Deer Lakes Hands Mohawk First Loss With 13-5 Win in AA Finals

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Thursday, May 28, 2015 | 8:59 PM


Maria Taliani belted three home runs, and Deer Lakes used a six-run explosion in the fourth inning to capture the Class AA softball title, defeating Mohawk 13-5 at Lilley Field at California University of Pennsylvania.

The victory marks the second championship for the Lancers, who captured the crown in 2012, and finished in second place in each of the past two seasons.

Top-seeded Deer Lakes (21-1) collected 13 hits, and Taliani and Katie Gozzard combined for 11 RBIs in the Lancers’ offensive onslaught. Both players homered in the crucial fourth inning, as the Lancers turned a 4-3 deficit into a five-run lead.

Taliani led off the frame by clearing the fence in left-center field to deadlock the contest, and Stephanie Drapela and Maureen Hutchinson followed with consecutive singles against Mohawk hurler Tristan Voss. With runners at the corners, Hutchinson stole second, but the Warriors had Drapela caught in a rundown between third base and home. An errant throw by Mohawk’s Madison Shiderly allowed Drapela to score the go-ahead run, though. Shortly thereafter, Hutchinson scored on a wild pitch, putting Deer Lakes ahead 6-4.

The Deer Lakes’ offense was far from done in the frame, though, as Gozzard’s three-run bomb to center field plated Sarah Blinn and Shae Robson.

Mohawk, which entered play with a perfect mark of 16-0, took the lead in the first inning, as leadoff hitter Leah Woytek opened the contest with a triple, and scored following a bunt single by Haley Sainato. Sainato, who used aggressive baserunning to reach third, scored on a groundout off the bat of Victoria Pezzuolo to stake the Warriors to a 2-0 edge.

The lead was short lived, however, as Deer Lakes scored three in the bottom of the first, as Rachel Tanilli doubled and scored on a groundout, and Taliani connected on a two-run shot.

Mohawk, the No. 2 seed, briefly took the lead in the top of the fourth, courtesy of a two-run homer by Shiderly, but again the Lancers responded, this time gaining the upper hand for good.

Although the Warriors trimmed into their deficit by scoring one run in the top of the fifth, Taliani and the Lancers regained momentum in the sixth, as the Deer Lakes left fielder again homered, this time with the bases loaded.

With her team in complete control, pitcher Tiffany Edwards went the distance to seal the victory for Deer Lakes.

Both teams advance to the PIAA Class A postseason, with first-round play beginning on Monday.

Scoring Summary:
Mohawk Warriors  :  2 – 0 – 0 – 2 – 1 – 0 – 0  =  5 – 8 – 2
Deer Lakes Lancers  :  3 – 0 – 0 – 6 – 0 – 4 – x  = 13 – 13 – 1

WP: Edwards – 7 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
LP: Voss – 6 IP, 13 H, 13R, 12 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

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