PIAA rematch would suit Deer Lakes
TribLIVE Sports Videos
In most sports, the PIAA postseason is structured so teams that clash in their district playoffs — often the semifinals or finals — renew acquaintances in the state bracket.
The tournament is not a matchmaker, it's a rematch maker.
And a good one could be in the works.
While hinting around with guarded-caution, Deer Lakes softball players and coaches stopped short of admitting their desire for another shot at Riverside (20-0). But one only has to glance at the Class AA bracket to see that the possibility exists.
If both teams win Thursday in the quarterfinals, it will happen — time and site to be announced — Monday.
Deer Lakes (19-1) plays Philipsburg-Osceola (22-1) at 2 p.m. at Bedford.
Riverside plays Ligonier Valley (17-4) at 4 p.m. at Fairhaven Park in Kennedy Township.
“I'm sure we'd come out with so much fire if we played them again,” Deer Lakes outfielder Leanne Crawford said.
“But we can't get ahead of ourselves. We can't be cocky.”
Riverside and star pitcher Kirsten Wilson downed defending champion Deer Lakes, 5-1, in the WPIAL championship at California (Pa.) University.
Wilson struck out 11 in a three-hitter. Outfielder Andrea Lippman made a potential home run-saving catch of a drive hit by Deer Lakes' Sierra Sarver.
It's a stretch to say that Deer Lakes and Riverside are rivals after just one showdown, but who wouldn't want to see two of the best teams in the state play again?
Deer Lakes believes it can play with Riverside, which has 17 shutouts this season. The Lancers made four errors in the loss.
“We want to play whoever is there (in the next round),” Deer Lakes coach Craig Taliani said. “This is where we were last year. You can't look past anybody.
“It's simple: There's no Riverside if we don't do our part and get past the quarters.”
There's always another scenario: One team advances, and the other doesn't.
“Actually, we would like to see (Riverside) get beat (Thursday),” Crawford said. “We'll see what happens.”
Deer Lakes senior catcher Hannah Blinn said history, not just Riverside, is driving this state-playoff run. Deer Lakes is in the PIAA tournament for just the second time and has never made the semifinals.
“I don't think we're thinking about (Riverside) as much,” Blinn said. “We just really want to get past that second game. If we do that, getting a chance to beat Riverside (in the semifinals) would be that much better.”
Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at email@example.com.
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.
- Steelers notebook: LB Dupree sits out backs-on–backers drill
- Inside the Steelers: Williams’ quickness out of backfield evident in drills
- Tight ends’ role in Steelers passing game continues to lessen but players remain selfless
- McCutchen, Pirates cruise to interleague victory over Twins
- Steelers’ Bell unsure why NFL reduced his suspension
- Woman crashes car at Pittsburgh federal building after high-speed chase
- NFL notebook: Redskins re-sign star linebacker Kerrigan
- Beaver County widow won’t lose home over $6.30 late fee
- Drone to help Northern Regional police zone in on missing, fleeing people
- Pirates notebook: Melancon bails out Watson with extended outing
- Vallozzi’s Pittsburgh transfers great fare it’s been known for in the Pittsburgh region to the Steel City