ShareThis Page

Seventh-inning rally leads Penn-Trafford past Connellsville

| Friday, April 12, 2013, 10:27 p.m.
Connellsville's Alyssa Orndorff looks to make a throw to first after getting an out at second on Penn-Trafford's Sammi Petrelli Friday, April 12, 2013 at Connellsville High School.
Lori Padilla | for the Daily Courier
Connellsville's Alyssa Orndorff looks to make a throw to first after getting an out at second on Penn-Trafford's Sammi Petrelli Friday, April 12, 2013 at Connellsville High School.

For young softball teams, bad innings are bound to happen. Unfortunately for Connellsville, one of its worst innings of the season came at possibly the worst time.

After rallying with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 4-4, the Falcons surrendered five runs in the top of the seventh Friday, as Penn-Trafford came up with a 9-4 victory in Section 1-AAAA.

The Warriors pounded four hits and benefitted from three Connellsville errors in the decisive seventh inning.

“We battled back, but you have to play a complete seven-inning game,” Connellsville coach Tom Nickelson said. “Penn-Trafford is a good team, and we're young. But we've got great kids. We battled, but we have to dig in and find a little more heart.”

After getting blasted by Norwin, 11-2, on Thursday, the Warriors (6-4, 4-3) were intent on rebounding quickly.

“Coming off the loss we had (Thursday) and not hitting, we knew we had to start hitting and get back in the race,” Penn-Trafford coach Sam Denillo said.

The Warriors banged out 11 hits, including three in the first inning, which helped them claim a 3-0 lead. Ashley Yanniruberto doubled to start the game and scored on a single by Jess Zavolta. Cassie Szymd followed with a two-run homer off Connellsville starter Emily Keslar.

For Szymd, it was the start of a big afternoon. She finished with four hits and four RBI.

“She was a little slow starting out,” Denillo said. “But she is stepping up when we need her to.”

Zavolta added three hits and scored three runs.

Connellsville got one run back in the first on a home run by Kelsi Burkholder. The teams traded runs in the fifth. Zavolta doubled and scored on a double by Szymd, but the Falcons (1-4, 1-4) countered when Amanda Dewitt singled and scored on an error.

Trailing, 4-2, in the sixth, Connellsville rallied as Burkholder ripped a double for her second hit of the game. Jena Bukovac followed with an RBI single, and Jessica Secrest came through with an RBI groundout to tie it 4-4.

The Warriors' Nicole Smith came on in relief of Frankie Ponziani and got the final two outs of the sixth, stranding the go-ahead run at third. Smith was credited with the win thanks to Penn-Trafford's big seventh inning.

In the seventh, the Warriors blew it open by sending nine batters to the plate. With one out, Zavolta, Lexi Ryan and Szymd each singled. Then with two outs, Ponziani doubled in a run. An error allowed another run to score, and two more runs came home on wild pitches.

It was a tough way for Connellsville's late-inning rally to go to waste.

“Those things happen,” Nickelson said. “We have a young team and it's hard. We have a long way to go, but we're going to get there in a hurry.”

Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. He can be reached at

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.