Jeannette tops Leechburg in early-season section battle
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The race between Leechburg and Jeannette softball was neck-and-neck last year, and it seems as though this year will be no different.
Nicole Hall allowed one run and struck out nine for the Jayhawks, who took the early lead in Section 3-A by getting a 3-1 win Friday at Leechburg-Gilpin Community Park.
Lindsey Rowe was just as good in the circle for the Blue Devils (1-1, 1-1) by striking out eight, but three unearned runs allowed in the third inning and missed opportunities at the plate led to Leechburg dropping its third straight to Jeannette (2-1, 2-0).
“This is the second year in a row we've come out here at the beginning of the year, and we knew this was going to be the toughest game in our section,” Jeannette coach Zac Karas said. “Nicole pitched well today, and I'm expecting big things from her for her senior year. We played great defense today, and to get one against them is big for us.”
Both teams did a good job hitting the ball — Jeannette had an 11-10 edge in hits — but both pitchers repeatedly were able to get big outs when they needed them.
The Jayhawks got on the board after Mary Paulone led off the third inning with a double and later scored on a throwing error. That error allowed Brianna Crawford and Monique Redman to come to the plate with two outs instead of the inning being over, and they belted out back-to-back RBI hits to take a 3-0 lead.
“There's no doubt in my mind that we will (eliminate errors),” Leechburg coach Jim Oberdorf said.
“Brooke (Blumer), the girl at third, she's a freshman, and I thought she did extremely well. Lexie Young at second is only a freshman. The right fielder (Kasey Klapheke) is a freshman, so I'm very happy with what we're doing right now.”
Rowe came up with a strikeout to escape a bases-loaded jam in the top half of the fourth before Leechburg got on the board in the bottom half. Marissa George hit at RBI single that scored Blumer, but despite the run, the fourth was a missed chance.
Miranda Reesman doubled, and Blumer's single advanced her to third with one out in the fourth. Kassidi Horrell followed up with a ground ball hit to the left side, but Reesman hesitated before breaking for home. That pause allowed the Jayhawks to throw home, where Redman made the tag for the second out.
“If she would've broken for home immediately, she would've scored, and we'd have had runners on first and second with one out,” Oberdorf said. “We could've had three runs in that inning, and who knows what would've happened after that?”
Leechburg had chances to tie the game in the final two innings. Rowe and Blumer singled in the sixth inning, and both runners moved up on a wild pitch before being stranded.
In the final inning, Monica Emricko led off with a single, advanced to second on a fielder's choice and moved to third on a single by Klapheke, who also moved to second on the throw to third. Rowe then hit a ball sharply to short, but Jeannette shortstop Sarah Pitzer fielded it cleanly and threw to first for the final out.
“Both teams played really well, but I'm proud of our girls for holding on at the end. (Leechburg) got back down to the middle of their lineup, but our girls made the plays to get the outs at the end,” Karas said.
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.
- MLB notebook: Tigers fire GM Dombrowski
- Catching on: Jeannette grad Pryor making progress with transition to receiver
- Steelers notebook: Spaeth on baby watch
- Steelers defensive end Tuitt shifts into high gear
- Delphi buys CMU spinoff that makes self-driving car software
- One man dead in McKees Rocks shooting
- Elsie Hillman, philanthropist and one-time GOP powerhouse, dies at 89
- NFL Notebook: Texans RB Foster to have groin surgery
- N. Korean ship sought to pay judgement in lawsuit
- Israeli militant jailed in West Bank arson
- Gameday: Pirates vs. Cubs Aug. 5, 2015