Oberdorf toughs out PIAA victory for Greensburg Salem
Jayne Oberdorf pulled a muscle in her groin on the second pitch of Monday's PIAA Class AAA first-round game at Hampton.
But the Greensburg Salem senior showed why she's one of the best pitchers in the WPIAL, if not the state.
Oberdorf overcame the injury to lead the WPIAL champion Golden Lions to a 2-0 victory against District 9 champion St. Marys (13-7).
The victory puts Greensburg Salem (22-2) in the quarterfinals against District 10 champion Fort LeBoeuf Thursday at a site and time to be determined. Fort LeBoeuf defeated West Allegheny, 2-0.
Oberdorf allowed three hits, struck out 15 and didn't walk a batter. She struck out the side in the first, second and fifth innings, and was backed by a couple big defensive plays by second baseman Kellie Hutchinson, catcher Taylor Mehan and shortstop Claire Oberdorf, her sister.
“There was a big hole on the mound and my back foot was getting struck,” Jayne Oberdorf said. “But I'm OK. I'll be OK for the next game.”
But there was concern in the opening inning when Oberdorf called for her coach, Jody Morgan. After a short talk with Morgan and the trainer, Oberdorf preceded to strike out the side.
“She pulled it on her stride,” Morgan said. “But she told me she was OK.
“Jayne matched her uniform number (15) with the strikeouts. Jayne is really smart. I saw her working the batters with different pitches. She just has so much control.”
Greensburg Salem jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, when Claire Oberdorf singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. She reached third on a groundout by Karly Mellinger and scored on Hutchinson's sacrifice fly to center field.
St. Marys' biggest threat came in the second when Hayley McGowan singled and Andria Copelli reached when her fly ball was dropped as Claire Oberdorf and Mellinger collided.
But Jayne Oberdorf stranded both runners by fanning the next three batters. St. Marys had runners reach second base in the third and fifth inning, but Jayne Oberdorf stranded them.
“We were kind of flat,” Jayne Oberdorf said. “Maybe we slept too much coming up here, but a win is a win and we got it.
“Claire and Kellie are awesome players. I just love watching Claire, she is so aggressive rolling around in the dirt, and Kellie has been on fire the last couple games.”
Hutchinson, who also hit a triple, bailed her pitcher out in the fifth inning when she made an over-the-shoulder catch of a fly ball in short right field.
Greensburg Salem added an insurance run in the fifth when Claire Oberdorf bunted for a single. She then showed her speed by racing to third on Mellinger's sacrifice bunt and scored on Hutchinson's second sacrifice fly of the game.
“I was just looking for a hard hit ball to score her,” Hutchinson said. “Anything in the (outfield) was going to score her.”
St. Marys' last threat came in the sixth inning when Taylor Bellina singled. After Cassie Wonderling bounced into a fielder's choice, Mehan fielded Megan Henderson's bunt attempt on one bounce and fired to Hutchinson at first to retire Henderson.
Hutchinson then fired a strike to Claire Oberdorf to retire pinch runner Cheyenne Sanoski trying to advance to second.
Morgan said: “That was an awesome double play. That was the hard way to do it. Kellie has had two good games in a row, she's a money player.”
St. Marys left four runners on base, but couldn't crack Oberdorf.
“We got base runners on, but when we got them in scoring position we just couldn't get the timely hit,” St. Marys coach Manny Gerarge said. “I was happy with the way our pitcher played … they scored their runs on sacrifices. It was tight game and could have gone either way.”