Neshannock Runs Away With WPIAL Class A Softball Championship

Thursday, May 30, 2013 | 2:07 PM

The hit parade was out in full force as the Neshannock Lancers pounded out 16 hits in route to their first WPIAL Class A softball championship with a 10-4 victory over the Carmichaels Mighty Mikes at Lilley Field. The Lancers were ousted in the 2012 Class AA semifinals but went on to run thru the PIAA bracket to claim the state championship.

Madison Shaffer struck out twelve in picking up her 18th win of the season, the sophomore also was 2 for 4 at the plate with a triple and a double, she drove in three runs. Marissa DeMatteo and Alexandra Fischer both had three hits for Neshannock, now 18-2 on the season.

The Lancers took the lead in the top of the second after a scoreless first with a six run outburst. Katelyn Burrelli and Fischer both singled thru the right side, Shaffer tripled to center field to clear the bases. Those runs were the first allowed by Carmichaels starter Erica Burns in the post-season.  Rachel Iorio laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to score Shaffer, Iorio was safe at first. With two outs, Marissa DeMatteo tripled to center field to bring home two more runs.

Neshannock added two more in the third. Fischer walked to start the inning, Shaffer doubled her home for her second extra base hit of the day. Marissa Kirkwood singled with one out to score Shaffer and put Neshannock up 8-0. Coach Tracy Kimmel said the Lancers were able to get some pretty good swings against Burns. The large lead helped Shaffer keep her cool in the circle, she scattered five hits.

Carmichaels got on the board in the fifth, scoring two runs with two outs. Caroline Cree doubled to the wall to bring home Burns. Cree stole third and scored on a throwing error by shortstop Jaime Graziani to make the score 8-2.

Neshannock got a run back in the sixth, Burrelli singled and went to second on a wild pitch. Fischer doubled her home with her third hit of the day. Carmichaels took advantage of two more Neshannock errors, the Lancers made four in the day. Burns doubled home two runs with a shot to the wall.

Neshannock added another run in the seventh, Amanda Furst led off with a single, Graziani bunted him to second, DeMatteo doubled Furst home for the tenth Lancers run. Shaffer was able to set down the Mighty Mikes in order in the bottom of the seventh. Shaffer said the run thru last year’s state playoffs helped the team in this year’s championship run. 

Furst, Madison Altmyer, Burrelli and Kirkwood all had two hits for Neshannock, Altmyer drove in a pair of runs. Neshannock will begin PIAA tournament play on Monday against the loser of Friday’s District 9 championship game between Elk County and Keystone.

Burns took the loss for Carmichaels, now 21-3 on the season, the sophomore drove in a pair of runs. The Mighty Mikes take on Saegertown, the District 10 champion on Monday in the first round of the state tournament.

NESHANNOCK LANCERS   0 – 6 – 2 – 0 – 0 – 1 –  1    10 -16 – 4
CARMICHAELS MIGHTY MIKES  0 – 0 – 0 –  0  – 2 – 2 – 0    4 – 5 – 1

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