Greensburg Central Catholic softball team ready to take on District 9 champ Cranberry in state playoffs

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Sunday, June 4, 2023 | 7:32 PM


Greensburg Central Catholic softball coach Mike Gaffney has been coaching the Centurions for 12 seasons.

He doesn’t allow things to bother him that he can’t control. His focus is on his team and how it is performing.

So, after the Centurions (14-3) were beaten by No. 1 Neshannock, 15-0, in the WPIAL Class 2A semifinals, his words to the squad after the game were, “Let’s move on.”

Neshannock is the best team in the state, no question,” Gaffney said. “There is no shame to losing to them.”

Neshannock captured the WPIAL Class 2A title Thursday and won its 46th consecutive game.

Greensburg Central Catholic wiped off that loss and came back to qualify for the PIAA tournament for the second-consecutive season by defeating Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, 7-6, on Tuesday.

Now, they prepare to face District 9 champion Cranberry at 4 p.m. Monday. The game will be played at Cranberry High School in Seneca, which is east of Franklin and south of Oil City.

Cranberry (13-7) upset No. 1 seed Curwensville, 7-6, in the district finals. Cassie Scarbrough drove in three runs with two hits, and pitcher Reyna Watson had three hits.

The winner plays the winner of District 5 champion Everett (22-0) and the WPIAL runner-up Laurel (16-3) on June 8 at a site and time to be determined.

“I don’t know much about them except they upset Curwensville,” Gaffney said. “I’ll be busy looking things up and making calls about them.”

Gaffney said he’s not surprised his team has reached the state playoffs.

“With seven starters back and a pitcher like Emma (Henry), I would have been disappointed if we didn’t make a run,” Gaffney said. “Emma has been our horse for four seasons. She’s carried us. We’ve had others step up.”

The duo that has stepped up is sophomore left fielder Erica Rodriguez and junior shortstop Macee Magill, who had four hits in the win against OLSH.

“Last year, we lost to DuBois Central Catholic in the first round,” Gaffney said. “The team is looking forward to the game.

“The team has played well despite missing two key starters during the season. But they’re both back and playing well.”

Magill and catcher Isabella Marquez missed the Charleroi playoff quarterfinal-round game.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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