Elizabeth Forward softball team back atop section
TribLIVE Sports Videos
It was quite evident that Elizabeth Forward pitcher Portia McBride didn't have her best stuff against Thomas Jefferson — that is, until her best stuff was needed.
McBride worked out of jams in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings, left runners stranded at third in two of those innings, and allowed the Jaguars only three hits in 11 at-bats with runners in scoring position as Elizabeth Forward climbed back on top of the Section 3-AAA standings with a 3-1 win over Thomas Jefferson at William Penn Field.
“Portia was able to come through with some key pitches at critical points, and that's what she needs to do,” Elizabeth Forward coach Harry Rutherford said. “She pitched well and hit her spots better than she has been.”
McBride retired the first seven batters and finished with eight strikeouts but also allowed eight hits — seven of which came in the final four innings.
“It shows her character, and how she is a seasoned pitcher to be able to buckle down and do what she had to do,” Rutherford said.
McBride got plenty of help from the top of the order. Jen Keefer (2 for 3), Katelyn Shinavski (1 for 3) and Caitlyn Arico (2 for 2) went a combined 5 for 8. Each had an RBI.
“The top of the order did what they had to do,” Rutherford said. “Jen Keefer has been excellent at the leadoff spot. She is leading the team in hitting, and her on-base percentage is outstanding. When she gets on base a couple times, you know that you are going to score.”
After the Warriors (7-1, 4-1) began the game with three consecutive singles to start the game, Thomas Jefferson pitcher Taylor Dubs pitched well. She allowed only three hits over the final five innings, with the only blemishes being Keefer's RBI single and Arico's sacrifice fly in the fifth.
“You could see that they were getting rattled because they weren't hitting the ball like they normally did,” Thomas Jefferson coach Heidi Karcher said.
Rutherford put the blame of why his team struggled at the plate to not being used to Dubs' velocity.
“The speed wasn't there for our hitters, and it is tough for us to hit a slower pitcher,” Rutherford said. “To start the game off with back-to-back-to-back hits, you think you are going to blow it away. Still, we had opportunities, but we just couldn't come through with the big hit.”
You don't have to tell Karcher about that.
TJ (1-4, 1-4) had a chance to score in the fourth when Becca Bachman and Kyla Prickett singled. But McBride got Amanda O'Toole to pop out to the second baseman to end the inning.
TJ had another golden chance in the sixth after EF made it 3-0. Rachel Bowers doubled, Rachel Battle singled, and Prickett stroked an RBI single. But McBride ended the rally by striking out the side.
“When you are not scoring, the pitcher has to hold the team down,” Rutherford said.
TJ has one last chance in the seventh. Dubs led off the inning with a single and moved to third when the ball got past Keefer in center. McBride retired the next three batters to end the game.
“Every day, it is a different game for us,” Karcher said. “Sometimes we knock them in, and today happened to be the time we didn't. I am pleased on how we hit. Unfortunately, some of the hits didn't happen at the right time.”
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.
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.
- Steelers running backs Bell, Blount will face drug charges
- Starkey: Stupid Steelers
- Munhall council president says layoffs possible
- It’s only exhibition, but these Steelers could solidify roster spots vs. Eagles
- Glassport council moves forward with police station; councilman resigns
- Traffic accident, weather problems cause Mon-Yough roads to close
- Surprise jump in students forces hiring at Elizabeth Forward schools
- Pitt sophomore Coles leaves football team
- Judge gives Elizabeth Township Authority 3 weeks to decide lawyer fees
- 2 dead in New Kensington shooting; woman says male victim her son
- Braves’ error, Sanchez’s sacrifice fly in 9th help Pirates snap long skid