TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Top-seeded Neshannock tops Frazier in semifinals

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier
Neshannock's Rayanna Furst slides under the tag from Frazier's Brittany Strothers during the WPIAL Class A semifinals Wednesday, May 22, 2013, at North Allegheny.
Top high school sports

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 7:36 p.m.
 

The Neshannock softball team continued to show why it is the top-seeded team in the WPIAL Class A playoffs.

The Lancers spotted a run to fourth-seeded Frazier then rattled off the next nine runs in a convincing 9-1 win over the Commodores in the WPIAL Class A semifinals on Wednesday at North Allegheny. With the win, Neshannock advances to the May 30 title game and will play Carmichaels at California (Pa.).

Frazier will battle Burgettstown in the consolation final Tuesday at a time and site to be determined. The winner advances to the PIAA tournament beginning June 3.

“We'll look forward to the consolation game and come back strong in that one,” Frazier coach Paul Harvey said after his team had its eight-game winning streak snapped.

Frazier's loss wasn't due to poor play but rather a dominating performance by the Neshannock hitters and pitcher Madison Shaffer.

The Lancers pounded out 11 hits, and Shaffer tossed a complete-game three-hitter that included 12 strikeouts.

“This is one of the better games she has pitched, and that's what we're looking for this time of year,” Neshannock coach Tracy Kimmel said. “She's doing a great job.”

Despite Shaffer's strong efforts, it was the Commodores who grabbed the early advantage. In the first inning, Monica Joseph led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Alexus Eicher. An error allowed Joseph to move to third and she scored on a wild pitch to give the Commodores (18-3) a 1-0 lead.

But after that, it was all Neshannock.

In the bottom of the first, the Lancers (17-2) responded with four runs on five hits. With one out, Jamie Graziani and Marissa DeMatteo each doubled and scored. Madison Altmyer singled before Katelyn Burrelli delivered a two-run triple. Alexandra Fischer capped the inning with a RBI single to make it 4-1.

“That's what we like to do,” Kimmel said. “We like to get the jump and make teams chase us. It puts a lot of pressure on other teams in the playoffs.”

The first inning likely was the turning point in the game. After Joseph's single in the first, the only other Frazier hits were a pair of singles by Kelsey Holp.

“They put up the four runs, and that was real big,” Harvey said. “If they don't score there, anything can happen. We just couldn't get anything going with the bats.”

The Lancers' three-run lead stood until the fifth inning when they tacked on three more runs.

DeMatteo provided the big hit, a two-run triple, to help Neshannock extend its advantage. In the sixth, Rayanna Furst smacked a two-run homer to center to complete the scoring.

“They ripped the ball to the gaps,” Harvey said. “It's not the pitcher's fault or the defense's fault. They just hit the ball.”

Neshannock lost in the WPIAL semifinals in Class AA last year at North Allegheny before eventually winning a state championship.

Kimmel was happy to get a win at the field where his team lost out on a chance to win a WPIAL title last year.

“We stubbed our toe at this field in this same round last year, so we're happy to get that taken care of this year,” Kimmel said.

Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. Reach him at jblack@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Heyl: Longtime disc jockey Jimmy Roach to turn dismissal into brighter times
  2. Armstrong escapee caught; murder charges pending
  3. WikiLeaks says U.S. spied on another ally: Japan.
  4. Man attempts to take firearm onto plane in Pittsburgh; tenth attempt this year
  5. Judge rules McCullough guilty of taking money from elderly woman’s estate
  6. Lawrence power plant being converted to gas from coal
  7. Pirates bolster bullpen by trading for former closer Soria
  8. Pitt, McConnell-Serio agree to new contract through 2020-21 season
  9. McKeesport tattoo artist will stand trial for allegedly beating man to death
  10. Inside the Steelers: Rookie linebacker Chickillo continues to excel
  11. Pirates’ Burnett endures another poor start in blowout loss to Reds