Peters Township's Perich shuts out Latrobe in quarterfinals
Peters Township softball coach Bob Bowers calls his pitcher Kellyn Perich ‘KP.'
Well his star pitcher KO'd No. 2 Latrobe, 1-0, in a WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal-round game at California (Pa.) University. No. 7 Peters Township (18-4) will face North Allegheny in the semifinals Wednesday at a site and time to be determined.
Perich overpowered Latrobe (15-5), allowing two singles, walking three and striking out 11.
Peters Township scored the game's only run in the top of the first inning when Hannah Berardino bunted for a hit, Lindsay McKnight walked with two outs and Carly Konopka singled to center field to score Berardino.
“We got lucky in the first inning,” Bowers said. “It was going to be a close play at the plate, but the catcher didn't handle the throw.
“I knew it would be a tight game, so I risked it and it paid off. I expected a pitchers' battle from the start. Both are very good pitchers.”
Perich allowed a two-out walk in the second inning, a two-out hit by Kaity Finley in the third and a one-out hit by Shelby Noel in the fourth.
“I expected a low-scoring game,” Latrobe coach Rick Shaheen said. “But I expected us to score some runs.
“Their pitcher was good, but we swung at some bad pitches. I'll take Olivia (Gumbita) over her any day of the week. Olivia is a great pitcher.”
Gumbita allowed five hits, walked two and struck out 10, but her teammates didn't produce any runs.
Latrobe's only scoring threat came in the seventh inning. Noel walked, got to third on a sacrifice and ground out, and, after pinch-hitter Leah Poponick walked, Perich fanned pinch-hitter Amber Reeping to end the game.
“She was good, but we chased a lot of high pitches and she did her job,” Shaheen said. “They beat us. We never got the motor going, never got timely hitting, and we didn't take advantage of walks.”
So was Bowers nervous in the seventh inning when Latrobe got two runners on?
“One thing about KP is the more pressure she has, the better she pitches,” Bowers said. “That's unusual for a pitcher, so I wasn't nervous at all.”