ShareThis Page

Rivalry sparks solid efforts from Ford City, Kittanning in softball showdown

| Tuesday, May 6, 2014, 11:48 p.m.
Matt Grubba | Leader Times
Kittanning's Terra Schall steals second by sliding in just ahead of the tag from Ford City shortstop Bethany Meyer during the Wildcats' 2-1 win on Tuesday, May 6, 2014, in Manorville.
Matt Grubba | Leader Times
Kittanning pitcher Emily Kutch delivers in the Wildcats' 2-1 win over Ford City on Tuesday, May 6, 2014, in Manorville.
Matt Grubba | Leader Times
Kittanning second baseman Alexis Adams (11) handles confusion on a defensive play by running to first base ahead of first baseman Meg Toy to record the out of Ford City's Allison Zellefrow (38) during the Wildcats' 2-1 win on Tuesday, May 6, 2014, in Manorville.
Matt Grubba | Leader Times
Ford City pitcher Jess Jubec allowed only two runs on five hits in a complete game, but she took the loss in Kittanning's 2-1 win on Tuesday, May 6, 2014, in Manorville.
Matt Grubba | Leader Times
Kittanning right fielder Emily Fries winds up to throw back to first baseman Meg Toy (16) in an attempt to throw out a Ford City runner during the Wildcats' 2-1 win on Tuesday, May 6, 2014, in Manorville. The fly ball was hit by the Sabers' Karlee Smith (left).
Matt Grubba | Leader Times
Ford City left fielder Maddie Brice hauls in a deep fly ball during the Sabers' 2-1 loss to Kittanning on Tuesday, May 6, 2014, in Manorville.
Matt Grubba | Leader Times
Through the obstructed view from the dugout, the glove of Ford City catcher Lexi Turek can be seen applying the tag in time on Kittanning's Alexis Adams on a play at the plate during the Wildcats' 2-1 win on Tuesday, May 6, 2014, in Manorville.

The area's biggest rivalry came together on the softball field, and the result was both teams winding down the season with one of their best performances.

Kittanning pitcher Emily Kutch struck out six and allowed only five hits in a complete-game effort, as she and the Wildcats made an early lead hold up for a nonsection win over Ford City, 2-1, on Tuesday in Manorville.

Shortstop Terra Schall scored both runs for Kittanning (3-10) after leading off the game with a double and leading off the third inning with a single.

Kutch and Breanna McGaughey delivered RBI base hits to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead.

“It's always good to finish the season against them. It's nonsection, but it's still good to win, and it's always fun to play against Ford City,” Schall said.

Ford City (5-11) pitcher Jess Jubec threw a strong complete game, only allowing five hits. After allowing the second run in the third inning, Jubec walked Kittanning's Meg Toy before retiring the final 13 batters.

The teams combined to play what was likely the fastest seven-inning game of the season for either. Kittanning committed only two errors, and Ford City was error-free, which brought the rivalry game to an end in fewer than 90 minutes.

“We played really well yesterday (in a doubleheader), too, and I think we really picked it up toward the end of the season,” Ford City shortstop Bethany Meyer said.

“We've come through a lot of tough games, and while it would've been nice to win more of them, I'm proud of the team for what they did this year.”

Kittanning could have padded its lead in the third inning, but Ford City center fielder Christina Davis made a perfect throw to home to record the out on Alexis Adams, who also tried to score on McGaughey's single.

Ford City had chances to stage a comeback in each of the final two innings.

In the sixth, Jubec reached first safely with a two-out single, and a throwing error by the Wildcats allowed her to go from first to third. Karlee Smith struck out and attempted to go to first on a passed ball, but she was called out to end the inning on a close play.

The Sabers got on the board in the seventh after back-to-back singles by Lexi Turek and Davis to lead off the inning. Turek advanced to third on a wild pitch with one out.

Pinch hitter Abby Boguslawski cut the lead to 2-1 by driving in Turek with a groundout to first, but Sabers' leadoff hitter Lexi Myers was unable to beat out a ground ball and keep the game going for Ford City's 2-3-4 hitters.

“I was definitely hoping for that one last at-bat,” said Meyer, who was waiting on deck. “It didn't happen, and it's a little disappointing, but it'll be all right.”

Ford City and Kittanning will meet twice next year, when the Wildcats drop down from Class AAA to the Sabers' Section 3-AA. For Meyer and Ford City's other three seniors, however, Tuesday's game was the final outing in a Sabers' uniform.

“I played with a lot of the (Kittanning) girls in Little League, so it was nice to play them for our last game,” Meyer said. “I hope the girls coming back keep a positive attitude and just continue to improve.”

Kittanning only has three graduating seniors of its own, and just two — Schall and Kutch — played Tuesday. They still have one game left on their schedule, a nonsection home game Wednesday against another future section opponent, Burrell.

“We've had trouble with errors all season, so it was nice that we minimized the errors and capitalized on our opportunities today,” Schall said. “We played well against Burrell last year, so we're looking forward to that. It's a good way to end the season.”

Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @Grubba_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.