Southmoreland scores 7 in 7th in wild win over Yough

Thursday, May 18, 2023 | 10:31 PM

The stairway to seven began with a glimmer of hope and a confident approach.

It ended with a crazy comeback, a roaring celebration and maybe a few bumps and bruises.

Heavyweight fights tend to leave a mark.

“We were down and bleeding and needed stitches,” Southmoreland softball coach Todd Bunner said. “But we got back up, and our arm was raised in the air at the end because we won.”

The No. 2 seeded Scotties rallied for seven runs in the bottom of the seventh to complete an electric comeback in the WPIAL 3A quarterfinals, outslugging No. 7 Yough, 15-14, on Thursday at Norwin.

A wild game that went punch-counterpunch all afternoon, produced 38 hits and 29 runs and wasn’t settled until junior Kaylee Doppelheuer raced home with the winning run with two outs following a Yough error.

“These kids are different,” Bunner said. “We didn’t give up. I knew they wouldn’t.”

Southmoreland (16-2) advances to the semifinals for the third straight year and will play No. 3 Waynesburg (16-3).

“It was a roller coaster,” Doppelheuer said. “We knew Yough was going to come after us after we beat hem twice. This game was very nerve-racking but so exciting.”

It was a bitter end for the Cougars (10-5), who had five errors and could not sustain the momentum after taking a 14-8 lead into the top of the seventh.

A thriller turned into a bummer as Yough left stunned.

“It was a great game, but we didn’t make plays when we needed to,” Yough coach Dutch Harvey said. “That was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen.”

Southmoreland qualifies for the PIAA playoffs.

“If this was going to happen, I wish it had had happened in the semifinals because the kids have come so far,” Harvey said.

Individual stats filled the scorebooks.

Sophomore catcher Makayla Etling went 4 for 5 with two triples and a two-run home run, sophomore Taylor Doppleheuer had two hits, including a monster two-run blast, junior Maddie Brown went 3 for 3 with two RBIs and junior Brooke McBeth had a two-run double for the Scotties.

Junior Gwen Basinger and Kaylee Doppleheuer had two hits each, with Doppleheuer driving in a pair, and junior Amarah McCutcheon had two RBIs, one on a rare squeeze bunt.

“This game had everything,” Etling said. “Big hits, sac bunts. It was really stressful. Totally crazy.”

Yough also put up the numbers.

Senior McKenzie Pritts went 4 for 5 with a homer; sophomore Adoria Waldier had three hits, including a three-run smash in the seventh to make it 13-8; junior Katie Proctor went 4 for 5 and junior Kaylin Ritenour homered and drove in three.

Freshman Kylee Odelli added two RBIs, while junior Makayla Spoonhoward, sophomore Sidney Bergman, sophomore Abbey Zuraw and junior Maddie Horvat had two hits each.

“I had an inkling, and so did the girls,” Bunner said. “We thought, this can happen. Give our girls an opportunity, and they’re are going to take advantage of it.”

Southmoreland, which beat Yough three times this year, was up 5-1 in the second. Yough chipped away to make it 5-4 before the Scotties went up 7-4 in the fourth.

The Cougars got to within 7-6 in the fifth on a two-run homer by Ritenour.

Yough’s defense had its moments, as it turned a double play to end the fifth. The Cougars tied it with a three-run sixth and went ahead 9-7 on an RBI double by Proctor.

After an Etling triple and Yough error cut it to 9-8, the Cougars tacked on five in the seventh, which appeared to be more than enough insurance.

Pritts homered to left, then Waldier followed with a three-run blast. Horvat singled in a run to make it 14-8.

Bunner, who lost his father earlier in the season, said he asked him for some help in the Scotties’ last at-bats.

“He helped us from up there,” Bunner said. “I know he did. I prayed to God, and I asked dad to give the girls a chance.”

After an error to start the inning, Brown singled to center to start the rally.

“Maddie didn’t pitch well, but she wanted to bat,” Bunner said. “We pulled her in the seventh, and she goes up there and gets a single.”

An onslaught followed. Despite a diving catch by Spoonhoward in left for the first out, Etling crushed a three-run shot to cut it to 14-12.

After a walk and another catch by Spoonhoward, Bassinger laced a double to trim the lead to one, and Kaylee Doppelheuer singled to tie it 14-14.

A harmless-looking popup by senior Brynn Charnesky was not fielded cleanly at second, and Doppelheuer raced home for the walk-off win.

“I have seen some wild games, but this one ranks right up there,” Bunner said.

Both teams used two pitchers, Southmoreland with Brown and freshman Zoey Murphy, Yough with Bergman and Waldier.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at or via Twitter .

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