Southmoreland softball knocks off Elizabeth Forward
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Southmoreland's softball team is in the process of adjusting to a new level of competition after being bumped from Class AA to Class AAA this season. The transition hasn't always been smooth, but Friday, the Scotties gained a measure of confidence by taking down Elizabeth Forward, 7-4, in a key Section 3-AAA contest.
“This is a huge win for us coming into this section,” Southmoreland coach Kim Kelley said. “We know the history of EF, so this was really big.”
The Warriors advanced to the WPIAL Class AAA championship game in 2012 and hope to do so again. But against the Scotties, Elizabeth Forward played an uncharacteristically poor game defensively.
“When you're going up against one of the top pitchers in the WPIAL (Southmoreland's Anna Gatti), you hope you can scratch out a few runs,” Elizabeth Forward coach Harry Rutherford said. “We did that, but we had five errors, and that was a big contributor. (Gatti) kept our big bats silent, but we had opportunities, and we didn't field the ball.”
Southmoreland jumped out a 2-0 lead in the first when Briana Bunner hit an inside-the-park, two-run homer down the left-field line off Elizabeth Forward pitcher Portia McBride. McBride gave up seven hits while striking out nine.
The Warriors (5-1, 2-1) benefitted from two Southmoreland errors to tie the game in the third, but the Scotties (3-2, 1-1) restored their two-run lead in their half of the inning. Vanessa Richards doubled and scored on a single by Kelsey Kuhns. Then pinch-runner Jae Pawlikowsky alertly scored on a passed ball.
Southmoreland made it 5-2 in the fourth as an Elizabeth Forward error allowed Rikki Brown to drive in Sam Suhan with an RBI single.
In the fifth, Elizabeth Forward pulled to within a run when McKenna Kern ripped an RBI triple. She also scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-4.
However, Elizabeth Forward's comeback bid was snuffed out when the Scotties scored two runs in the sixth. A pair of Warriors errors put two runners on base, and they both came around to score. Rachelle Allison picked up an RBI groundout before Brown drove in her second run of the game with a double.
“Up to this point, we have been very good defensively,” Rutherford said. “To do this is unacceptable for a team that is looking to get back to the WPIAL championship this year.”
With a three-run lead, Gatti was able to close the door with a perfect seventh, which included two strikeouts. She gave up just three hits and struck out 10.
“Anna pitched a great game for us, and our hitters came through when they needed to,” Kelley said.
Kelley was pleased with the way her team finished a very busy week.
“It's been a stacked week,” Kelley said. “We had four huge games and we went 2-2, and to finish off the week like this says a lot about our program.”
Jason Black is the Local Sports Editor of the Daily Courier. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.