Elizabeth Forward softball team edges Highlands, 3-2
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Undeterred by Highlands' game-tying home run in the top of the seventh inning, the Elizabeth Forward softball team scored a run in the bottom of the inning for a WPIAL Class AAA first-round victory.
Mercedesz Boyce scored on Lauren Cain's single for a 3-2 victory over the Golden Rams at Hempfield.
The Warriors (13-6) will play South Fayette in the quarterfinals 2 p.m. Tuesday at Baldwin.
Highlands (7-6) saw its season end with an opening-round playoff loss for the fourth straight season.
Down 2-1 with one out in the seventh, Golden Rams sophomore Katelyn Kuniak blasted her second home run of the season over the left field fence to tie the game.
Jessica Cartia led off the bottom of the seventh with a single. After Boyce entered the game, she was sacrificed to second by Lexi Ribarchak, who went 3 for 3.
Ashley Baker's bloop single sent Boyce to third and set the stage for Cain's single to make a winner out of freshman pitcher Lauren Mathews.
“Unfortunately, they get that blast in the seventh that tied the game up,” Elizabeth Forward coach Harry Rutherford said. “It was a little disheartening, but I got a ninth-grader out there in only her second year of pitching, so this is a lot to expect out a freshman to come into these types of games.”
Despite enduring two layoffs with the rainy weather last week, both teams played well defensively.
Katie Grosholz led off the fifth with a single, and Melissa Gustafson bunted and was retired. Grosholz strayed too far off second and was thrown out by Kelsey Benedek.
After Kuniak's homer in the seventh, Olivia Graff walked and Gorsholz attempted to bunt. Cartia dived in front of the plate to catch the bunt and fired to get Graff, who had broken for second.
“We train that way all year,” Rutherford said. “When we first start practicing, I drive it into their heads that it's not only one play, there's always a second play to be made.”
With Grosholz striking out just four, Highlands defenders handled the other 15 outs flawlessly.
“They're a group of good-hearted girls,” Golden Rams coach Jenn Koprivnikar said. “Our outfielders and infielders both cover a lot of ground, and our catcher (Holly Penn) does a good job making the calls on high pops.”
Highlands took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. Cassidy Runyan's single brought home Gustafson.
The Warriors quickly tied it. McKenna Kern's single scored Courtney Hrabosky.
Elizabeth Forward took a 2-1 lead when Kern drew a bases-loaded walk.
“The strike zone looked tight, at least to us, but we told Katie she had to work through it,” Koprivnikar said. “And she did.”
George Guido is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.
- 2 longtime Pittsburgh nonprofits agree to merge
- West Virginia notebook: Trickett cleared to play in bowl game
- Penguins’ Crosby details his mumps experience
- Starkey: Pederson had to go at Pitt
- Steelers, young and old, thirst for opportunity to reach the postseason
- Jury finds Beltzhoover man who shot 60-year-old woman in the eye guilty of attempted homicide
- Pederson’s 2nd tenure as Pitt AD comes to abrupt end
- West Virginia man dies after being shot with arrow in Wellsburg
- Chryst returns home, named football coach at Wisconsin
- Judge dismisses littering charge against City Council president Kraus
- QB Smith is chief concern for Steelers’ defense