Apollo-Ridge softball eliminated by two-time finalist Frazier

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 | 8:10 PM

The Frazier softball team has played in the past two WPIAL Class 2A championship games, and it hopes to make it three straight in a couple of weeks.

The Commodores, the WPIAL champions in 2017 and last year’s runner-up, got off to a good start toward that goal Wednesday as they defeated Apollo-Ridge, 8-2, on the turf at Latrobe.

“We struggled with some defense early on, but I think we got the jitters out of our system,” Frazier coach Don Hartman said. “We were able to push a couple of runs across and settle in. Later in the game, we got a couple of bunts and some big hits.

”It’s about doing what you need to do at this time of the season to move on. We’re fortunate enough to win and play another day.”

Frazier, the No. 5 seed, advances to face No. 4 Vincentian in the quarterfinals Monday at a site and time to be determined. The Royals were 10-2 winners over Burgettstown on Wednesday at Montour.

Apollo-Ridge, in the playoffs for the third year in a row, wraps up its season at 9-5.

“The girls battled all year, and I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Apollo-Ridge coach John Kinnamon said.

Frazier junior Logan Hartman picked up the pitching win. She scattered five hits, walked two and struck out 14.

“It probably wasn’t her sharpest outing, but she was able to settle in after a couple of innings,” Don Hartman said. “She was trying to get comfortable in the circle. I don’t know if she was getting caught up in the carpet. She had a couple of walks early, which is uncharacteristic of her, but she’s a veteran and she did what a veteran has to do to get it done.”

Apollo-Ridge stranded four runners in scoring position over the first four innings. A fifth runner was tagged out in a rundown between third and home in the top of the third.

“I did feel we had some really good, disciplined at bats,” Kinnamon said. “We knew (Hartman) throws that rise ball and tries to throw that change-up off the plate. We just don’t see that in our section that much. That’s the good thing about playoffs. You go out and see teams you haven’t seen before and see what you need to do.”

Freshman shortstop Bailey Zidek knocked in both runs for Apollo-Ridge.

She singled with two outs in the top of the third to get the Vikings on the board. Emma Rametta reached on a sacrifice bunt, moved to second on a throwing error and scored on Zidek’s hit.

Zidek then homered with two outs in the fifth.

“(Zidek) really hit the ball hard twice,” Don Hartman said. “She hit that home run, and I then went out to settle things down a little bit and remind them that she’s a good hitter. Things worked out OK after that.”

The Zidek homer brought Apollo-Ridge to within two at 4-2, but Frazier regained momentum in the bottom of the fifth. The Commodores hit for the cycle in the inning.

Kathryn Barch led off with a single, and Emi Curcio, who finished with a team-best four RBIs, followed with a homer. Rylee Evans then doubled, and Savannah Berklovich produced an RBI triple.

Apollo-Ridge senior Molly Charlton suffered the loss. She gave up nine hits, one walk and seven earned runs while striking out five.

“Charlton is very crafty and hard to settle in on,” Don Hartman said. “She keeps you off balance, and that’s what good pitchers do.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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