Slam carries Greensburg Salem girls over Highlands in playoffs
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Greensburg Salem's softball team didn't waste much time getting on the team bus after a furious finish Thursday.
The players and coaches hugged family members and fans, then quickly dispersed.
That made two great escapes for the top-seeded Golden Lions, who avoided a major upset in the first round of the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs by holding off No. 16 seed Highlands, 6-5, at Plum.
Freshman left fielder Maggie Kallock made sure the Golden Lions (18-2) played on, adding to the program's highlight reel with a rousing grand slam in the top of the seventh.
Kallock, who recently moved from ninth to sixth in the batting order, turned on a pitch with the bases full and Greensburg Salem trailing, 3-2.
“I went up there knowing I had to do something with the bases loaded and one out,” Kallock said. “I was talking to myself. I wanted to hit the top of the ball. I have been working on turning on it.”
Karly Mellinger, Taylor Mehan and star pitcher Jayne Oberdorf all singled to set the table for Kallock, who made it 6-3 with one swing.
“She talked me into moving her up in the order,” Greensburg Salem coach Jody Morgan said. “We didn't want to bunt in that last inning.”
Its pulse still going strong, Highlands (8-7) fought back as Holly Penn ripped a two-run single with two outs in the home half of the seventh to cut it to 6-5.
Highlands managed four hits in the seventh against Oberdorf, a Marist recruit, but the standout right-hander got Danielle Voytko to ground out with two runners on to end the game.
“I couldn't be more proud of our girls; it was an unbelievable effort,” Highlands coach Mike Zendarski said. “No one gave us a chance in this game except the 12 girls in that dugout and the coaches. We had them against the ropes. You can't ask for much more.”
Highlands had help early, scoring three unearned runs in the third, one coming on an illegal pitch by Oberdorf and two more on errors. All of the scoring came with two outs.
“We needed a break like that,” Zendarski said. “That inspired us a little.”
It didn't inspire the Golden Lions.
“We gave them all of those unearned runs, and I think we were a little shell-shocked,” Morgan said.
“Highlands is a dangerous team. We get 15 hits and leave a bunch of runners on. We hit well but made some uncharacteristic mistakes.”
Mehan, who went 3 for 4, had an RBI single and Claire Oberdorf drove in a run with a double to give the Lions a 2-0 lead.
Jayne Oberdorf gave up seven hits and struck out eight, adding to her WPIAL-leading total of 189 for the season.
Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at email@example.com.
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.
- Comets hold life building blocks
- More health-care control
- FedEx bid faces in-depth probe of bid to buy Dutch express company
- Marte’s 2 fine defensive plays rescue Pirates in victory over Reds
- Connellsville diners can again ‘Savor the Avenue’
- Pirates trade for Dodgers 1B/OF Morse, Mariners LHP Happ
- Rossi: Nothing huge, but Huntington helped Bucs
- Armstrong inmate escapee charged with murdering family matriarch
- Captured Armstrong jail escapee Crissman’s criminal history
- New Kensington-Arnold committee discusses ways to combat bullying
- Pirates place Burnett on 15-day disabled list