McKeesport softball team can't match Big Macs' power in loss
TribLIVE Sports Videos
After scratching and clawing for every run just to make the playoffs, McKeesport never could have imagined that it would get into a game of home run derby in its WPIAL Class AAAA postseason opener against Canon-McMillan.
And the Tigers never dreamed that the Big Macs could jump on starting pitcher Jessica Beitler the way they did in the sixth inning. Abby McCartney and Olivia Lorusso led off the inning with back-to-back homers to break open a tie game and lead fifth-seeded Canon-McMillan (13-5) to a 4-1 victory over No. 12 McKeesport (10-9) at California (Pa.) University's Lilley Field.
“I have never seen as many home runs ever in a high school game, and pretty much all this game was about was home runs,” McKeesport coach Missy Conrad said. “Our pitcher hadn't given up any home runs all year, so that was a different thing to see for us, but she pitched awesome for us ... and they came out and hit it and that's what they needed to do.”
McKeesport jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Courtney Patterson drilled a 1-1 offering from Canon-McMillan starter Alayna Astuto out of the park. The Big Macs tied it in the fourth when cleanup hitter Giorgiana Zeremenko led off with a homer off Beitler.
“That's the first time I've seen that in the 10 years I've been here, four home runs in a game,” Canon-McMillan coach Michele Moeller said. “I've seen it watching some college teams, but I've never seen it at this level.”
For a while, it appeared the Patterson homer might stand up. Although McKeesport got into a little bit of trouble in each of the first three innings — the Tigers committed errors in both the first and second innings and gave up a two-out single in the third — Beitler was able to work out of trouble and not let the mistakes develop into big innings.
“I thought we were going to (steal one), but we didn't come up and hit very well as we should have,” Conrad said. “We had the most strikeouts we've had all year (eight) in one game, but the girls wanted this game and they never gave up.”
Astuto recovered from the early home run and only allowed two hits the rest of the game. With the game tied, 1-1, in the top of the sixth, McKeesport had the potential go-ahead run at second with none out after Patterson reached on an error, but Astuto retired the next three batters and the Tigers second baseman was stranded.
Canon-McMillan will return to Lilley Field at 4 p.m. Thursday to play Section 1 co-champion Norwin (15-3). The teams did not play during the regular season, but the Knights lost a 7-0 game March 29 to Bethel Park — a team the Big Macs beat twice during the regular season.
“That's really all you have to go by, but if you look at Quad A, it's hard to get a bead on a lot because there's ties in (Norwin's) section and a tie in our section, and there's some people that will get beat up in a game and, you come out and it's closer than you thought,” Moeller said. “It's kind of hard to just take a look at (comparative scores) and know what's going on.”
Keith Barnes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-664-9161 Ext. 1977.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- BVA captures WPIAL title
- Belle Vernon scores 4 runs in wild 7th inning to capture WPIAL title
- Taliani’s 3 homers propel Deer Lakes to 2nd WPIAL softball title in 4 seasons
- Ryan tosses 1-hitter as Hempfield wins 3rd WPIAL championship
- Class AA championship notebook: Deer Lakes’ 4th inning outburst sparks victory
- Greensburg Central Catholic softball made vast strides after 2-win season in 2014
- Jefferson-Morgan captures school’s 1st WPIAL softball title
- WPIAL Class AA softball championship capsule
- Edwards leads Deer Lakes softball into WPIAL title game
- Breaking down the 2015 WPIAL softball championships
- Moniteau defeats Karns City in District 9 softball championship game