Great defensive play gives Frazier softball school’s 1st PIAA team championship
Saturday, June 15, 2019 | 12:15 AM
UNIVERSITY PARK — Frazier was in danger of losing the PIAA Class 2A championship game at Penn State’s Beard Field.
Brandywine Heights, from District 3, had runners on second and third with one out.
It was decision time for Frazier softball coach Don Hartman.
He intentionally walked Alexis Didlinger to load the bases with his team clinging to a one-run lead.
“I went with my gut,” Hartman said. “I’ve always gone with my gut on decisions.”
His gut feeling turned out to be the right decision as Jaydn Richards lofted a short fly ball to right fielder Mackenzie Kelly. She then uncorked a perfect strike to catcher Juliann Johnson, who tagged out the speedy Haley Hertzog for a game-ending double play, giving Frazier its first state team title in a 6-5 win.
The softball team did something the 1969 boys basketball team couldn’t accomplish: win the state title.
“I had to send her,” Brandywine Heights coach Don Roach said. “We had to score, and the girl made a great throw.”
Frazier players and coaches celebrated the win on the field.
Kelly had some early problems, but she made the big play at the end.
“When the ball was hit, I knew I couldn’t hit the cutoff man,” Kelly said. “My centerfielder (Megan Celaschi) was telling me to shoot four (home plate). I knew I got off a good throw, and Juliann made a great tag.”
Frazier jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the third inning, but Brandywine Heights tied the score with two runs in the fifth.
Frazier (21-4) reclaimed the lead in the sixth inning when Celaschi, who singled and moved to second on a passed ball, scored on an error.
“This is something I’ve dreamed for 27 years,” Hartman said. “I played for a title in high school and lost. This is an unbelievable feeling.”
Winning pitcher Logan Hartman said the double play wasn’t what they drew up.
“It worked out in my favor,” Logan Hartman said. “I can’t complain about it.
“It’s a like a dream. I don’t feel I’m living this right now. We’ve worked since last November, and it such a thrill to play in it.”
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .