Share This Page

Canon-McMillan shuts out North Allegheny in PIAA quarterfinals

| Friday, June 7, 2013, 7:42 p.m.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Canon-McMillan's Abby McCartney hits a home run against North Allegheny during a PIAA Class AAAA quarterfinal Friday, June 7, 2013, at Woodland Hills.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Canon-McMillan's Abby McCartney rounds the bases after hitting a home run against North Allegheny during a PIAA Class AAAA quarterfinal Friday, June 7, 2013, at Woodland Hills.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Canon-McMillan's Abby McCartney leaps onto home plate in front of her teammates after hitting a home run against North Allegheny during a PIAA Class AAAA quarterfinal Friday, June 7, 2013, at Woodland Hills.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Canon-McMillan's Kirsten Rush connects on a double against North Allegheny during a PIAA Class AAAA quarterfinal Friday, June 7, 2013, at Woodland Hills.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Canon-McMillan's Alayna Astuto pitches against North Allegheny during a PIAA Class AAAA quarterfinal Friday, June 7, 2013, at Woodland Hills.

Canon-McMillan has powered its way to a second consecutive PIAA Class AAAA semifinal berth.

Two home runs and three other extra-base hits propelled the WPIAL champion Big Macs to a 5-0 victory over North Allegheny in a state quarterfinal contest at Woodland Hills. Freshman Kirsten Rugh and sophomore Abby McCartney each blasted home runs while Rugh added a double and Giorgiana Zeremenko had a pair of two-base hits to pace the Big Macs attack.

Canon-McMillan (23-1) will face Pennsbury in the semifinals at 4 p.m. Monday at Carlisle High School.

North Allegheny, also the WPIAL runner-up to the Big Macs, concluded its season at 18-6.

Yaszmin Kotar, the game's first batter, laced a triple to deep right field and scored on a sacrifice fly by Maddie Engel. Zeremenko opened the second inning with a walk and was sacrificed to second by Tara Fowler. That set the stage for Rush's blast over the right-field fence.

“I was surprised,” Rugh said of her home run. “I was actually just trying to put it in play, really. It was an outside pitch, and I was thinking to step through it and swing all the way.”

“Kirsten had been struggling in the playoffs so this was a great breakout day for her,” Canon-McMillan coach Michele Moeller said. “She had been batting great for us in the regular season, and this could be attributed to youth. This is the first time in the playoffs and she was pressing a bit. She was a little more patient today.”

North Allegheny had a chance to tie the game — and then some — in the first.

Consecutive one-out singles by Logan Woodley, Christine Scherer and Bonnie Pierson loaded the bases for the Tigers.

But Big Macs pitcher Alayna Astuto got Mary Funderlich to hit a pop up to third where the infield fly rule was applied, and Casey Ginocchi struck out to end the threat.

“We had a good opportunity in the first inning, but we didn't cash in,” North Allegheny coach Rick Meister said. “Not saying that was the whole ball game, they responded well and kept pounding the ball, and we just didn't get an offense going today.”

“It was huge to get out of that first inning jam and take that momentum away,” Moeller added.

The Big Macs added on as Rugh doubled to open the sixth and was bunted to third by Allison Bellaire. Rugh scored on Kotar's sacrifice fly.

McCartney opened the seventh by pounding a pitch over the 210-foot mark in center field to conclude the scoring.

Meanwhile, after the three Tigers singles in the first, Astuto retired 15 of the next 16 North Allegheny batters until Scherer hit a one-out single in the sixth.

George Guido is a freelance writer.

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.