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Lady Leps score late in 6-4 win over Southmoreland

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By Donnie Tasser
Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

The Belle Vernon Area softball team broke open a tight game with three runs in the top of the sixth inning en route to a 6-4 Section 3-AAA win over Southmoreland.

Then BVA pitcher Lacey Washowich got out of a one out, bases loaded jam in the bottom of the seventh to uphold the victory.

“We didn't hit well until the sixth inning,” Southmoreland coach Todd Bunner said. “We made five errors. And we gave them too many second opportunities letting balls come out of our glove. We made five errors today. You can't do that and expect to win in this section. You can't do that and expect to win, period.”

The Lady Leps (5-8, 3-6) led 3-1 heading into the sixth inning when they used three hits and three Scottie errors to plate three runs. Alexis Ellin reached on an error, Washowich singled and both scored when Emily Frederick singled and Southmoreland first baseman Annie Marie Gahi threw the ball away. Frederick then scored on Sarah Simsic's squeeze bunt.

“We finally started to hit,” saidBVA coach Tom Rodriguez. “We had twice as many hits today as last time we played them. A little bit at a time, the girls are getting there.”

Trailing 6-3 in the bottom of the seventh, Adeline Nicholson and Olivia Porter reached on singles to left and Kaylie Robaugh reached on an error, loading the bases with one out for Southmoreland (6-4, 5-3). Washowich then got Katie Troisi to ground out, which scored a run, before getting Briana Bunner to fly out to end the game.

“We put ourselves in a good position,” Bunner said. “You're always hoping you can get that next hit, string a few together and make something happen. It didn't work out, but you can't wait until the end of the game to do that and we did. That's why the score was 6-4. We hit like that earlier in the game, it's a different story.”

Prior to the sixth inning, Washowich was cruising. Through five innings, she had given up only three hits and one run, when Gahi doubled home Bunner – who had singled – in the fourth. Washowich only struck out one, but Southmoreland recorded 12 fly ball outs and it wasn't until the sixth inning when they started to make solid contact.

“Lacey, last time (Southmoreland) put four runs on her in the fourth inning and got hurt,” Rodriguez said. “Actually, she hasn't pitched since that game. Today was her first game back in action and she did very well. She kept the ball down and it was giving them trouble.

“Her other pitches weren't working very well, so we kept with the drop ball and had a lot of success. She isn't a strikeout pitcher. But when they did hit the ball, with the exception of a couple times, they didn't make solid contact, which was encouraging to see.”

BVA grabbed the lead in the first inning and never relinquished it. Frederick led off the game with a single and scored on Nicole Ashcroft's two-out single. They added another in the fourth, when Ellin reached when a pop up fell in between three Scottie infielders and Washowich singled her home. In the fifth, the Lady Leps added another run when Ashcroft tripled to right and scored on Mackenzie Taylor's single.

“We really hit the ball well,” Rodriguez said. “I'm proud of the way the girls played today. I'd like to see a game where we didn't commit any errors, but when you hit the way we did today you can get away with it.”

Frederick, Ashcroft, Taylor and Washowich all recorded two hits for the Lady Leps. Porter, Gahi and Vanessa Richards each recorded two hits for the Scotties, and Gahi drove in two runs.

Donnie Tasser is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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