Oberdorf's no-hitter leads Greensburg Salem to victory
Greensburg Salem wanted to send a statement that it was the best team in Section 4-AAA.
Junior pitcher Jayne Oberdorf delivered it to Yough loud and clear.
Oberdorf tossed her second five-inning no-hitter of the season as Greensburg Salem (7-2, 5-0) took over sole possession of first place with a 10-0 romp over defending WPIAL Class AAA champion Yough (6-4, 4-1) in the first of two meetings.
“Round one goes to us and we still have to go down to their place, which is a tough place to play, and I think we control it,” Greensburg Salem coach Jody Morgan said. “I've said all along that I think we have to be the favorites, and I believe it. A lot of coaches don't want to say it and I'll say it. I think we are the best team, and I've seen everyone in the section.”
Certainly no one else has a pitcher of Oberdorf's caliber. She walked mound opponent Kelsie Marconi to open the game and, after Marconi was caught stealing third, she did not allow a base runner until Rachel Mlinek reached on an error in the top of the fifth.
Oberdorf faced only 16 batters, struck out eight and allowed two balls to leave the infield, both in the top of the fifth.
“I was really trying to mix it up and go in and out and just keep them off-balance because they're a pretty good hitting team,” Oberdorf said. “We're trying to get on a roll now because we're trying to see just how far we can go in the playoffs, and that's our goal.”
Greensburg Salem opened a 5-0 lead after one inning. Claire and Jayne Oberdorf had consecutive walks and scored on Kellie Hutchinson's two-out double. Hutchinson came around on a triple by Alex Garsteck and Melissa Wagner closed out the scoring with a long two-run homer.
“We have the hitters this year,” Morgan said. “I have seven girls that can hit the ball over the fence and, in 34 years, I've never had seven girls that can hit the ball out. That home run was by the No. 7 hitter.”
For Yough, the loss was damaging to its hopes of winning at least a share of its fifth consecutive section title.
The Cougars tied Greensburg Salem for the Section 3 title in 2011 and won the Section 2 championship outright from 2008-10.
In addition, Yough had not been defeated in a game shortened by the 10-run rule since losing an 11-1 decision to Gateway on May 4, 2007, a span of 88 games. It was also the worst shutout since a 12-0 defeat to Laurel Highlands on May 11, 2005.
“Coming in we were hitting the ball pretty well and, for the next time, we'll have to adjust to different pitches,” Yough coach Lucas Cannizzaro said. “She places the ball really well, and we'll obviously have to make some adjustments.”
Keith Barnes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.