Greensburg Salem softball beats up on Carrick
Greensburg Salem's business-like approach to Monday's PIAA playoff opener against Carrick was just what coach Jody Morgan expected.
“Every kid in the lineup had a hit today,” she said. “Not taking anything at all away from our opponent, but we have a pretty nice lineup one through nine.”
Taylor Mehan's seventh home run — her second grand slam of the season — sparked a 17-hit assault that backed Jayne Oberdorf's one-hitter as the Golden Lions roared to a 16-0 win in five innings at McGibbeny Memorial Field in Brookline.
Alyssa Mellinger and Alex Garsteck had three hits apiece for Greensburg Salem (17-3), which meets top seed Montour (17-5) in the second round Thursday. No site for the game was immediately announced.
Becky Gronsky's leadoff triple in the bottom of the first inning for Carrick (8-7) was the Raiders' only hit against Oberdorf, who won her 15th game. She struck out 11 and walked two.
“I know these girls know what it's going to take. They're not fooled by what happened today,” she said.
During a run of four previous playoff games, Greensburg Salem, the WPIAL's third-place team in Class AAA, defeated Gateway and Belle Vernon by identical 1-0 scores and lost to Elizabeth Forward, 2-1, in the semifinals in a game that saw Oberdorf lose a no-hit bid in the seventh inning.
Greensburg Salem took control early against Carrick, scoring once in the first inning and five times in the second, thanks to Mehan's blast. The home run, against losing pitcher Alyssa Haney, came two pitches after the junior catcher poked a long foul ball down the left-field line.
“When you hit a ball like that, you hope it stays fair,” Mehan said. “After that, (Haney) got two strikes on me and I just tried to relax and protect against a strikeout.”
She did in a big way and began to sprint toward first base. As Mehan rounded the bag and headed for second, she slowed slightly and clapped, realizing the ball had landed just beyond the left-field fence.
“To hit a grand slam in the state playoffs,” she said, “that's something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. When I hit it, I didn't think it was going out because I hit it on the inside of the bat and I got under it a little bit. I didn't really watch the ball and I was surprised it went out.”
Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-380-5617.