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Renegades softball team captures Triple Crown Sports tournament title

| Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
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Competing for the PA Renegades 14U fast-pitch softball team were, in front, from left, Macy Mularski (Yough), Cassidy Pearce (Yough), Katie Barry (McKeesport), Vanessa Falce (McKeesport), Bayli Moon (Thomas Jefferson), head coach Dutch Harvey (head coach); middle, Bailey Myers (South Allegheny), Shelby Minardi (Monessen), Danielle Chorba (Norwin), Meghan Marasti (Penn-Trafford), Miranda Frye (Penn-Trafford), Allie Harvey (Yough), assistant coach Jim Barry; back, and assistant coaches Bryan Myers and Ed Minardi.

The PA Renegades '98 fast-pitch softball team's success this season continued even after traveling down for the first time this season.

The 14U squad from in the Renegades Softball Association based in Elizabeth came home from Myrtle Beach champions of the Triple Crown Sports Summer Nationals.

“Everybody contributed down there. It was the best the team has played at a tournament this season,” coach Dutch Harvey said. “We went down there and faced top competition. It was a great weekend.”

The PA Renegades '98, who have a 84-9 record, defeated the Stingerz Elite, 4-2, in the championship game Aug. 4. The victory came at the heels of their first lost of the tournament against the same North Carolina team, 7-2, in the first championship game of the double-elimination tournament.

“We started off the first championship game by giving up two runs in the first inning. Looking back, (the coaches) shouldn't have told the girls we have a cushion going into the first championship game,” Harvey said.

“The urgency was certainly present with the girls in the second championship game. In the first championship game, the girls played like they could afford to lose the game. Once we got the lead early in the second game, the girls had a whole different attitude.”

Offensively, McKeesport's Vanessa Falce, Yough's Allie Harvey and Cassidy Pearce and Penn-Trafford's Meghan Marasti, led the PA Renegades. On the mound, the team was led by Yough's Macy Mularski.

On the road to the championship games, the PA Renegades went undefeated in pool play with wins over teams from New Jersey, Ohio and South Carolina to grab the first overall seed in the playoff brackets.

The Renegades, who have won seven tournaments this season, continued their success after defeating three different teams from Florida and a team from South Carolina to advance to the championship game.

“It was huge coming out undefeated. You go game after game until your eliminated. We played three games on Sunday. A lot of the teams in the loser's bracket played four or five games,” Harvey said. “It's huge to stay in the winner's bracket. Most teams don't have the quality pitchers you would need to get out of the loser's bracket.”

Harvey attributes the success in their first trip south to the team playing in two 16U college showcases in Columbus, as well as the fact many of the girls on the team played for varsity teams this past year.

“We played a lot of college showcase tournaments. When we went down to the (South Carolina) tournament, it seemed like everyone was playing up. The pitching is a lot better at the older age group,” Harvey said. “Winning the two tournaments in Columbus gave the girls in a boost of confidence for when we go down south.”

The PA Renegades '98 will look to bring back another title when they travel to Rock Hill, S.C. for the Queen of Diamonds 14U tournament over the Labor Day weekend.

Andrew John is a freelance writer.

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