Deer Lakes Comes Back Late to Claim First WPIAL AA Softball Championship

Deer Lakes Comes Back Late to Claim First WPIAL AA Softball Championship

In unlikely fashion, the Deer Lakers Lancers rallied with two runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game and a run in the eighth to claim their first ever Class AA Softball championship with a 3-2 eight inning win over the Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions.

Becca Babincak bunted to lead off the inning and stole second, after one out, Candace Scanga hit a grounder to first that Alie Perz could not handle, putting runners at first and third. Greensburg Central Catholic brought the outfield in with Siera Sarver at the plate, she drove a deep fly ball to right center over the head of the outfielders to score the game winning run.

Sarver broke up a perfect game by Anna Marie Gatti with a single in the fifth inning, then came up with the game-winner. The sophomore said the coaches told the team to keep strong and keep fighting, to find an extra gear. Sarver ended 2 for 4, Lubick drove home two runs for the Lancers, who are now 19-1 and will meet District 10 runner-up Wilmington in the first round of the state playoffs on Monday. The win also gave Deer Lakes revenge, they fell to GCC in last year's semifinals. 

Deer Lakes entered into the bottom of the seventh, using some shoddy defense from Greensburg Central Catholic to stay alive. After one out, Siera Sarver reached as a grounder kicked off Daigle's glove at second. Hannah Blinn hit a liner to center that Sierra Mathis couldn't handle, then Tiffanie Edwards walked to load the bases. Moretti was caught looking for the second out and it didn't look good for the Lancers. But Courtney Lubick singled out of the reach Daigle to bring home Sarver and courtesy runner Haley Kitchell to tie the game. Leanne Crawford grounded out the Daigle to force extra innings. 

Greensburg Central Catholic opened the game with two runs in the first inning with the ball not ever the infield. Carolyn Appleby led off with a walk, Karly Mellinger bunted and reached on an error on pitcher Hailey Moretti, after a Nikki Adisey sacrifice moved up the runners, Julia Lang dropped down a bunt, Appleby scored, the ball kicked off catcher Hannah Blinn's glove at the plate, the error allowed Lang to move to second. With the infield in, Alie Perz hit a pop up, just out of the reach of Katie Gozzard at second, bringing home Mellinger. Moretti was able to recover and get Katie Hickey to foul out and Leah Daigle to pop out to short to end the inning.

Anna Marie Gotti was perfect thru four innings for Greensburg Central Catholic, Siera Sarver broke up the perfect game with a leadoff single in the fifth. Gotti fanned six of the twelve batters, all of those coming in a row from the second to the fifth. Morretti was just as strong after the first inning, setting down 21 straight batters the remainder of the way. Head coach Craig Taliani said Moretti threw incredible, she took command of the game.

Taliani said the Lancers scored runs with two outs all season long, they have done a great job manufacturing runs and that paid off with a gold medal today.

Gotti allowed just the four hits, only one of the three runs was earned. Greensburg Central Catholic falls in the championship game for the second consecutive year, they dropped a 3-1 decision on to Burrell in last year's title game. The Centurions will meet District 10 champion Fairview in the opening round of state play on Monday. 

Greensburg Cent Cath Centurions : 2 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 = 2-3-4
Deer Lakes Lancers : 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 2 – 1 = 3-4-2