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Results coming through for Franklin Regional softball

| Tuesday, May 6, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Lillian DeDomenic | For the Murrysville Star
Franklin Regional's Cara Markowitz delivers a pitch during a game against Penn Hills on April 25, 2014.

It took the Franklin Regional softball team some time to get going this season, but the Panthers are getting the results they want at the end of the season.

The Panthers (3-10, 2-8) won their third straight game Monday, blanking Kiski Area, 5-0.

Franklin Regional coach Jim Armstrong said the team began playing better softball before the winning streak even began, as the Panthers lost a handful of one- or two-run games early in section play.

“They know they're a good team,” Armstrong said. “Some of these games we lost by one run or two runs, whatever it was, beating somebody and then losing in extra innings to (Penn-Trafford), they know they're right there. The things that we lost for were mistakes.”

Armstrong said the team, which had just three players with varsity experience entering the season, was hampered early on by bad weather that kept the Panthers from practicing on the field.

“I think what I'm seeing now is we've been able to get out and do some stuff — in games, anyway,” Armstrong said. “The practices are still very limited. But I think if we'd had even two weeks of practice time before we started playing, the season would have been a different ballgame.”

The Panthers are improving with their increased time on the field, Armstrong said.

Some younger players are beginning to step up for Franklin Regional. Armstrong put freshman Gina DeCesare at catcher about midway through the season, and he said she had solidified the position.

“She's done a tremendous job behind the plate,” Armstrong said. “She hits the ball pretty well, has a pretty good eye and has done a good job catching.”

Sophomore pitcher Cara Markowitz, meanwhile, limited Kiski to one hit in Monday's victory.

“She pitched well today, and we were happy with that,” Armstrong said. “Defensively, we were pretty sound.”

Monday also marked Senior Day, and Armstrong said all three of the Panthers' seniors — Alexa Fike, Mary Komandt and Alyssa Lockwood — contributed to the win.

Franklin Regional hosted Penn-Trafford on Tuesday and traveled to Latrobe on Wednesday, with both games ending past the deadline for this week's edition. The Panthers will close out the season Thursday at Deer Lakes.

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5830, via email at dgulasy@tribweb.com or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

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