Penn-Trafford softball team falls in WPIAL quarterfinals
Penn-Trafford softball coach Sam DeNillo felt his team hit the ball well early in its WPIAL quarterfinal matchup against Canon-McMillan.
However, the Warriors' hits kept finding the gloves of Canon-McMillan fielders — particularly that of third baseman Olivia Lorusso.
As a result, Penn-Trafford (13-6) finished with just two hits in a 6-0 loss to the No. 1 Big Macs (19-1) Monday evening at California University of Pennsylvania.
Canon-McMillan, the defending WPIAL Class AAAA champion, advanced to play Hempfield in Wednesday's semifinal round.
“We hit the ball hard — unfortunately to them,” DeNillo said. “They have a good third baseman, (and) she made a lot of plays. She stole some hits from us.”
The Warriors' lone hits came on a single by Jess Zavolta in the first inning and a double by Kelsey Surmacz in the seventh.
Lorusso caught line drives by Cassie Szmyd in the first inning and Abrianna Sadler in the second and also recorded an out on a hard ground ball hit by Surmacz in the second.
Canon-McMillan's Alayna Astuto shut the Warriors down the second time through the lineup. She finished with eight strikeouts.
Penn-Trafford's Nicole Smith, coming off a 7-0 shutout of Plum in the first round of the playoffs last week, matched Astuto for the first four innings. She ran into trouble in the fifth, when the Big Macs scored three times. Canon-McMillan scored twice more in the sixth and once in the seventh to finish the victory.
“They started hitting her the third time around,” DeNillo said of Smith, who hadn't allowed an earned run this season before Monday. “Maybe we should've made a change before that, but we decided not to.”
Penn-Trafford graduates four seniors from this year's team: Lexie Ryan, Sadler, Surmacz and Danielle Wally.
“They're all good for me, (and) they're all starters,” DeNillo said. “They did a great job for me. I'm proud of all of them, and we're going to miss them.”
Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.