Trib HSSN Softball Team of the Week for May 16, 2022
Monday, May 16, 2022 | 11:41 PM
After a 5-1 start to the season, including three games at the Ripken Experience in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., the Waynesburg softball team lost three of its next five games.
However, the Raiders finished strong, winning their final five games of the regular season and ending up tied for second place in Section 2-3A.
“We were fortunate to have two five-game winning streaks,” Waynesburg coach Jim Armstrong said. “We played well in Pigeon Forge. Our pitching was good and our bats came alive. We were able to maintain momentum and win the next three.
“Then we started our end run and the bats and pitching came alive as we won the (final) five games. I have to give a lot of credit to our pitcher Kendall Lemley. She’s been a workhorse all season.”
The junior Lemley was on her game Monday as host Waynesburg shut out California, 10-0.
“The California game started out slow for us, but again Kendall stepped up and held them down and our bats came alive,” Armstrong said.
The final game of the regular season was set for Wednesday and provided a great test for the upcoming 3A playoffs as the Raiders hosted Class 2A No. 4 Chartiers-Houston.
“The game with Chartiers-Houston was a good challenge for the team,” Armstrong said. “They are a good team and are well coached. They went up 2-0 and we tied it. They went up 3-2 and as my girls have done all season, they didn’t give up and fought back and scored four runs to win.”
The 6-3 triumph improved Waynesburg to 12-4 for the season, the exact same record the Raiders finished with in the 2021 regular season.
Waynesburg was the No. 3 seed and received a first-round bye last spring. However, the Raiders were stunned by Ellwood City in the quarterfinals, 7-4.
“After that lost lass year, we were upset,” Armstrong said. “We had a great season and then went to the playoffs and had one of those games you can’t explain. We’ve waited until this year to erase that memory.”
Armstrong doesn’t have any players carrying a particularly heavy load on offense and believes that team mindset with everybody contributing is what has led to the program’s success the last two years.
“As far as standout performers, my lineup has been working top to bottom most of the season,” he said. “When one player was off, another player would pick up the slack. My girls made a lot of difference in our games by making most of the outs productive outs by moving players and bringing home runs.”
This year, the Raiders are the No. 6 seed in the 13-team Class 3A playoff field. They will face South Park in a first-round contest Tuesday in a preview of a section matchup starting next year.
“I’m very excited about heading to the playoffs this year,” Armstrong said. “We have been playing good and I just hope it continues. It’s kind of weird that we would get South Park to play, since next year, they are in our section.”
2022 Trib HSSN Softball Teams of the Week
Week 5 – Charleroi Cougars
Week 4 – West Allegheny Indians
Week 3 – Avonworth Antelopes
Week 2 – Pine-Richland Rams
Week 1 – Ligonier Valley Rams
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