Frazier softball advances to PIAA finals in walkoff fashion

Tuesday, June 11, 2019 | 10:35 PM

A victory an entire career in the making had Frazier coach Don Hartman emotional after watching his daughter Logan cross home plate to give the Commodores their first trip to the PIAA championship game.

“I’ve waited 27 years for this,” Don Hartman said, holding back tears after Frazier’s 5-4 walkoff win over Cranberry in the PIAA Class 2A semifinals Tuesday at Slippery Rock.

The Commodores (20-4) were three outs away from advancing to the final, with a 4-2 lead in the top of the seventh inning.

Cranberry (15-6) chipped away with the top of its order, putting two on with a pair of singles by Maddie Cornelius and Kaylie Bruce. Super Berries shortstop Malliah Schreck brought them home with a single to tie the score 4-4 before Frazier got out of the inning.

As Frazier piled into the dugout before coming to bat in the bottom of the seventh, Hartman told his team, “they hit with their top of the order. Let’s walk it off with ours.”

“I went back in the dugout and told the team, ‘We have to do this now, or it’s not going to happen,’ ” Logan Hartman said.

She backed up her words.

Logan Hartman batted first and ripped a single up the middle. Juliann Johnson threw down a sacrifice bunt and moved Hartman to second, where she threatened to steal. Junior Kathryn Barch drew a walk, bringing up Emi Curcio.

“I hadn’t hit so well the rest of the game, so I was just trying to put something through the infield,” Curcio said.

“I can’t lie, I looked up to the sky a little bit. I lost my Dad in ’03, and I kind of begged him for a little help right there and a little bit of fate. It happened,” Don Hartman said. “That was just two little quirky bounces off gloves, and here we are.”

The cleanup-hitting junior drove the ball through the glove of the Berries third baseman, and it carried past the shortstop and into the outfield, allowing Logan Hartman to race home for the win.

The look of pure elation poured over her face as she crossed home, pumped her fists and let out a joyful shout.

“That was the best feeling,” said Logan Hartman, the winning pitcher. “Better than the WPIAL, better than anything I’ve ever played before. It takes so much hard work to make it to the state championship. We’re tried for three years now and finally made it. It’s so surreal.”

Said coach Hartman: “I’ll be honest with you. When I’m coaching the game, she’s not my daughter. I don’t even think about her being my daughter. I probably kind of forgot she was even on second, but now that you’re telling me, it’s surreal.

“As a dad, to have your daughter in the circle, she and I have been in the backyard since she was 8 years old learning how to fast pitch. For her to pitch her team, not only them but me, to a state title game, it’s a dream come true as a parent. I’m blessed. They always tell you, you get so many great feelings in your life. The day your kids are born, the day you’re married and this is definitely one of the top five greatest days of my life right now.”

The Commodores reveled in the victory Tuesday night, but it’s back to work Wednesday with a quick turnaround for Thursday’s title tilt in Happy Valley.

Frazier will face District 3 runner-up Brandywine Heights at 11 a.m. at Penn State’s Beard Field.


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