Walk-off grand slam sends Peters Township to quarterfinals
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Carly Konopka made up for her walks in the pitcher's circle with a walk-off at the plate.
The Peters Township pitcher hit a game-ending grand slam in the bottom of the seventh inning Tuesday to lift the Indians to an 8-4 victory against Pine-Richland in the first round of the WPIAL Class AAAA softball playoffs at Baldwin.
Her heroics came after what was a bit of an adventure navigating the Rams' lineup.
The sophomore battled through four tough innings, conceding four earned runs on five hits and five walks. She also hit a pair of batters and left after the fourth with her No. 7-seeded team trailing by a run, 4-3.
“In warmups, I felt like I was doing pretty good, but then I got in the game, and calls just weren't going my way,” Konopka said. “My pitches really weren't doing what they were supposed to do, and I was kind of getting rattled.”
Peters Township coach Bob Bowers turned to pitcher Kellyn Perich in the fifth. She responded by holding Pine-Richland scoreless over the final three innings and striking out five. Pine-Richland coach Patti White said her No. 10-seeded team, which managed just two base runners over the final three innings, struggled with Perich's high pitches.
And the sophomore's dominance paved the way for her teammate's dramatic shot.
After the Indians' Lindsay McKnight tied the score, 4-4, with an RBI triple in the fifth, Konopka took Rams starter Isabella Tortorice deep to right-center field with two outs in last of the seventh. The blast brought relief at the end of what was a difficult day.
“It feels amazing being able to redeem myself and picking my team up and being able to win the game,” Konopka said.
Bowers called Konopka a competitor, noting she wanted to continue pitching before the coach made the change. He also said he was pleased with her performance on the mound, which saw Konopka limit the damage by stranding eight runners on base.
The Rams (9-7), meanwhile, were left to lament those missed opportunities.
“We came back when we had to,” White said of her team, which trailed 3-1 after three innings.
The big hits never came in a pair of bases-loaded situations against Konopka in the second and fourth innings. Pine-Richland stranded 10 runners.
The Indians (17-4) move on to face second-seeded Latrobe in the quarterfinals. The Wildcats had a bye in the first round, and the two teams will meet next Tuesday. After playing as the higher seed Tuesday, Bowers is hopeful his team will respond in the underdog role with a spot in the semifinals on the line.
“We'll do a lot of preparation, and we'll be ready,” Bowers said.
Adam Bittner is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him 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.
- Pitt takes part in government concussion study
- Starkey: Stupid Steelers
- Freeport Bridge reopens, Route 356 traffic still affected
- New Kensington slaying victims identified
- Pitt recruit Rowan leaving Lincoln Park
- Police charge Steelers’ Bell, Blount with marijuana possession
- MLB notebook: Angels ace Richards to miss 6-9 months with knee injury
- Pitt’s Chryst names Voytik starting quarterback
- Kiss’ makeup has changed, but their impact remains strong
- New rules for highly addictive, hydrocodone-containing medications near
- Boston Marathon suspect’s friend guilty of obstruction