No. 1 Canon-McMillan uses hitting binge in 6th inning to down Latrobe in semifinals
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Third baseman Olivia Lorusso knew the hits would come. It was only a matter of when.
They finally came in the sixth inning of the Canon-McMillan softball team's WPIAL Class AAAA semifinal against Latrobe on Thursday, when the Big Macs used four consecutive hits to score four runs en route to a 7-6 victory at Cal (Pa.)'s Lilley Field.
“We all know we can hit the ball,” said Lorusso, whose two-run single pushed Canon-Mac ahead for good. “After we get down, we're like, ‘OK, it's time to pick it up.' I wasn't too nervous, to be honest.”
With three future Division I hitters — though one left due to injury — in the heart of the order, one could understand why Lorusso remained calm.
One of those big bats, fellow Robert Morris recruit Abby McCartney, had perhaps the most impressive hit of the rally, waiting on a 3-1 changeup and poking it into center field for a run-scoring single.
“It's a snowball effect,” McCartney said. “Usually when one person gets a hit, we want to keep it rolling.”
Now, top-seeded Canon-McMillan (18-3) will get a chance to win a third consecutive WPIAL Class AAAA title when it plays Shaler next Thursday at Cal.
The defending PIAA champs are 14-1 in their past 15 playoff games.
“It's hard not to feel the nerves,” Canon-McMillan coach Michele Moeller said.
“We've been the No. 1 seed all year. The people who love you and want you to do it again, you don't want to let people down.”
McCartney, Lorusso and freshman left fielder Brittney Crawford all had two hits for Canon-McMillan.
Crawford homered in the first inning for the Big Macs' 50th long ball of the year.
McCartney shifted from center field to catcher after Giorgiana Zeremenko left with an ankle injury.
Ashley Perillo finished with four hits for Latrobe (15-5), which will play Penn-Trafford in the consolation round next Tuesday.
Facing a 2-0 deficit, Latrobe tied the score in the second inning. An inning later, Perillo ripped a one-run double to right center, and third baseman Jenna Adams added a two-run single for a 5-2 Latrobe lead.
The Big Macs got one run back when second baseman Ally Bellaire's grounder to third went under Adams' glove, scoring Lorusso.
Adams restored Latrobe's three-run lead with her single to center in the top of the fifth that scored Perillo.
That set the stage for Canon-McMillan's flurry of hits, a stretch that didn't exactly surprise Moeller.
“Apparently it looks contagious,” Moeller said. “They get some hits, and they start to string them together.”
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.
- Police identify driver in North Side crash that killed pregnant woman
- Cathedral may host slave trade museum
- Steelers’ backups Archer, Harris ready to run
- ‘Pelican Dreams’ strikes gold with big birds
- Boyce Park to open ski season Friday
- Steelers notebook: Roethlisberger says Saints game is ‘must win’
- Comeau’s hat trick leads Penguins; Crosby reaches 800 career points
- Turkey Trot runners turn out to burn calories despite chilly Pittsburgh temps
- Starkey: Rutherford will add when timing’s right
- Firefighters extinguish fire that damages 6 cabs at Yellow Cab Co.
- Shady Side Academy runners celebrate successful season