Ringgold avenges loss to Belle Vernon in Section 2-4A

Monday, April 22, 2019 | 8:19 PM

Two Section 2-4A softball teams who entered the season with different expectations met at Washington Township Park on Monday.

Two-time defending Class 4A champion Belle Vernon lost a Division I pitcher in Bailey Parshall (Penn State), who also hit .418 last season, among a handful of others, and has struggled of late. After winning four in a row in the middle of the season, the Leopards entered Monday losers of three straight games.

Ringgold, which missed the playoffs last year, expected to compete after dropping to Class 4A and returning five two-year starters.

The first time the teams met resulted in a 5-3 win for Belle Vernon in extra innings. The score was the same this time around, with the two exceptions being it ended in seven frames, and Ringgold was on the winning side of the scoreboard.

“Overall, I knew we were coming here into a bee’s hive. Belle Vernon always has a good team,” Ringgold coach Gregg Adams said. “The first game, they found a way to stay in and won in extras. This time we never quit. We came with the right energy and attitude.”

Ringgold got the scoring started by plating an unearned run in the first inning before Belle Vernon managed two runs in its half of the first.

The big difference in the game, though, was a four-run fourth inning for the Rams. Ringgold loaded the bases with a walk to center fielder Ashlee Selembo. Then, second baseman Haley Resosky singled, and third baseman Hannah Frizzell reached on an error.

A fielders’ choice cut down the lead runner at home plate during the next at-bat, but after that, the gates opened. Right fielder Holly Arbes connected with a two-run single to make it 3-2. After designated player Jordan Sinz struck out, Adams’ daughter Nya, Ringgold’s shortstop, singled home two more.

The Leopards added a run in the home fifth, but it was all they could muster, despite bringing the winning run to the plate in the seventh.

Jillian Scherer pitched a complete game for the Rams, allowing 10 hits and the three earned runs.

“I can’t say enough about Jill. She’s been hurt and not feeling well at points this year, but she’s been healthy during this winning streak,” Gregg Adams said. “You see that when she is healthy she can carry us. I wish we wouldn’t have to rely on her so much sometimes.”

Scherer did help strand 11 Belle Vernon base runners.

Belle Vernon coach Tom Rodriguez said if some timely hits would’ve come, it could’ve changed the game.

“Timely hitting is so important,” Rodriguez said. “Our defense was a little off today, but timely hitting is the biggest thing.”

Rodriguez’s starter, Sophia Godzak, allowed five runs, but only one was earned. Godzak allowed six hits and had three strikeouts.

It’s been frustrating over the last few weeks for the defending champs.

“We are definitely going to have to win three of the last four and get some help,” Rodriguez said of the team’s playoff hopes.

Both teams are back in section action Tuesday.

Ringgold will face Elizabeth Forward on the road, while Belle Vernon hosts Thomas Jefferson.

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