Miscues cost Frazier softball team in quarterfinal defeat
For four innings Monday, the 10th-seeded Frazier softball team went toe-to-toe with second-seeded Sto-Rox in a WPIAL Class A quarterfinal at Fairhaven Park.
Unfortunately for the Commodores, everything unraveled in the fifth inning and the season came to an end a couple of innings later.
Sto-Rox put together two four-run innings and defeated Frazier, 8-1.
The Vikings (19-0) didn't produce a hit in the pivotal fifth inning but scored four runs, thanks in large part to five Frazier errors.
“It's been a thorn all year for us,” Frazier coach Paul Harvey said. “It's one bad inning here and there.”
The Commodores (12-6) escaped jams in three of the first four innings as the defense came up big with two inning-ending double plays. But as good as the Frazier defense was early in the game, the opposite was true in the fifth. Five infield errors allowed Sto-Rox to send nine batters to the plate and take a 4-0 lead.
“It seemed like we had two runners on base each inning, and we would make a mistake or they would make a nice play,” Sto-Rox coach Bill Palermo said. “I was just hoping justice would prevail. We kept hitting the ball, and when you hit the ball, good things happen.”
Frazier had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the first inning, but it couldn't capitalize. With one out, Monica Joseph tried to score from third base on a high hopper to Sto-Rox shortstop Lexi Giles. Giles fielded it and threw home and Joseph appeared to beat the throw, but catcher Mary Cersosimo blocked the plate and made the tag for the out.
“That was the play of the game,” Palermo said.
Instead of the Commodores holding an early lead, the game stayed scoreless into the fifth.
After Sto-Rox took the lead in the top of that frame, the Commodores got one back in the bottom of the inning when Courtney Domonkos walked and scored on an error.
But in the seventh, the Vikings sealed their trip to the semifinal with another four-run outburst. Aimee Miller singled in a pair of runs, and Sam Schmidt and Josie Buckley each had an RBI single. Sto-Rox finished with nine hits against Frazier pitcher Andrea Lash.
Sto-Rox pitcher Natalya Smarra was effective. She struck out seven and surrendered just five hits in a winning effort.
The Commodores' Alexis Livingstone and the Vikings' Smarra each doubled to account for the game's only extra-base hits.
Sto-Rox moved on and will play Carmichaels in a semifinal Wednesday at a site and time to be determined.
“I thought we had a chance,” Harvey said. “A lot of people are picking Sto-Rox to win it, and we played four or five innings with them.”
Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-626-3534.