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Latrobe freshman Carr tosses 1-hitter as Wildcats down Norwin

| Monday, April 21, 2014, 9:48 p.m.

With two weeks left in the softball season, there is a logjam atop Section 1-AAAA.

Latrobe used a two-run second inning and the one-hit pitching of freshman Meredith Carr to hand Norwin its second loss of the season 2-1 on Monday at Rotary Community Park to tighten the race for the section title.

The Wildcats (6-2, 8-2) and Hempfield (6-2, 7-2) are tied for first, Norwin (5-2, 6-2) is next followed by Penn-Trafford (4-2, 8-2). Latrobe plays host to Penn-Trafford on Tuesday, and Hempfield is at Norwin on Thursday.

Carr was a different pitcher this time against Norwin, compared to the first time the teams met April 9, when the Knights knocked her out of the game in the first inning of a 3-1 victory.

This time, Carr kept Norwin's batters off balance by changing speeds and moving the ball around.

“I don't like to tell my secrets,” Latrobe coach Alexa Bryson said when asked about her freshman's performance. “She did really well. She moved her pitches around, and she got out of some tough situations.

“You can't ask much more from a freshman pitcher. She struggled a bit the first time around against them, but she showed a lot of character.”

Carr struck out six, walked five and allowed a single by Christiana Skrabak to start the fourth inning. Norwin's lone run came in the second when Skrabak walked and scored on two Latrobe errors.

Norwin got runners to second base in the fourth, sixth and seventh, but could not produce a timely hit.

Latrobe was coming off a surprising 1-0 loss at Connellsville.

“I always tell the girls, ‘After a loss, the next game is a big one,' ” Bryson said. “It dictates the tone for the season and to come back with a win against Norwin, you can't ask for anything better.”

The Knights played without starting pitcher Maddy Miller, who missed the game for her sister's wedding. Miller had three hits in the first meeting.

Norwin coach Andy Phipps got an excellent performance from junior pitcher Hannah O'Block. She allowed six hits, walked two and struck out three.

Latrobe's runs came in the bottom of the second when Ashley Perillo doubled off the center-field fence and scored on Jenna Raccor's slap single to center. Raccor took second on the throw to home plate, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Lexie Zoppetti and scored when Riley McCracken dropped a single into left field.

“Carr pitched a great game,” Phipps said. “She moved the ball around and had great location. She put the ball where we wanted. I was really proud of Hannah. I felt she pitched well. I was a little worried about our hitting coming off Easter break.”

Bryson and Phipps agreed the section race is open.

“It's like this every year, even when I played,” said Bryson, who pitched Latrobe to consecutive WPIAL Class AAA titles and PIAA runner-up finishes in 2007 and 2008. “Every game is a fight.”

Paul Schofield is staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

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