Greensburg CC softball uses fast start to rout Freeport
Freeport softball coach Sam Ross said his team has been a notoriously slow starter in games.
Usually, Freeport has found a way to battle back.
That wasn't the case Tuesday in the WPIAL Class AA first round against Greensburg Central Catholic at Woodland Hills.
Fifth seeded Greensburg Central Catholic (11-4) jumped out to a four-run lead in the first inning and rolled to a 9-1 victory, ending Freeport's season.
Greensburg Central Catholic will play No. 13 Beaver, which upset No. 4 Seton-La Salle, 10-3, on May 21 at a site and time to be determined.
“Getting a lead first is always big in the playoffs,” said GCC assistant Tom Appleby, who was running the team because head coach Gary Ciarimboli was out of town. “We played pretty relaxed and Nikki (Adisey) pitched a great game. When teams score big in the first inning, sometimes you lay off or don't try as hard. You have to keep the pressure on and we did that.”
Carolyn Appleby, who went 4 for 5, opened with a single to center. She swiped second base and scored on a double by Adisey. After a single by Katie Hickey, Adisey scored on a squeeze bunt by Kristin Hickey, who came around to score on a wild pitch and error.
“In my three years as coach, we've always started slow no matter who we played,” Ross said. “We've been behind before. We always seemed to regroup and hit the ball.
“We were down, 7-0, to Mt. Pleasant here two years ago and came back to win. We just didn't get the clutch hit when we needed. We didn't have that magic this year.”
That was because Adisey, who scattered eight hits, came up with clutch outs with runners on base.
Greensburg C.C. added a fifth run in the fifth inning when senior Julia Lang scored on Emma Taormina's ground out. Lang added a three-run homer in a four-run sixth. It was Lang's fifth home run of the season.
“We needed to get out front early and keep our lead,” Lang said. “Getting the lead early helps, but we need to continue to keep the pressure on teams. For awhile, we were flat.”
Lang said not being seeded higher and losing in the WPIAL finals the past two seasons is pushing the team.
“It's motivation,” he said. “We lost a couple close games and we want it this year.”
Freeport (11-7) had a key player — senior catcher Emily Lindsey — missing from its lineup. Lindsey batted. 520 with eight doubles, six triples, two home runs and 19 RBI. Ross said she was out of town.
“We never got into a rhythm,” Ross said. “We moved people around because we were missing a starter.”