PIAA Baseball & Softball Quarterfinals Thursday Recaps

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Friday, June 5, 2015 | 12:05 AM


It was a good start for WPIAL teams in baseball and a s-so start for the D-7 softball teams earlier this week in the opening round of the state diamond postseason. in Round Two, softball continued on a 50-50 pace while baseball took a bit of a hit. Here are summaries of some of the PIAA Quarterfinals baseball and softball contests from Thursday.

A special thanks to Don Rebel, Rob Longo, Jason Tennant, Sean Meyers, Lee Mohn, Bob Gregg and Mark Uriah for their help on these recaps.

BASEBALL:

PIAA CLASS AAA Quarterfinals:

KNOCH KNIGHTS 3 – MONTOUR SPARTANS 0 
For the third time in the past four games, the Knoch Knights used stellar pitching and strong defense to shut out their opponent, blanking Montour 3-0 in the Class AAA PIAA Quarterfinals at West Mifflin High School. Knoch’s Cole Shinsky tossed a six-hit complete game, and Chris Law and Dominic Bucko each contributed triples in the Knights’ triumph. Shinsky and Montour ace Trent Vietmeier both kept their opponent off balance through the first three innings, but the Knights scored the first run of the contest in the bottom of the fourth, as Law led off the frame with a triple to right center field, and scored three batters later on a sacrifice fly by Asa Adams. In the next frame, Knoch added an insurance run as Bucko’s two-out triple to right plated Garrett Traggiai. The Knights (21-2) scored again in the sixth, as Jordan Kowalski was hit by a pitch, and his courtesy runner Dustin Montgomery later scored on a sacrifice fly from Alex Stobert. That would be all the run support that Shinsky needed, as he worked out of trouble several times, stranding Spartans’ runners in scoring position in the third, fourth, fifth and seventh innings. Shinsky finished with seven strikeouts, including a called strikeout of Frank Guerra with a pair of runners on base to end the contest. The victory marked the second time in just more than two weeks that the Knights shut out the Spartans (14-11), as Stobert blanked Montour in the WPIAL semifinals on May 20. In the defeat, Vietmeier yielded just four hits, while fanning a pair of batters. With the triumph, the Knights advance to the semifinals, where they will face Donegal.

PIAA CLASS AA Quarterfinals:

NESHANNOCK LANCERS 13 – STEEL VALLEY IRONMEN 3 
In a rematch of a WPIAL semifinal two weeks later, the result was much of the same in Thursday’s PIAA quarterfinal matchup between Steel Valley and Neshannock from the previous meeting, with Neshannock picking up a 13-3 win in five innings via the mercy rule.
Once again, the Lancers got off to another hot start, scoring a pair of runs in the first two innings. Rich Serigenese picked up where he left off after Monday’s extra-innings win over District 6 runner-up Bellwood-Antis, allowing three runs in five innings of work with four strikeouts and not issuing a walk on 71 pitches. The junior did run into a little trouble in the fourth inning, but the damage was limited thanks to a strong defensive effort by the Lancers, throwing out a runner trying to score from first on a ball hit to right field. Neshannock then took advantage of the momentum by exploding for eight runs in the home half of the inning, off only two hits. Despite allowing one run in, the Lancers held serve in the fifth inning to enact the mercy rule after four and a half innings of play. With the exception of the leadoff man Ray Scala, every Neshannock player drove in at least one run in the win. To make up for it, Scala went 2-for-3 with a walk, three stolen bases and two runs scored. Along with Scala, Serigenese, Frank Fraschetti and Jeff Sanflippo had multiple-hit games as well. Neshannock now has another rematch looming in the PIAA semifinals Monday, facing Quaker Valley for the second time in three games. The Lancers took down the Quakers 4-0 to win their sixth WPIAL championships in school history back on May 26. Monday’s game will be held at Chippewa Park, with the first pitch slated for noon.

QUAKER VALLEY QUAKERS 5 – Upper Dauphin Trojans 1
John Medich threw a complete game in leading Quaker Valley to a victory over Upper Dauphin at Everett High School. The victory sets up a WPIAL Class AA championships game rematch for the Quakers as they will battle Neshannock in the PIAA Semifinals on Monday.

