PIAA Softball Semifinals Recap from Tuesday

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 | 11:47 PM

After Monday turned into a washout for all eight remaining high school softball teams, Tuesday saw the wait was worth it for three of the four WPIAL squads in the state Semifinals. 2013 WPIAL champions Canon-McMillan, Riverside and Neshannock all were victorious Tuesday and will move on to play for state gold on Friday. However Tuesday was the end of the line for Class AAA Ambridge. Here are recaps from all the Western Semifinals softball games from Tuesday afternoon.

A special thanks to Bob Gregg, Todd Brown and Don Rebel for their help on these recaps.

PIAA CLASS AAAA SEMIFINALS:  Canon-McMillan Big Macs 3 – Pennsbury Falcons 1
Abby McCartney homered, doubled and drove in all three runs as Canon-McMillan topped Pennsbury, 3-1, in the PIAA Class Quad-A softball semifinals.  The Big Macs face District 1 runnerup Neshaminy in Friday's state championship game.  The Redskins were 3-2 winners over North Penn in the other semifinal.  Yaszmin Kotar singled up the middle to open the game, the first of her three singles on the afternoon.  After a sacrifice and a popout, McCartney hit a fly-ball hustling double to right-center, scoring Kotar, putting the Big Macs up,1-0.  The Falcons loaded the bases in the bottom of the first with three straight infield singles.  Two foul pop-outs and a force play at third ended the threat, the second time in as many games that winning pitcher Alayna Astuto has wiggled off the hook of a bases-loaded jam, having kept North Allegheny scoreless in the quarterfinals.  Pennsbury (24-3), making a third consecutive semifinals appearance, tied the game in the bottom of the fourth.  Suz Swanicke singled up the middle and was sacrificed to second.  Farryl Groder's soft liner got over Astuto and dropped in the infield, putting runners on the corners.  After a groundout, Christina Bascara's grounder to short was backhanded, but Linda Rush's throw to first was low, allowing Swanicke to score.   As it turned out, Bascara was the last Falcon to safely reach base as the Big Macs retired the next 10 batters to end the game.  With the score tied 1-1 going to the sixth, Rush led off with a sharp single  to center.  McCartney then lofted a fly ball down the left field line just in foul territory.  Taylor Boltersdorf came hard trying to make the play but the ball went off the tip of her glove for a strike.  And a second chance was all the Big Macs' rightfielder needed, driving a high fly ball over the centerfield fence for her second home run in as many games, putting Canon-McMillan (24-1) up 3-1.  That was more than enough for Astuto who allowed seven hits, all singles and just three got out of the infield.  The senior fanned three and walked one batter.  Val Buehler took the loss, charged with all three runs and nine hits, walking one and struck out two.

PIAA CLASS AAA SEMIFINALS:  Fort LeBoeuf Bison 4 – Ambridge Bridgers 1
District 10 champion Fort LeBoeuf was too much for WPIAL runner-up Ambridge in a state Semifinals softball game that was moved from Slippery rock University all the way up to the Penn State-Behrend campus. The Bison improve to 20-4 and will battle undefeated Valley View in the PIAA Class AAA finals Friday at 5:30pm at Penn State University. The Bridgers season ends with a final mark of 18-5.

PIAA CLASS AA SEMIFINALS:  Riverside Panthers 2 – Philipsburg-Osceola Mounties 0
The Riverside Softball team advanced to the PIAA Double-A Softball championship game on Tuesday with a 2-0 victory over Philipsburg-Osceola at the Punxsutawney Little League Complex. Kirsten Wilson continued her dominance as she posted her 19th shutout of the season, pitching a no-hitter, while striking out fifteen Mountie batters. Wilson also did with her bat as well going 2-2, along with being intentionally walked twice. Riverside had opportunities to get on the board in the early innings, but P-O pitcher Kate Burge got out of a couple of jams to keep the game scoreless. The lone runs of the game came in the top of the fifth inning, as the Lady Panthers took advantage of three walks, and with the bases loaded with two outs, Natalie Pritts laced a two-run single into center field which scored Cassie Barker and Logan Snyder. That's all the run-support that Wilson would need, as the Mounties did not get a base runner in scoring position throughout the contest. The WPIAL champion Panthers improve to 22-0 on the season, and move into the State title game at Beard Field at Nittany Lion Softball park on Friday where they will take on District Three Champion Brandywine Heights, who was a 5-4 winner in ten innings against Holy Redeemer. It will be the fourth time in school history that Riverside will play for a state title, looking for their first crown. Philipsburg-Osceola sees their season end with a record of 23-2.

PIAA CLASS A SEMIFINALS:  Neshannock Lancers 4 – Southern Huntingdon Rockets 1
Madison Schaffer allowed one earned run one three hits and contributed on offense with a pair of hits as the 2012 PIAA Class AA softball champion Lancers are now headed to the 2013 PIAA Class A softball title game. Neshannock had nine hits off Southern Huntingdon pitcher Julisa Zinobile and scored single runs in the 3rd and 6th innings before putting the game away with a pair of runs in the top of the 7th inning. Katie Burrelli and Marissa Kirkwood also contributed with a pair of hits as the Lancers improve to 21-2 and will battle Williams Valley in the state finals Friday at 3:00pm on the MSA Sports Network. The Rockets season splashes down with a final mark of 20-5.

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