Southmoreland surges past Ellwood City into WPIAL Class 3A semifinals

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Thursday, May 19, 2022 | 10:13 PM


Facing an early deficit against Ellwood City in a WPIAL Class 3A quarterfinal Thursday at North Allegheny, the Southmoreland softball team responded in a big way.

The No. 5 Scotties scored nine runs in the top of the fourth to surge into the lead. They added on the rest of the way to finish off a 14-4 victory in a game halted after six innings because of the 10-run rule.

Southmoreland, which fell to Ellwood City, 4-2, in last year’s Class 3A semifinals at Penn-Trafford, improved to 13-3 on the season and will take on No. 1 Avonworth on Tuesday at a site and time to be determined.

“Ellwood City is a really good team. They are well-coached,” Scotties coach Todd Bunner said of the No. 4 Wolverines (11-4). “They always have really good players. But you know what? So do we, and we came to play.”

The matchup with Avonworth will be another rematch from last year as the Antelopes edged the Scotties, 3-2, in the third-place game for the right to enter the PIAA playoffs.

Southmoreland collected 14 hits off of Ellwood City starter Julia Nardone and reliever Sara Schwartz.

Nardone took the loss, giving up six hits and seven earned runs while walking four and striking out three in three-plus innings.

Amarah McCutcheon got Southmoreland on the board with a solo home run in the top of the first, and she added an RBI single in the fourth.

Gabrielle Grabiak tripled and drove in three runs, while Brynn Charnesky doubled and also collected three RBI.

Kaylee Dopplehauer knocked in a pair of runs for the Scotties.

Maddy Cyphert went the distance for the Scotties. She gave up nine hits and four earned runs against a potent Wolverines lineup. She walked none and struck out two.

“Maddy was a late entry,” Bunner said. “Maddie Brown was going to be the starter. She couldn’t go because of a back/neck spasm. We tried and worked her out. In the end, she just couldn’t go. Maddy Cyphert said, ‘I’m ready.’ She stepped in and did very well against a great hitting lineup.”

Aliya Garroway doubled and knocked in two runs to lead Ellwood City. Nardone and Keira Rozanski both doubled and added an RBI.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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