Greensburg Salem wins 1st WPIAL Class AAA championship
Greensburg Salem's girls softball team picked the perfect time to play its best game of the season.
The Golden Lions (21-2) captured their first WPIAL Class AAA title by combining timely hitting, slick defense and a dominating pitching performance into an 8-0 victory against Ambridge Thursday at California (Pa.) University's Lilley Field.
The victory also puts them into the PIAA tournament for the second consecutive season. They will play District 9 champion St. Mary's on Monday at a site and time to be determined. Ambridge (16-4) will face District 6 winner Hollidaysburg.
Second baseman Kellie Hutchinson had three hits and four RBI, and pitcher Jayne Oberdorf tossed a four-hit shutout for No. 1 Greensburg Salem, which jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning by collecting four hits. Hutchinson doubled home Claire Oberdorf, Taylor Mehan singled home Hutchinson and Maggie Kallock singled in Mehan.
“We were creeping along the last three games, and I knew we were due for one of these. It couldn't have come at a better time,” said Greensburg Salem coach Jody Morgan, who has coached the team for the past 35 years. “All we had to do was give Jayne two runs, and we gave her three in the first. Kellie had a nice day and we've been waiting for her.”
Jayne Oberdorf, one of three seniors in the starting lineup, was sharp. She walked one, hit a batter and struck out 10.
“This is something we've grown up dreaming about for four years, and it finally happened,” Jayne Oberdorf said. “Getting out to the lead helped so much. I could tell everyone was jumpy and antsy. It made us confident, and we knew we could do it after that.”
The Golden Lions added a run in the fifth on a Hutchinson single, and scored four more in the sixth as Hutchison plated two more with a single.
“I just tried to put the ball in play,” Hutchinson said. “This is crazy to win our first title.”
Claire Oberdorf scored three runs, and Karly Mellinger and Kallock had two hits each.
“I figured if we could get out of the first inning with allowing one run we'd have a chance,” Ambridge coach James Huwar said. “But down three, it changed the whole complexion of the game.
“We just couldn't capitalize when we had chances and we struck out 10 times, which is not us. She's a good pitcher.”
Hannah Krokonko and Lauren Sivewright had two hits each for Ambridge.
It was the third consecutive title game for Mellinger. The previous two came at Greensburg Central Catholic. But this was her first WPIAL title.
“This in amazing feeling,” Mellinger said. “I finally got gold around my neck.”
She isn't the only Lady Lion sporting gold.