Share This Page

Unlikely hero leads Greensburg Salem softball in postseason

| Thursday, May 23, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Greensburg Salem's Melissa Wagner pitches to a Southmoreland batter Wednesday, May 8, 2013, at Southmoreland High School. Southmoreland defeated Greensburg Salem, 11-4.
Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
Greensburg Salem players celebrate their win against Highlands at a WPIAL Class AAA opening-round softball playoff game Thursday, May 16, 2013, at Plum High School.

A season full of hope and promise almost ended far too early. Then an unlikely hero stepped up on a large stage.

Greensburg Salem softball coach Jody Morgan called it a premonition.

Whatever the reason, her decision to move freshman left fielder Maggie Kallock up from the ninth batting spot to the sixth sure paid off.

Kallock, playing in her first varsity playoff game, smacked a grand slam in the top of the seventh inning — ultimately propelling the Lions past a pesky Highlands squad in the opening round of the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs. It was her second home run of the season.

“It was pretty heroic,” Morgan said. “That was a big spot for a young player, and she really took care of business for us. Obviously that was the biggest hit of the game.”

And, perhaps, the biggest hit of the season so far. Kallock said she was ready for the moment.

“I went up there knowing I had to do something with the bases loaded and one out,” she said. “I was talking to myself. I wanted to hit the top of the ball. I've been working on turning on it more.”

The Golden Lions managed to then hold off yet another rally in the bottom of the seventh to secure the win and advance to the WPIAL quarterfinals, where they topped Blackhawk, 2-0, on Monday.

While a loss to Highlands would have been one of the big upsets of the year, Morgan knows games like that happen and all you can do is survive and move along.

“It was a strange, very dramatic game,” she said.

It was a rare close encounter for Greensburg Salem (19-2), which was scheduled to play West Allegheny in the semifinals Wednesday, after deadline for this edition.

The Golden Lions won their third straight Section 4-AAA title this season.

Oberdorf, a Marist recruit who leads the WPIAL in strikeouts with 189, tallied 17 wins, while junior center fielder Karly Mellinger compiled a .532 batting average. Oberdorf's sister, Claire, a sophomore shortstop, also batted .468 with two home runs.

Brian Hunger 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.