Hometown Softball Recap for South Side Rams – 04/23/2015

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Thursday, April 23, 2015 | 11:04 PM


The South Side Rams  were looking to put some breathing space between themselves and the Avonworth Antelopes for 2nd place in Class AA Section 1, and the only way they were going to make that happen was to beat the Lopes outright on its home turf, which they did 6-4 on Thursday.

In the early going, however, it looked like the Rams were in danger of falling into a tie for 2nd as the opportunistic Antelopes took advantage of 3 SSB errors to jump out to a 4-0 lead in the 3rd inning.  Elaina Tkaczenko reached base on an error.  A walk to Jennie Pollock by McKenna Smith moved her to 2nd.  A misplayed fly ball by Lena Pieto loaded the bases as Addy Helffrich reached.  A single by Sydney Smith drove in Tkaczenko and Pollock to give Avonworth a 2-0 lead.  After a strikeout and a groundout, a fielding error by 1B Alexis Dhayer plated both Helffrich and S-Smith to make it 4-0, Lopes.

At that same time, Sydney Smith, who was also Avonworth’s starting pitcher, retired 8 straight Rams’ batters to keep them off the board.

SSB, however, would crack the scoreboard in the bottom of the 4th as back-to-back singles by Hunter Hand and McKenna Smith put them both in scoring position with 1 out.  A groundout by Toni Yacoviello drove in Hand to cut the lead to 4-1.

The Rams’ bats really came alive in the 5th though.  After Ashley Laughlin walked, Lacey Weible reached on a fielder’s choice-error, and Pieto struck out, Cheyenne Seik’s single drove in both Laughlin and Weible to cut the lead to 1. Capri Sollinger’s base hit moved Seik to 3rd, and she moved to 2nd when the Lopes attempted to throw Seik out.  McKenna Smith’s single drove in both Seik and Sollinger to give the Rams the lead, 5-4.

The Rams got an insurance run in the 6th as Seik’s base hit plated Laughlin for the 6-4 lead.

Avonworth threatened in the top of the 7th as Sydney Smith walked and Kimmy D’Ottavio doubled to bring the put the potential tying run in scoring position and the go-ahead run to the plate.  McKenna Smith, however, who had struggled with her control in the early going, struck out the side to end the game. She fanned Gretchen Schmidt, Hannah Bouvy, and Olivia Flynn, all in a row to give the South Side Rams the victory.

The Rams now have a 2-game cushion in 2nd place in Class AA Section 1 with a 5-1 record.  The Antelopes remain in 3rd place with a 3-3 mark.  Both teams are chasing Burgettstown, who has a perfect 6-0 record in the section and has already clinched a spot in the postseason.

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