Share This Page

Defense shines for Penn-Trafford softball in playoff win

| Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 11:06 p.m.
Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
Plum's Savannah Zummo rushes back to first base behind Penn-Trafford's Cassie Szmyd during their WPIAL Class AAAA first-round softball playoff game Tuesday, May 14, 2013, at Gateway High School.

The Plum Mustangs hit the ball well during Tuesday's opening-round Class AAAA softball game at Gateway High School, but Penn-Trafford was up to the task.

Several sparkling defensive plays and an opportunistic offense led Penn-Trafford to a 7-0 victory, spelling another playoff disappointment for the Mustangs.

The Mustangs have been eliminated in the first round 10 times since 2000.

The top of the first was an indication of what was to come for Plum.

Stella Pratt walked, and Jordan Seneca followed with a one-out single.

Melissa LeClair scorched a liner at Warriors first baseman Cassie Szymd, who made the catch and doubled Seneca off first.

In the third with none out, Plum had Ashley Oravetz at third and Lyndi Gareis at first.

After a force play at second and a popup to short, Seneca hit a sinking liner to center field. Dani Wally made a catch near her shoe tops to end the inning.

LeCalir opened the fourth with a double but was stranded at third.

Meanwhile, Penn-Trafford was scoring solo runs in the first four innings to build a commanding lead.

“That's the way it is: sometimes you get 'em, sometimes you don't,” said Mustangs coach Jim McGrath about the hard-hit balls that didn't fall in. “I know we hit the ball a lot harder than the first time we played them.”

The Warriors defeated Plum, 9-0, just 18 days ago.

“The last six or seven games, they've been knocking everything down and making the plays they have to make,” Penn-Trafford coach Sam Denillo said.

Nicole Smith pitched a complete game for the Warriors, though she struck out just three.

“Nicole kept the ball down and moved the ball around,” Denillo said. “We either popped it up or put it on the ground, and the girls have been making all of the plays.”

Penn-Trafford took advantage of four Plum errors in the first four innings.

Ashleigh Yanniruberto reached base on an error and scored on another Mustangs miscue in the first.

Jessica Savolta opened the third with a single and scored on a bunt by pinch hitter Sammi Petrelli.

Lex Ryan drove home Yanniruberto in the fourth to make it 4-0.

The Warriors broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth with a lead-off home run by Kelsey Surmacz. Wally and Ryan both doubled and scored to ice the decision.

“The girls played hard the whole way, and I'm proud of how hard they worked to get here,” McGrath said.

Penn-Trafford will face top-seeded Canon-McMillan in the quarterfinals May 21 at a site and time to be determined.

George Guido is a freelance writer.

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.