Jeannette softball team lands in middle of section
Diversity is a concept often stressed in modern-day high school classrooms and one the Jeannette softball team has taken to heart.
The Jayhawks' first week of action included three games that were diverse not because of who played in them, but because of the radically different progression and outcomes of each.
A season-opening, extra-innings loss to Monessen preceded a low-scoring, pitching/defensive clinic against a very good Leechburg team, which preceded a disappointing loss to Riverview in which the Jayhawks were thoroughly out-hit.
The whirlwind week left Jeannette at 1-2, 1-1 in Section 3-A, and in the middle of a pack of several teams that bounced wins off of one another in the earliest part of the season.
All in all, Jeannette head coach Dee Cortazzo is not overly pleased nor displeased with her team.
“In 15 years of coaching, this is the first year we did not have an outside practice before playing a game,” said Cortazzo. “We did some things good and we have to improve on some others.”
Among the good that Cortazzo cited was the offense in the opener at Monessen. Junior Sarah Pitzer was four for five, junior Delaney Cortazzo was a solid three for three and Nicole Hall went two for five including a grand slam.
The Jayhawks had no problem scoring, but were not able to hold off the Greyhounds.
“They couldn't get the top of our order out, but we couldn't get them out either,” said Cortazzo.
Jeannette rebounded at Leechburg thanks to a great pitching performance by Hall and an equally solid day in the field. Hall struck out nine, and Cortazzo and Monique Redman had run-producing hits to help the Jayhawks to a 2-1 win.
“Leechburg is a very good team,” said Cortazzo. “I am very pleased with how we played that game.”
The week ended on a sour note as Riverview put one on Jeannette, 10-2.
“We were completely out-hit in that game,” said Cortazzo. “We had eight hits, but they had 14 and we didn't strike anybody out.”
The loss dropped the Jayhawks to 1-1 in section play and set up a big week this week — four section games in four days — which should reveal which Jeannette team of the three that competed last week will emerge.
WPIAL Section 3-A:
Riverview (2-0) (2-1)
Leechburg (2-1) (2-1)
St. Joseph (1-1) (1-1)
Vincentian Academy (1-1)
Jeannette (1-1) (1-2)
Springdale (1-2) (1-2)
Ellis School (0-2) (0-2)
Dave Moio is a freelance writer.