Jeannette moves into 3rd place
Firsts are memorable for many reasons — the culmination of a hard-earned goal, the excitement that accompanies a new experience, a career or personal achievement — but for Jeannette Jayhawks freshman pitcher Mary Katherine Paulone, her first varsity start is not only one she will not forget, but provided memories that anyone who was there to witness will not soon forget.
Paulone tossed a 13-strikeout, no-hit gem in Jeannette's 10-1 win over Geibel Catholic. Jeannette head coach Dee Cortazzo feels good knowing that she has a capable second pitcher to second the efforts of junior pitcher Nicole Hall.
“It's great to have two pitchers to turn to,” said Cortazzo. “Most teams are really happy to have one good pitcher. Having two gives a team more options and opportunities to win.”
Winning has been a recent trend for the Jayhawks. A five-game winning streak has pushed Jeannette (4-2, 6-3) to third place in Section 3-A and sitting pretty for a playoff run.
The Geibel win was sandwiched between two other solid performances for Jeannette. The Jayhawks began their week of play with a clean 9-1 win over section for East Allegheny, and finished the week off with another section win, 20-1 over Springdale.
Winning three games by an aggregate 39-3 margin will be hard to duplicate this week, though, as two very good section opponents, Leechburg and Riverview, loom on the schedule.
Riverview pounced on Jeannette early in the season and Cortazzo knows how important the rematch will be.
“We can really improve our playoff chances by beating Riverview,” said Cortazzo. “If we win that and maintain at least a split with the other teams at the top of our section, we will get in to the playoffs.”
Jeannette hosts Riverview today, and will welcome in non-section opponent Serra Catholic tomorrow.
WPIAL Section 3-A:
Leechburg (8-1) (8-1)
Riverview (7-1) (7-3)
Jeannette (4-2) (6-3)
Vincentian Academy (4-3)
St. Joseph (2-6) (2-6)
Springdale (1-6) (1-7)
Ellis School (0-7) (0-7)
Dave Moio is a freelance writer.