PIAA CLASS A Quarterfinals:

Juniata Valley Hornets 9 – CALIFORNIA TROJANS 7 in 9 Innings 
California (20-3) scored two runs in the bottom of the 9th, but Juniata Valley plated 4 in the top half of the inning and the Hornets defeated the Trojans 9-7 in the AAA PIAA quarter-finals Thursday at Homer City. Bryce Hensor and Sam Singer each had rbi singles for Juniata Valley in the 9th, and Hunter Houk drove in two with a triple. California left the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th after scoring a pair. The Trojans also left the bases full in the bottom of the 6th, and could not bring the game winning run home in the bottom of the 7th, despite having Louden Conte at second base with no outs. Conte suffered the loss, pitching the final four innings of the game. The two teams combined for ten errors in the game. Starter Garitt Woodburn surrendered four runs, one earned in three innings of work. Zach Beam, the second of three pitchers for the Hornets, picked up the win. He through five innings of scoreless relief, giving up only three hits. Juniata Valley (18-5) advances to the semi-finals Monday.

SOFTBALL:

PIAA CLASS AAAA Quarterfinals:

HEMPFIELD SPARTANS 1 – NORTH ALLEGHENY TIGERS 0 
The North Allegheny Tigers season came to an end Thursday afternoon dropping a tough 1-0 decision to the WPIAL champion Hempfield Spartans in PIAA quarterfinal action.  It was a pitchers duel between Madi Beining and Morgan Ryan.  Hempfield had the first chance to score getting second and third with no outs in the bottom of the 2nd inning but Beining struck out the next two batters then a routine grounder to short ended the inning.  The Tigers would finally collect their first hit when Anna Sardon singled with one out in the third inning then with two outs Laura Cotter would walk but the Tigers could not get the big hit.  Hempfield would score the games only run in the fifth inning after one out Madi Stoner would single then Jordan Sterling would look to sacrifice.  The ball was bunted to third basemen Maddy DeRubbo who looked to second for the force out but no one was covering so she threw to first late. then Taylor Hoffman would hit a single for the RBI.  The Tigers had a chance in the 7th.  Logan Woodley would single then with two outs Maddy DeRubbo doubled to put runners on second and third but Morgan Ryan was able to get a weak ground ball to first to end the game.  Hempield will no go on to face Cumberland Valley on Monday in the PIAA semi finals.  The Tigers season ended 21-3 with all three losses coming to the hands of the Spartans.  Anna Sardon who collected two of the three Tiger hits on the day was named the Wright Automotive player of the game. 

PIAA CLASS AAA Quarterfinals:

TRINITY HILLERS 8 – BELLE VERNON LEOPARDS 4 
Trinity used a seven-run fifth inning to top Belle Vernon, 8-4, and advance to the state softball semifinals for the first time since 2009.  The teams split their two games during the regular season, both winning at home:  Trinity, 7-0, in late March; Belle Vernon, 6-3, nearly a month later.  Both teams had plenty of chances to score early, but stranded a combined 13 runners through four innings.  The Hillers (19-5) broke through in the fifth, scoring four runs before getting a ball past the pitchers’ circle.  Kim Dunst was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a passed ball.  Madi Hornack bunted for a single, putting runners on the corners.  Olivia Gray was walked.  With Delaney Elling showing bunt, a passed ball allowed Dunst to score, then Elling walked.  Paige Galentine’s sacrifice bunt was misplayed by the first baseman, scoring Hornack.  After a bunt popout, Shelby Clemens bunted home Gray and Elling followed when the throw was off the mark.  Brooke Beck bunt was thrown home but not in time, plating Galentine’s courtesy runner, Helena Wolenski.  Riley Riotto bunted into an out at home.  Dunst followed with a single, scoring Beck, and Riotto came home with the defense wasn’t paying attention, putting Trinity up, 7-0.  Gray singled to open the sixth and scored two outs later on a sharp single to right by Hali Justice.  The Leopards (21-3) got their first clutch hit of the game two outs into the sixth.  Erica Amoroso was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game.  Mattie Tedrow singled and Megan Christner walked to load the bases with nobody out.  Galetine then fanned Kaitlyn Faiola and Bailey Parshall before Nicole Ashcraft singled to score a pair.  A walk to Lacey Washowich and an error allowed Amoroso to reach, opening the seventh.  After a popout, Christner walked.  One out later, Parshall hit a grounder that was mishandled, scoring Washowich.  Ashcraft walked, forcing in Amoroso and bringing the potential tying run to the batters’ box.  A flyout to left ended the threat, the game and Belle Vernon’s 18-game winning streak that started two days after the late-March loss to Trinity.  All told, the teams combined for 18 walks, four hit batters and 26 runners left on base.  Galentine got the win, despite walking 10, hitting three others and allowing five hits and two earned runs.  Parshall took the loss, issuing eight free passes and hitting a batter.  Trinity had five hits in the game, two by Dunst in the #9 spot in the order.  Trinity will face Bellwood-Antis Monday at a site/time to be announced Friday by the PIAA.  The 2009 Trinity team lost in the state semifinals to Greencastle-Antrim, the eventual PIAA champion.

