Zimmerman sisters lead Indiana to stunning win over No. 2 Latrobe

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Tuesday, May 18, 2021 | 9:32 PM


Indiana senior Sara Zimmerman said she wasn’t ready for her high school softball career to end.

Thanks to her sister Olivia, her season continues.

Freshman pitcher Olivia Zimmerman launched a two-run homer in the top of the sixth inning, and then shutdown No. 2 Latrobe over the final two innings as Indiana pulled off a stunning 7-6 victory in the first round of the WPIAL Class 5A playoffs Tuesday at Valley High School.

The victory puts No. 15 Indiana (11-7) in the quarterfinals on Thursday against Section 1 rival Armstrong, which pounded South Fayette, 16-3. Armstrong defeated Indiana twice this season.

Indiana, which finished fourth in the section and had dropped its last two games, wasn’t intimidated by the Wildcats. They didn’t play like a fourth-place team.

“We had nothing to lose,” Sara Zimmerman said. “If we play like we did (Tuesday), we can play with anyone. I wanted to play another game because it’s my senior year. We get another shot at Armstrong.”

It was a back-and-forth contest.

Latrobe grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning on RBI hits by Emily Schmucker and Jenna Tallman.

Indiana took a 3-2 lead in the third inning as the Little Indians took advantage of some wildness from Latrobe pitcher Josie Stragis, who walked in two runs. Stragis walked six before being relieved in the fourth inning after Indiana reclaimed a 5-4 lead. Lauren Carloni had a two-run double for the Little Indians.

“Too many walks and we struck out too many times,” Latrobe coach Bob Kovalcin said. “That’s on me. Indiana deserved to win the game because they played a little better than us.”

Olivia Zimmerman struck out 15, including the final five batters.

Latrobe reclaimed the lead, 6-5, in the fifth inning when Tallman smacked a two-run homer, but Olivia Zimmerman responded in the top of the sixth inning when she hit a drive over the center-field fence.

“I just wanted to win it for my sister and the rest of the team,” Olivia Zimmerman said. “I got my pitch and turned on it.”

Indiana coach Harold Wilson added: “We didn’t get the timely hit in the second, third and fourth inning to bust this game opened. But Olivia did and she pitched a great game. It was one of the better playoff games you’re going to see.”

Latrobe (10-5) just didn’t have the answer late in the game.

“You have two young pitchers who pitched their hearts out,” Kovalcin said. “We just made too many little mistakes. Striking out 15 times is not us.”

Sara Zimmerman had three hits, including a home run for Indiana. Tallman had three hits for Latrobe.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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