Freshman throws no-hitter as Springdale softball routs Quigley Catholic

Thursday, May 16, 2019 | 5:52 PM

The wait was worth it for the Springdale softball team.

Making its first playoff appearance since 2000, Alexis Hrivnak threw a no-hitter and the Dynamos cruised past Quigley Catholic, 14-0, in five innings Thursday in a WPIAL Class A first-round game at Shaler’s Hilltop Field.

“It felt amazing to win this,” said Hrivnak, a freshman right-hander who struck out eight and walked one.

“I just came out of a big pitching slump, and I’ve been practicing and practicing, getting my reps in, and it showed on the field.”

Springdale coach Anthony Pototo, whose team is seeded sixth, said he was happy to see his young pitcher silence the 11th-seeded Spartans (3-9). Hrivnak struck out the first four batters she faced.

“She has been a workhorse all year,” Pototo said. “Coming in as a freshman, she has accomplished a lot this season and will accomplish more this season because we’re not done. We’re excited to see what she will do in the future, too. She is a phenomenal softball player and a phenomenal kid.”

Springdale (13-3) took advantage of six Quigley errors. The Dynamos scored in the first on an error and added eight runs in the third as the Spartans committed four miscues.

“It was definitely nice (pitching with a lead),” Hrivnak said. “To see us score so many in the third was awesome.”

Tylar Rafail’s two-run single highlighted the team’s outburst in the third. She finished with three singles. Dayna Zezza and Gabby Yost had a pair of singles apiece, and Emily Wilhelm doubled.

“I am so happy for them, from where they’ve come this year and for Springdale softball to be in the playoffs for the first time in 19 years,” Pototo said. “It seems like the rain doesn’t cooperate with us, but we stayed focused and didn’t skip a beat. They looked sharp. They came with a lot of energy. From top to bottom, everybody contributed.”

Springdale meets third-seeded Union (10-5) in Monday’s quarterfinals.

“We know that Union will be a tough matchup, but we’re looking forward to the game,” Pototo said.

Joe Sager is a freelance writer.

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