Shaler downs Penn-Trafford to reach WPIAL Class AAAA finals
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Shaler softball coach Skip Palmer already is anticipating what his young roster can accomplish next season.
The Titans still have plenty to look forward to this season, too.
Sophomore Brianna Dobson stranded nine Penn-Trafford baserunners, pitching No. 2 Shaler (16-3) to a 4-1 victory in the WPIAL Class AAAA semifinals Thursday at Fox Chapel.
The Titans will face Canon-McMillan on Thursday at Cal (Pa.).
“We're really young,” Palmer said. “But the experience coaching-wise, and how we prepare them, it's really helped. They kind of feed off us. If we look nervous, they get nervous. So we know how to handle that, but these girls are very good. They're very competitive. They work extremely hard every day, and it pays off.”
Playing in its sixth WPIAL semifinal game in the past seven seasons, Shaler never trailed and advanced to the championship game for the first time since 2010.
No. 3 Penn-Trafford (15-4) had eight hits, but the Warriors stranded nine baserunners — including five in scoring position — and scored only on Hannah Dobrinick's solo home run in the top of the second inning.
“I think (they were) more hesitant in how they approached things,” Penn-Trafford coach Monica Cox said. “As years go on, I assume we'll be here again and again. I would like to be here. I think they'll start coming around. When you're nervous, it's OK. But it's not OK to be hesitant, and we were very nervous and hesitant.”
Shaler opened the scoring in the bottom of the first. Leadoff hitter Jacey Schott reached base when her fly ball popped out of second baseman Meghan Marasti's glove, and she eventually scored on Dobson's groundout to third base.
After Penn-Trafford tied the score on Dobrinick's blast over the wall in right-center field in the second, Shaler regained the lead on Lauren Miller's run-scoring single in the third.
That proved to be enough for Dobson. She allowed baserunners in every inning but the seventh, but she stranded them every time. Penn-Trafford loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth, but Dobson induced an inning-ending groundout by Cassie Szmyd.
“Penn-Trafford's a very good team,” Palmer said. “We knew we were going to have our hands full with them. But we've been there before — we've won some 1-0 games, some 2-1 (games). Bri's been under fire, and she's done very well. I have all the confidence in the world, and she's only a sophomore.”
The Titans scored their final runs in the sixth. Miller, who walked, scored when Amanda Sartori's deep fly ball to center field went in and out of Marissa Bacco's glove with two outs. Sartori scored on Lyndsey Lakatos' double.
Penn-Trafford will play Latrobe in the Class AAAA consolation game Tuesday at a site and time to be determined, with a berth in the PIAA playoffs on the line.
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.
- Clues to Chief Justice John Roberts’ thinking on new ObamaCare case
- Time capsule salutes 250 years for Fort Pitt Block House
- Staten scores 21 to lead West Virginia to upset of No. 17 Connecticut
- Pirates enter Plan B with Martin off market
- Builder finds calling as chaplain at Westmoreland jail
- Henry: Day of shopping planned at Connellsville library
- Alle-Kiski Valley high school notebook: Track and field club coming to Leechburg
- Islamic State recruits, exploits children for many roles in Iraq, Syria
- For Steelers, a fight to finish for playoff berth
- Pirates trade Davis to A’s for international signing bonus money
- Horse racing industry banks on Wolf