BVA girls snap out of slump with 13-3 win
It had certainly been a long time between drinks for Belle Vernon Area's softball team in Section 3 AAA.
Going into Wednesday's home game against Southmoreland, the Lady Leps had not won a section contest since April 4.
That was a stretch of five section contests for the defending section champs.
The dry spell ended in a big way as BVA (2-7, 4-9) scored eight runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to invoke the 10-run mercy rule in a 13-3 win over Southmoreland (3-6, 3-5).
The Lady Leps snapped out of their season-long batting slump by belting out 11 hits with Deanna Hileman leading the way with three singles and two RBI.
Molly Gauden had a single and triple and winning pitcher Lacey Washowich helped her own cause with two singles. Teammate Alexis Ellin smacked a double.
“The bats finally woke up,” said BVA coach Tom Rodriguez. “It has been so long and the funny thing is I think (Southmoreland pitcher Anna Gatti) is maybe the best pitcher in our section.
“We just started to hit. It's been a long time coming.”
The day didn't start so well, however, as the Lady Scotties scored all of three of their runs in the top of the first inning on Briana Brunner's three-run home run.
BVA trailed 3-0 and had just one hit before scoring a run in the third and then taking a 5-3 lead with three tallies in the fourth before exploding in the fifth to end the game.
In the big fifth, BVA sent 12 batters to the plate and collected nine hits. Hileman, Gauden and Washowich each had two hits in the inning.
Washowich ended up with a five-hitter, striking out five with no walks.
Gatti ended up striking out six and walking two in picking up the loss.
Even though it looks like BVA's run of 10 consecutive playoff berths is going to come to an end, Rodriguez said he is proud of his team's attitude.
“They still come to play. They want to win,” he said. “I have no complaints about the girls at all.”
BVA hosts Laurel Highlands Monday.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.