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Frazier softball team expects to bounce back in consolation game

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Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier
Brittany Strothers (left) and Hannah Kline hope to help the Frazier softball team earn a victory in the WPIAL Class A consolation final against Burgettstown on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at California University of Pennsylvania.
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013, 12:06 a.m.
 

Despite its 9-1 loss to Neshannock in the WPIAL Class A semifinals, the 2013 season already has been one to remember for the Frazier softball team. And it's not over yet.

The fourth-seeded Commodores (18-3) will take on second-seeded Burgettstown (16-5) in the consolation final at 2 p.m. Tuesday at California (Pa.) University's Lilley Field. The winner will finish third in the WPIAL and advance to the PIAA Class A tournament, which will begin Monday.

A trip to states would be a first for the Frazier softball program, and perhaps it would be fitting considering this season has been filled with first-time accomplishments.

“I talked to the girls, and I told them this is the first time that the girls team has gone to the (WPIAL) second round four years in a row,” Harvey said. “And it's the first time a team has gotten past the second round.”

From 2010-13, Frazier has compiled a 56-22 record.

“The seniors have piled up a lot of wins,” Harvey said.

Harvey is hoping that another win is on the horizon against Burgettstown, which lost to Carmichaels, 9-0, in the semifinals. Frazier split its regular-season series with Carmichaels — the teams shared the Section 2-A title — though Harvey isn't using his team's results against the Mikes and their success against the Blue Devils as a barometer for how the consolation game might play out.

“You really can't look at stuff like that,” Harvey said.

Instead, Harvey will try to help his team focus on what it has done well all season.

“We'll play like we have been,” Harvey said. “We'll try to scratch out a couple of runs and stay in the game. We're a tight-knit group, and that helps a lot.”

For the Commodores to win, they'll need another strong pitching performance from senior Andrea Lash, who has 113 strikeouts. Frazier also will look for clutch hits from a lineup filled with strong hitters, including team leaders Monica Joseph (.594) and Alexis Livingstone (.588).

The Blue Devils likely will counter with junior pitcher Bryanna Lonick.

One of Burgettstown's biggest strengths is defense. The Blue Devils, who feature shortstop Lizzie Strain and third baseman Sami Scopel, have eight shutouts.

Harvey knows that knocking off Burgettstown won't be easy, but he is confident his team will bounce back with a strong effort.

“After each loss this season, we've came back and played a solid game,” Harvey said. “We haven't lost two in a row all year. I think that we'll come back out and be ready to play.”

Jason Black is the Local Sports Editor of the Daily Courier. He can be reached at jblack@tribweb.com.

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