PIAA CLASS A Quarterfinals:

Cochranton Cardinals 1 – JEFFERSON-MORGAN ROCKETS 0 in 10 Innings
If not for the International Tiebreaker Rule in softball, the PIAA Quarterfinal between Jefferson-Morgan and Cochranton may still be going strong at Fox Chapel High School. However a run in the bottom of the 10th by the District 10 Champion Cardinals, sealed their spot in next week’s Semifinals. The game was a pitchers dual to say the least with Jefferson-Morgan’s hard throwing Maddie Ludrosky continuing to rack up strikeouts while her opponent, Katy Dunn kept the WPIAL Champion Rockets off balance, only allowing 2 hits.  The Cardinals had the better of the game’s scoring chances and started with one in the first inning after a Ludrosky error and a 2-out walk, Cochranton had runners on the corners when a strikeout ended the threat. The next Cardinal threat came in the fourth after a lead-off single by Samantha Kinter, but with two on and one out, a popup to shortstop and a line out to second ended the inning.  The Cardinals had the same scenario in the sixth with two singles by Abby Clulow and Dunn, but back-to-back groundouts got the Rockets out of that jam.  For Jefferson-Morgan, the scoring chances were few and far between and almost always with 2 outs. Morgan Gamble was the Rockets’ first baserunner when she recorded the game’s first hit in the third inning, a 2-out double to left field.  In fact that at bat itself was probably the Rockets’ best chance to score as Gamble nearly cleared the left field fence, but just came up a few feet short.  She was stranded on a hard line out to left by Reagan Rush.  The Rockets had a 2-out baserunner in the fourth when Ludrosky reached on an error. They got a 1-out single from Brooke Diamond in the fifth, but after she was moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Autumn Tedrow, she was stranded at 2nd on a popout.  The Rockets had 2 more 2-out baserunners when Morgan Simkovic reached on an error in the sixth and Diamond walked in the seventh, but both were stranded.  In extra innings, both teams went down in order in both the 8th and 9th innings to set the stage for the International Tiebreaker Rule to take affect. The top of the tenth started with Jefferson-Morgan’s Madison Dupont at 2nd base.  Jessica Taylor moved her to third with a sacrifice bunt, but then back-to-back infield popouts kept the Rockets off the scoreboard. For Cochranton, they placed pinch runner Shayleigh Keller-Boozer at 2nd base to start the bottom of the tenth. She advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Kendra Nemeth and then Mackenzie Freyermuth drove in the winning run with a single to left field. Dunn picked up the complete game shutout allowing only 2 hits. Ludrosky took the loss, striking out 14 and walking one. In the postseason, Ludrosky struck out a total of 71 in six games! Cochranton moves on to face Elk County Catholic in the Semifinals while the incredible journey of the Jefferson-Morgan Rockets and #TeamDugan came to a heartbreaking end. 

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