Wilson & Riverside KO Defending Champ Deer Lakes in WPIAL AA Finals

Thursday, May 30, 2013 | 6:23 PM

Riverside senior Kirsten Wilson pitched like a champion the entire 2013 season. Now she has received her just do as she and her Panthers teammate are all winners after beating the 2012 WPIAL Class AA champion Deer Lakes Lancers 5-1 Thursday at Lilley Field at California University of Pennsylvania.

Wilson entered the district title game with an 18-0 record and a .043 earned run average with 213 strikeouts and twelve straight shutouts. She picked up where she left off by not allowing a hit until there were two outs in the 6th inning and by then, the Panthers were leading 3-0.

Deer Lakes was the defending champion and the playoffs top seed, however they looked nervous from the get-go, committing three errors in the first inning leading to three unearned Panthers runs.

Logan Snyder led off with a ground ball to Lancers shortstop Becca Babincak, who bobbled the ball, then threw late to first base. Then Brooke Barker hit one back to the circle where sophomore pitcher Tiffany Edwards threw high to second base in trying to get the lead runner for Deer Lakes second error in as many batters. After a Natalie Pritts single was sandwiched by a pair of strikeouts to load the bases with two outs, Morgan McElwain blooped a base hit to right to score both Snyder and Barker, then Pritts came all the way from first base to score when Leanne Crawford’s throw home from right field got past catcher Hannah Blinn for the Lancers third error of the inning and the Panthers third run in the bottom of the first.

Wilson and Edwards settled in and the score remained 3-0 until the top of the sixth when with two outs, Katie Gozzard delivered the Lancers first hit of the game on a single. She then scored on a rare earned run off Wilson when Edwards doubled her home on a shot to the fence in left center field. Sierra Sarver then drove a high fly ball to deep right field that many thought would tie the game, however Panthers right fielder Andrea Lippman made the catch up against the fence for the final out in the sixth.

“My defense has been great all year but I really need to give a shout out to Andrea for a great catch today,” said Wilson afterward.

The Panthers iced the game with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning when Pritts walked, went to second on a wild pitch, to third on a single by McElwain and scored on an RBI sac-bunt by Lippman. A fourth Deer Lakes error allowed McElwain to score the game’s final run before Wilson closed out the Lancers run on top of Class AA with a one-two-three seventh inning.

Wilson saw her shutout string end, but allowed only one earned run on two hits with two walks and eleven strike outs.

Deer Lakes tastes defeat for the first time this year as they fall to 18-1 and will move on to the PIAA state softball playoffs on Monday where they will face the District 10 champion Fairview Tigers.

Meanwhile, Riverside improves to a perfect 19-0 and will now try to win state gold to go with their now 6th district softball title. The Panthers will face the District 9 champion on Monday in PIAA Class AA First Round action.  

DEER LAKES LANCERS : 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 1 – 0   =   1-2-4-3
RIVERSIDE PANTHERS : 3 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 2 – x   =   5-5-0-4


More Softball

Neshannock caps perfect season with dominant win in state championship game
Thomas Jefferson captures 1st softball state title with walk-off win
Sun shines on DuBois Central Catholic in PIAA Class A softball win over Carmichaels
PIAA Class 4A softball championship preview: Elizabeth Forward vs. Blue Mountain
PIAA Class 2A softball championship preview: Neshannock vs. South Williamsport