Ashcraft carries BVA to first win
Getting a win has been so tough for the Belle Vernon Area girls' softball team this season that when the Lady Leps finally did win a game, they didn't realize it.
When Nicole Ashcraft's two-out bloop down the right field line fell in fair territory by inches, Natalie Bashada scored from second in the bottom of the eighth inning for a 3-2 win.
For the most part, BVA's players remained in the dugout cheering the run until BVA assistant coach Tammy Hamed exclaimed to them, “The game is over! We won!”
Ashcraft provided the two biggest hits of the day for BVA (1-5, 1-2) in the Section 3 AAA contest against Thomas Jefferson (1-1, 1-1).
A sophomore, Ashcraft unloaded a solo home run over the fence in right field in the sixth inning that tied the game at 2-2 before her game-winner two innings later.
Bashada had opened the eighth with a single and moved up on a bunt.
“It's been a tough year for us so far,” said BVA coach Tom Rodriguez, who had never started a season before with four losses until this year. “We have seven starters back, but we just don't hit. We had six hits today and that's the most we had all season.
“Hopefully, this will get us going.”
TJ did all of its scoring in the first inning when Kyla Pickett smacked a two-out, two-run single to right field off BVA pitcher Lacey Washowich.
Washowich settled down after that, giving up just four hits the rest of the day and shutting the Lady Jaguars out over seven innings. She struck out four and did not walk a batter.
BVA made it 2-1 in the third when the Lady Leps loaded the bases on a single by Angela Sullivan, a walk to McKenzie Taylor and Emily Fredericks' bunt single.
Bashada then hit a shot off the body of TJ pitcher Taylor Dubs that was fielded by second baseman Lexie German and thrown to first for the out, scoring Sullivan.
Ashcraft tied the score with her bomb in the sixth after Alexis Ellin lined out to third.
That set the stage for her winning hit in the eighth.
“She's a good hitter who lettered for us last year,” Rodriguez said of Ashcraft. “She's young, but she's going to be a good one.”
Joining Ashcraft with two hits for BVA was Bashada.
Elizabeth Forward 9, Yough 2
EF (5-0, 2-0) remained unbeaten in Section 3 AAA as Portia McBride fired a three-hitter.
Caitlyn Arico hit a three-run homer to highlight a six-run third inning for EF, which also got three hits from Jen Keefer.
Yough (1-2, 0-2) got triples from Samantha Shoaf and Cassidy Pearce.
Montour 8, Ringgold 2
The Lady Rams (2-1, 1-1) lost their first game of the season in dropping the Section 2 AAA road game to Montour (4-2, 3-0).
Losing pitcher Celina Cantini accounted for both Ringgold runs with a two-run homer in the third inning.
Carmichaels 11, Monessen 0
Errors were the undoing for the Lady Greyhounds (2-2, 0-2) as they committed eight of them in the Section 2 A contest.
Monessen only had one hit in the game, a sixth inning single by Marisa Germinario.
Carmichaels (6-1, 2-0) moved into a tie for first place with Frazier with the win.
Frazier 2, West Greene 1
Monika Joseph tripled home the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning for Frazier (3-0, 2-0) in the Section 2 A game. Andrea Lash gave up just two hits and struck out nine to earn the win.
West Greene (3-1, 1-1) got a double from Lauren Weaver.
Serra 16, California 5
The Lady Trojans (1-1, 1-1) lost the Section 2 A contest as Serra (3-1, 2-1) scored 10 runs in the fourth inning.
Anna Quattrone had three hits for Serra, which banged out 15 hits in romp.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.