Frazier, Shenango share disappointing memories at Fairhaven Park
TribLIVE Sports Videos
When the WPIAL released the locations for the Class A softball quarterfinals, Frazier coach Paul Harvey and Shenango coach Amy Delaney may have each cringed a bit when they saw that the two teams will be playing each other at 4 p.m. Monday at Fairhaven Park.
The complex is not exactly filled with pleasant memories for the fourth-seeded Commodores (17-2) or the 12th-seeded Wildcats (15-6). Frazier has lost in the quarterfinals at Fairhaven Park in each of the past three seasons.
Shenango lost at Fairhaven Park in the 2012 quarterfinals and the 2011 semifinals.
“The kids all know,” Harvey said in regards to his team's struggles in Kennedy Township. “On the way back home on the bus (after a first-round 3-2 playoff win over Vincentian Academy on Thursday) they all said we'd be playing at Fairhaven. They seem to take it in stride.”
Shenango also won't pay much mind to past losses at the field. In fact, the Wildcats did beat Carmichaels in a quarterfinal game there in 2011.
“You just try to put a positive spin on it,” Delaney said. “It's a place we are familiar with and we have won big games there before.”
For both teams, playing well is the best way to erase some of those haunting memories, and the Commodores and Wildcats certainly have been competing at a high level in recent weeks. Frazier has won seven in a row, including the narrow playoff opener over the Royals.
“Defensively, we let a fly ball drop and we threw one ball away,” Harvey said. “Outside of that, we were good defensively. To be honest, I never really felt threatened because every inning, we had runners on base. We did leave eight or nine runners on, so that's a concern.”
In most cases, the Commodores have had no trouble piling up the hits and the runs this season. Sophomore center fielder Monica Joseph (.594) and senior shortstop Alexis Livingstone (.588) each came into the playoffs hitting well above .500. Senior Andrea Lash has compiled all of Frazier's 17 wins and has 106 strikeouts so far this season. Lash also doubled to knock in the game-winning run against Vincentian Academy.
Aside from adding a few more timely hits, the Commodores seem to be peaking at the right time. The same is true for Shenango, winners of six straight.
“From top to bottom, everyone can come through and our pitching has been solid,” Delaney said. “I think it's always good to peak late in the season when it really matters, and I think we are doing that. But I'm a perfectionist, and there's always room for improvement.”
Junior first baseman Kimberly Burdett entered the playoffs hitting .580, followed by freshman Alyssa White at .526. Freshman pitcher Macy Rubin has 13 wins and 120 strikeouts. Rubin pitched a complete-game, three-hitter as the Wildcats outlasted Sto-Rox, 7-6, in eight innings in their playoff opener.
Each team played in a tough first-round game, which could serve them well in the quarterfinals.
“I think it gives the girls confidence because in the playoffs, all the teams are good,” Delaney said. “To hang with and beat a good team like Sto-Rox is great for us.”
Delaney knows that knocking off the Commodores won't be an easy chore.
“Obviously, they are a good team to make it this far and we're expecting a tough team,” Delaney said.
Frazier is also expecting a tough battle as it tries to break its string of bad luck in the quarterfinals at Fairhaven Park.
“We were in all of those games,” Harvey said in regards to the past quarterfinal defeats. “I think that in itself will help us. These girls are older now, and they might find a way to get that big hit.”
Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Kentucky firefighters recovering from ice stunt shocks
- Steelers notebook: Spence’s future uncertain after reinjuring knee
- Lopsided loss to Eagles shows Steelers have issues aplenty
- Underclassmen must step up as Penn State continues to rebuild
- Pirates notebook: Prospect Sanchez makes 1st start at first base with Indy
- Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival welcomes crowds to medieval re-creation
- Woman shot dead, mother wounded in Hill District shooting
- Rossi: Time with Penguins taught Bylsma importance of stability
- Keisel always hoped to return to Steelers
- Uniontown PNC Bank robbery suspects surrender
- Records: Steelers RB Bell admitted smoking pot before traffic stop but denied being high