Neshannock softball team claims Class A championship
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Even though Carmichaels had yet to yield a run in May, the Neshannock Lancers were ready to do some serious work with their bats Thursday afternoon.
A 16-hit barrage led Neshannock to a 10-4 victory over Carmichaels in the WPIAL Class A softball championship game at California (Pa.)'s Lilley Field.
It was the first WPIAL softball title in the school's history.
Neshannock (17-3), which won the PIAA Class AA title last season, will face the District 9 runner-up in the opening round of the state playoffs Monday at a time and site to be determined.
The Lancers dropped to the Class A ranks during the biennial, off-season realignment.
Carmichaels (21-3) will open PIAA play against District 10 champion
Saegertown Monday at a time and site to be determined.
Two-run triples by winning pitcher Madison Shaffer and Marissa DeMatteo keyed a 6-run second inning to put Neshannock in the driver's seat early.
“Especially when we lost the coin toss and were the away team, we wanted to get a good jump on them early,” DeMatteo said.
Neshannock sent 10 batters to the plate in the second inning with three singles and a crucial error adding to the big Lancers inning.
“We just hit the ball hard for the most part,” Lancers coach Tracy Kimmel said. “It just came down to hitting the ball, especially in that big inning. Our kids had some pretty good swings.”
The third inning saw two more Neshannock runners cross the plate to make the score 8-0.
“Even in the innings where we put up some zeroes, we were hitting the ball hard but couldn't come up with that timely hit,” Kimmel said. “We had the ultimate respect for Carmichaels. They had been here before and they lost the finals here last year.”
Carmichaels finally got on the scoreboard with two runs each in the fifth and sixth innings.
Losing pitcher Erica Burns and second baseman Caroline Cree each doubled for the Mikes, but it was too much of a deficit to erase.
In the game's strangest play, Shaffer struck out Cree to apparently end the sixth. The ball rolled off catcher Marissa Kirkwood's chest protector out toward the pitcher's circle.
Hearing no call from the umpire, Cree ran to first and continued to second as Burns took third. After a walk to Morgan Berardi loaded the bases, Shaffer retired Regina Menhart on a comebacker to end the threat.
“We were getting used to her speed a little bit,” Carmichaels coach Dave Briggs said. “There aren't too many girls who throw that hard.”
Shaffer had 11 strikeouts for the Lancers.
The Mikes, looking to add to their back-to-back WPIAL titles from 1997 and '98, left nine runners stranded.
First baseman Alexandra Fischer reached base four times for Neshannock with a walk, a double and two singles.
George Guido is a freelance writer.
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.
- Greensburg high school roundup: Penn-Trafford edges Connellsville on walk-off
- Fox Chapel softball team off to hot start
- High school roundup: Yough edges Trinity in 9 innings
- Charleroi softball team ready for new section
- Daily News roundup: Norwin hurlers no-hit Derry in opener
- High school roundup: Moon downs defending champion West Allegheny
- West Shamokin softball team improves to 2-0 by beating Ford City
- Offense and defense combine for dominant 20-0 victory
- Connellsville softball welcomes new coach, looks to break trend
- Ligonier softball team works on offense
- Geibel softball excited for return after 4-year hiatus