West Allegheny's Lach comes through in quarterfinal win over EF
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Brianna Lach knew something had to change when she came to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning.
During her first two plate appearances in West Allegheny's WPIAL Class AAA quarterfinal playoff game against Elizabeth Forward, not only did she strike out twice, but Portia McBride made her look foolish in the process.
That changed in the most critical of moments.
Lach “scooched up to the plate a little” and golfed a two-out RBI double into the gap in right-center field, scoring the game's only run as West Allegheny (12-6) advanced to Wednesday's semifinals with a 1-0 upset over Elizabeth Forward (17-5) at Baldwin.
West Allegheny will play Greensburg Salem, a 2-0 winner over Blackhawk, on Wednesday at a site to be determined, and the Indians Lach to thank for that.
Lach also tossed a shutout, striking out six and allowing only three singles.
It was the first time that EF was shutout dating back to last year's Class AAA title game.
“It was a dogfight the whole way and there wasn't a lot of hitting and it was kind of a mess,” West Allegheny coach Mindi McFate said. “I told them that's the great thing about sports. It only takes one moment, one big hit to totally change the momentum of the game.”
Lach provided that against a dominant pitcher in McBride.
McBride retired the first 13 batters she faced and took a perfect game into the fifth inning.
“I've been a part of a lot of games like this in my career where one base error, one hit leads to the one run,” Elizabeth Forward coach Harry Rutherford said.
Little did he know that the sixth would provide all three — the error, the hit and the run — for West Allegheny.
EF second baseman Kelsey Benedek misplayed a leadoff liner hit by Lexi Cogis. After a sacrifice by Rachel Marx and a popout by Brooke Bagnell, Lach came to the plate with two outs and a chance to put her team ahead.
“I knew I had to get a hit, especially since I struck out the first two times,” Lach said. “I just felt like this could be the moment.”
Lach smacked a shot to the gap in right center, plating pinch runner Danna Heh with the only run of the game.
“The pitch was where it was supposed to be,” Rutherford said. “The batter went down and got a pitch we didn't think she could hit and drove it out there.”
Elizabeth Forward had its chance in the top of the inning.
Courtney Hrabosky led the inning off with the walk, then moved to second when Caitlyn Arico singled with one out to bring up cleanup hitter Virginia Roche, who walked and struck out in her first two at-bats.
Rutherford decided to sacrifice the runners instead allowing Roche to hit away. McKenna Kern then popped out to first base to end the inning.
“(Roche) didn't have real good at-bats,” Rutherford said. “If she would've made decent contact, I might've let her swing away. I was going to take a shot with two outs to get a base hit. We had our opportunity right there.”
It was the only real chance EF had against Lach.
“I can't complain about the game,” Rutherford said. “We did as well as we could, but they just did one better.”
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.
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.
- Fumbling foreign policy
- Additional negotiating session fails to resolve threateded East Allegheny strike
- Next hurdle for health care likely tax season
- Golf outing a fitting tribute
- Valley edges emotional Burrell team on OT field goal
- Deer Lakes releases info on administrators’ raises
- Quick start fuels Shady Side Academy to opening win
- Late-night fire guts East Deer house; homeowner escapes without injuries
- Police warn of burglaries
- Burrell, psychologist settle lawsuit
- Humbert wins BVA debut