouts.
The Wolverines were limited to three hits.
Ellwood City (5-15), which won the WPIAL Class AA crown last year, lost five of its last six games to end the year.
Beaver Falls 1 (8 innings)
The Lancers claimed the nonsection home win over Beaver Falls on a walk-off error. The teams split their meetings in Section 5 play.
Marcus Giangiuli led off the eighth for Neshannock with a walk. Don Colucci hit a ball sharply to short and the Tigers tried to turn a double play. But a throwing error on the play allowed Giangiuli to come all the way around to score.
The Tigers (4-13) topped Neshannock in the second section matchup on a seventh-inning walk-off.
Chris Egbert (1-0) earned the win in relief. Egbert pitched 1 1/3 perfect innings with a strikeout.
Frank Fraschetti started and worked 6 2/3 innings for Neshannock (14-6).
Don Colucci had two of the Lancers’ four hits.
Neshannock scored a run in the sixth and another in the eighth. Beaver Falls tallied its marker in the third.
The Lancers won the last two WPIAL Class A championships but climbed to Class AA this season. Neshannock missed the district playoffs this season.