Share This Page

Kittanning girls record much-needed victory

| Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 8:45 p.m.
Jan Pakler | For the Leader Times
Kittanning senior Courtney Edwards pitches for the Wildcats during a game Tuesday, April 23, at Highlands.

Kittanning used small ball to capture a big softball win.

Courtney Edwards allowed three hits over seven innings, and the Wildcats turned in an efficient offensive performance to remain in the thick of the Section 5-AAA playoff race with a 6-1 win at Highlands.

Nellie Toy was 3 for 4 with two RBI for Kittanning (4-5, 4-4), which scored in five of the seven innings with a combination of effective sacrifices and timely base hits.

Holly Penn drove in the only run of the game for Highlands (4-4, 4-4).

“We played small ball today, which is what we have to do sometimes to get runs in,” Kittanning coach Tom Emminger said.

“Courtney pitched a one-run game, and the lower part of our batting order threw in some base hits and did their part today.”

Cassie Merryman scored runs for Kittanning in the second and fourth innings after advancing on sacrifice bunts by Emily Kutch.

Those bunts put Merryman in position to be driven in by Mary Connolly and Maggie McCanna, the Wildcats' No. 8 and 9 hitters.

In the fifth, Nicole Johnston advanced to third and then scored after tagging up on back-to-back fly balls by Edwards and Georgie Shoop as Kittanning continued to be productive with its outs.

Merryman added an RBI single in the inning to increase the lead to 5-1.

Edwards, meanwhile, kept the Rams off-balance with her pitching, finishing with seven strikeouts. Highlands had only one hard hit ball off her the whole game, a second-inning, two-out double into the gap by Alexis Pesci.

“The last couple of games, we've been in a real funk hitting,” Highlands coach Mike Zendarski said.

“The first time we faced (Edwards), we chased her out of the game. Today, we were chasing her pitches. A lot of them were out of the strike zone, and we were getting behind in the count, and that's trouble for us.”

The win by Kittanning puts both teams in a tie for second in the section, but with all six teams in the section alive in the playoff hunt entering Wednesday's games, the final two section dates are critical for every team.

Last season, five of the six qualified for the playoffs as a result of a four-team tie for second with 5-5 section records, but both coaches would like to see their team finish above .500 this time around.

“Our girls' backs were against the wall. We had to win today, and now we've still got a shot,” Emminger said. “This game reminds me of last year. We had to win at Valley, and we went on the road, got that win and went on to the playoffs.”

“In this section, if you don't show up to play, you're going to get beaten,” Zendarski said. “Last year was an example of that, and then our last two games (this year), we didn't come to hit, and we kind of got what we deserved.”

Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at mgrubba@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Grubba_Trib.

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.