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WPIAL softball finalist Deer Lakes doesn't mind playing waiting game

Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
Deer Lakes' Sierra Sarver celebrates a strong inning with Rebecca Babincak during a softball game Thursday, May 9, 2013, at Leechburg Community Park.

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Sunday, May 26, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Deer Lakes softball has proven it doesn't mind waiting. And it will do so again before the biggest game of its season.

The Class-AA No. 1-seeded Lancers (18-0) will have sat for seven days when they play their next game, the WPIAL championship, on Thursday against No. 3 Riverside (18-0) at California (Pa.) University.

Deer Lakes didn't play for 10 days before its playoff opener after receiving a first-round bye. And the team waited out a pair of weather delays lasting 123 minutes in the semifinals.

Both were thrilling wins.

The Lancers plan to stay busy during the down time with practices and, “We may try and get a scrimmage in,” coach Craig Taliani said.

The team took Thursday and Saturday off and has a morning practice planned for Monday.

“I think we are capable of waiting; If anything, we learned from mistakes in our last game and will want to play even more — and better,” senior shortstop Becca Babincak said.

Although some Lancers players said they'd like to play right away, their coach thinks more time to prepare could be paramount against Riverside, which has 16 shutouts this year.

“Riverside is a great team,” Taliani said. “We need the time to prepare as much as possible.”

The Lancers have dominated most opponents.

They've only trailed three times all season, and rallied each time. They fell behind, 1-0, against Burrell in Section 3 play before posting a 2-1 win.

In the quarterfinals, the Lancers were down, 2-0, to McGuffey before turning the tables for a 13-3 win.

And then came Wednesday's semifinal comeback over Beaver, which saw a 7-0 deficit disappear in one inning as Deer Lakes won, 11-7.

Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at

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