North Allegheny advances to 1st title game since 2006
By Chris Harlan
Published: Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 10:12 p.m.
With storm clouds approaching, North Allegheny coach Rick Meister just wanted a tie before the rain reached Fairhaven Park.
“If we got washed out, I didn't want to go home behind,” he said. “That's not a good night's sleep.”
Instead, his Tigers opened the flood gates. A two-run double by sophomore Laura Cotter sparked a five-run sixth inning Wednesday that earned North Allegheny a 7-4 semifinal victory over Peters Township in the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs.
The rally included a string of seven hits separated only by a sacrifice bunt. It stole momentum away from No. 7 Peters Township (18-5), which had just taken its first lead with three runs a half-inning earlier.
“They bounced back pretty quick,” Peters Township coach Bob Bowers said.
This was the second consecutive round that No. 3 North Allegheny answered an opponent's rally with its own. A similar scenario helped beat McKeesport.
“That's been one of our characteristics,” Meister said. “We've been down and we come back. ... It's not something magic, it's not a formula, I think it's just the spirit of these kids who know they're not defeated until somebody gets 21 outs.”
The rain held off, so all seven innings were completed.
North Allegheny (17-4), which owns three WPIAL titles, returns to the championship for the first time since 2006.
The other semifinal, between Canon-McMillan and Hempfield, was postponed.
“This means the world to us,” Cotter said. “People think we're underdogs because we're a really young team and have only two seniors. ... But we're all excited for this.”
NA starter Sami Beining and Peters Township's Kellyn Perich both escaped bases-loaded situations in the first inning without allowing a run.
Beining allowed eight hits, no walks and struck out five. Perich, who was replaced in the sixth, allowed seven hits, two walks and struck out four.
A bases-clearing double in the fifth by Peters Township's Lindsay McKnight had given the Indians a 3-2 lead, scoring Hannah Berardino, Emily Lusk and Perich.
But the lead didn't last. A leadoff single by Rachel Pecanis started NA's sixth-inning rally. Anna Sardon followed with a bunt single while trying to sacrifice.
With runners on first and second and still no outs, Meister had his next batter, freshman Liz Scherer, advance the runners with another sacrifice bunt.
“I was looking at the sky and I was playing for the tie,” Meister said. “I wanted to get that one run.”
Consecutive run-scoring doubles by Cotter, Logann Woodley and Christine Scherer changed that strategy. An RBI single by Bonnie Pierson completed the five-run rally.
Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @CHarlan_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.
- Western Pennsylvania engineer aboard missing Malaysian Airlines flight, employer says
- Analysis: Kesler still on Pens’ radar as Shero aims to bring back ‘Big 3’
- Pirates notebook: Volquez, Morton struggle
- Original tea partyers returning to GOP fold
- ‘Un-American’? That’s Harry Reid, the Senate’s lowly smear artist
- College basketball notebook: WVU’s Staten, Iowa State’s Kane named 1st-team all-Big 12
- Starkey: Steelers know when to say goodbye
- 2 dozen injured as California school stage falls
- Penn State falls at Minnesota, rematch set for Thursday
- Pirates’ big risk with pitch-heavy draft focus might soon pay off
- Ex-Colts executive Polian: Approach free agency with caution