Burgettstown bats too much for Frazier softball
Speed at the top of the lineup proved to be a big weapon for the Burgettstown softball team in Monday's WPIAL Class A first-round playoff game against Frazier at Fairhaven Park.
The Blue Devils' Cassie Carnes and Caley Ritts started the game by bunting their way on base, and both scored as Burgettstown grabbed an early 2-0 lead and never looked back on its way to an 11-2 victory over the Commodores.
“That was our game plan,” Burgettstown coach Mark Deer said. “We have two speedy kids, and if we get them on, it puts pressure on (opponents), and we figured the rest of the lineup would take care of it. It started with small ball.”
The fifth-seeded Blue Devils (15-4) didn't limit themselves to bunting for hits. Every player in the Burgettstown starting lineup hit safely as the Blue Devils racked up 15 hits.
“They seemed to hit the ball well,” Frazier assistant coach Kristen Joseph said. Joseph was filling in for coach Paul Harvey, who was unable to attend the game. “The balls we hit, they made good plays.”
Bryanna Lonick and Jordan Cullison each picked up an RBI in the first.
Then Burgettstown pitcher Kate Tarr helped herself with a two-run single in the second to make it 4-0. That was enough offense for Tarr, who tossing a six-hitter with five strikeouts.
“I thought we played a good defensive game, and Tarr did a fantastic job because Frazier is a good ball team,” Deer said.
In the fourth, Lonick picked up the second of her three RBIs as she lifted a sacrifice fly to center, making it 5-0.
The 12th-seeded Commodores (10-6) scored a run in the fifth when Hannah Kline singled and scored on a single by Miranda Shepler. However, the Blue Devils put the game away with two runs in the sixth and four more in the seventh.
Tarr and Morgan Ellek each knocked in a run in the sixth. Then in the seventh, Ritts drove in two with a double before Sami Scopel and Lonick added an RBI each.
Frazier finished the scoring in the seventh when Caitlyn Brown, the team's lone senior, singled and scored on a groundout by Alexus Eicher. Monica Joseph led Frazier with a pair of singles.
Paige Hotz was the losing pitcher with six strikeouts. She also doubled to account for Frazier's lone extra-base hit.
Joseph said she believes the experience will serve the young Commodores well in the future.
“We have a young team and this will help us,” Joseph said. “There are still a lot of good players here, and they got a good learning experience from this.”
For Burgettstown, the season continues. The Blue Devils will play Shenango in a quarterfinal game at 5 p.m. Tuesday at South Side Beaver.
Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.