Emotional Jefferson-Morgan Edges Char-Houston for WPIAL Class A Softball Gold

Thursday, May 28, 2015 | 3:32 PM

Maddie Ludrosky struck out a dozen batters and Morgan Simkovic doubled home the go-ahead run as Jefferson-Morgan topped Chartiers-Houston, 3-2, Thursday, winning the school’s first WPIAL softball championship.  The Rockets have won 11 straight games since losing to the Bucs April 1st.  Chartiers-Houston had won seven in a row since Ludrosky no-hit the Bucs April 24th.

Jefferson-Morgan (15-2) struggled in the field early on, committing three errors that allowed the Bucs to take a 2-0 lead.  Kassie Kesneck opened CH second, stroking a deep line drive to center, ending up at second base when the ball wasn’t caught.  Casey Craig’s sacrifice bunt was thrown away at first, scoring Kesneck and putting Craig at second.  Ludrosky struck out the next three batters, stranding the runner there.  Jessica Blumen’s bunt was misplayed to start the third and she went to second on a bad throw.  Megan Kraushaar doubled to left-center, driving in the run, putting Chartiers-Houston up 2-0.  But the Bucs couldn’t find another key hit and wasted a no-out runner at second. 

Meanwhile, the Rockets found little success at the plate, Ludrosky’s two sharp singles to left providing JM’s only baserunners through four innings.  That all changed in the fifth.  Jessica Taylor hit a groundball single over the third-base bag.  Brooke Diamond’s potential doubleplay ball to short wasn’t handled and Autumn Tedrow’s sacrifice moved the runners to second and third.  Morgan Gamble single through the right side, driving in Taylor and putting Diamond at third.  Gamble took second on the play to the plate.  Reagan Rush singled to left, scoring Diamond and putting runners at the corners.  After a foul-out, Simkovic doubled to left-center, scoring Gamble and putting the Rockets in front, 3-2.

Ludrosky only allowed one batter to reach base the rest of the way, a one-out single by Kesneck in the sixth.  The right-hander did not allow an earned run on three hits and did not walk a batter for the win.  Kaitlyn Dittrich took the loss, charged with three runs, one earned, six hits and no walks.  The Rockets did not strike out in 28 plate-appearances in the game.

With the win, coming one week after the Rockets attended the funeral of assistant coach Chris Dugan, the Rockets join Chartiers-Houston, Sto-Rox, Vincentian and Neshannock as the only five schools to win WPIAL Class A softball titles in the 17 years since the PIAA expanded to three classes, and only the fourth school to win the title since Quad-A was added in 2005.  Chartiers-Houston (19-3) was seeking a seventh Class A crown and ninth overall.

Jefferson-Morgan will play Monday in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs.  It was announced that the game would be 3 pm at North Allegheny.  The Rockets will play the District 9 runner-up, the loser of the Elk County Catholic / Smethport championship game.  Chartiers-Houston will travel into District 6 to play West Branch, the D-6 champion.  The sites/times have not been officially released by the PIAA.

Line Score:

Jefferson-Morgan  :  0-0-0 0-3-0 0 = 3R, 6H, 3E, 4LOB
Chartiers-Houston : 0-1-1 0-0-0 0 = 2R, 3H, 1E, 4LOB

WP Maddie Ludrosky  7.0 ip, 2 r, 0 er, 3 h, 0 w, 12 k
LP  Kaitlyn Dittrich  7.0 ip, 3 r, 1 er, 6h, 0 w, 0 k

2B : CH-Megan Kraushaar, JM-Morgan Simkovic
RBI : CH-Megan Kraushaar, JM-Morgan Gamle, Reagan Rush, Morgan Simkovic.

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