No. 3 Seton LaSalle softball captures first-round win over Beth-Center
By: Don Rebel
Wednesday, May 16, 2018 | 8:42 PM
Early on, Beth-Center was playing like a perennial playoff team and Seton LaSalle like a team that was playing a WPIAL softball playoff game for the first time in a decade.
But the Freaky Friday scenario didn't last long, and once the switch went on, the No. 3 Rebels cruised to an 11-1 victory over the No. 13 Bulldogs in a Class 2A first-round game Wednesday at Baldwin.
“Even though we started out slow, this was definitely a good start,” Seton LaSalle coach Cindy Beauregard said. “The thing of it is we have girls who keep on hitting, and they bring everybody else up.”
Beth-Center (3-13), making its first playoff appearance since 2008, had opportunities in the first two innings and could not score.
Jen Selenick and Baily Minerd singled in the first but were stranded, and Nicole White singled and Hannah Moore was hit by a pitch with nobody out in the second, but again the big hit eluded the Bulldogs, who stranded six in the first three innings.
The big hit was not an issue for Seton LaSalle starting in the second inning when Brie Hottenfeller doubled home Marissa Schuckman, who had singled. Hottenfeller scored on a fielder's choice by Caitlyn Guerrerio.
The Rebels extended the lead in the third when Oregon recruit Lexi Wagner doubled and scored on Jada Simon's RBI single, followed by a Sarah Cornell double. A Bulldogs error and an run-producing groundout made it 5-0 Rebels.
Beth-Center finally dented the scoreboard in the fourth when Sidney Frazee singled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Zelenick.
Guerriero, Rien Frazier and Alexis Riske all reached in the bottom of the fourth to load the bases for Wagner, who smacked the first pitch over the right-center field fence for her 14th home run of the season, and her RBI total soared to 39.
Hadley Horensky added an inside-the-park home run to give the Rebels a 10-1 lead after four.
Riske's RBI single plated Hottenfeller with the game-ending run in the fifth as the 10-run mercy rule kicked in.
All nine hitters in the Seton LaSalle lineup collected hits in a 14-hit attack, with eight of the nine scoring runs and seven of the nine driving in runs. Everybody contributing was not lost on Beauregard.
“Oh, it's a coach's dream,” she said. “It all comes down to our seniors. We have strong seniors on our team, but when they don't do their job, they are leaning on the younger girls to pick it up, and the younger girls realize that.”
The young Bulldogs, who have only two seniors, finished the season with their first postseason taste this decade.
The Rebels (14-2) will face Laurel in a quarterfinal game Monday. With a win in round two, Seton LaSalle would advance to the softball semifinals for the fourth time in the last five years.
Don Rebel is a TribLIVE High School Sports Network broadcaster and staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.