Share This Page

Late homer ignites Thomas Jefferson in upset of defending champ Greensburg Salem

| Thursday, May 22, 2014, 8:18 p.m.
Austin Bachand | Tribune-Review
Thomas Jefferson sophomore Bayli Moon slides into home while Greensburg Salem senior Melissa Wagner awaits a throw during a WPIAL Class AAA semifinal game Thursday, May 22, 2014, at Cal (Pa.)’s Lilley Field.
Austin Bachand | Tribune-Review
Greensburg Salem sophomore Alyssa Milligan slides into third base while Thomas Jefferson senior Janelle Allison braces from the slide at Cal (Pa.)’s Lilley Field on Thursday, May 22, 2014.

Kyla Prickett might not have felt the ball hit her bat. But her leadoff solo home run in the seventh inning of a WPIAL Class AAA semifinal Thursday delivered a different feeling for the Thomas Jefferson softball team's first baseman.

The feeling? One of optimism.

Prickett's homer, driven deep over the center-field fence, triggered a three-run rally for the 13th-seeded Jaguars, who upset top-seeded Greensburg Salem, 4-3, at Cal (Pa.)'s Lilley Field.

“I don't want to sound conceited, but I'm pretty sure my hit riled everyone up,” Prickett said. “It was what we needed.”

After Prickett's shot, third baseman Janelle Allison singled, and came around to score on a pair of Greensburg Salem throwing errors committed on left fielder Bayli Moon's sacrifice bunt.

Moon scored Thomas Jefferson's fourth run on a wild pitch.

“I didn't expect this at all,” Allison said. “I'm ecstatic right now.”

Thomas Jefferson (14-6) will play Mars, a 7-6 winner over Elizabeth Forward, in the WPIAL Class AAA final next Thursday, also at Cal.

Greensburg Salem (15-2), which won its first WPIAL title last spring, will play Elizabeth Forward in the consolation round Tuesday, with a chance to reach a third consecutive PIAA tournament.

“It wasn't meant to be,” Greensburg Salem coach Jody Morgan said. “Come back Tuesday, hope to qualify for states. I think we have a strong enough team to do that.”

The turnaround this season has been a swift one for Thomas Jefferson, which won just three games last spring and was in the semifinals for the first time since 2002.

“We had such a bad season last year,” Jaguars coach Heidi Karcher said. “We only lost one senior, and these girls stuck together.”

Thomas Jefferson took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second.

Designated player Emily Schneider, who finished with two hits, crushed a one-out double to the fence in left and moved to third on right fielder Lindsey Kalup's grounder to the right side. Schneider scored on a wild pitch.

Greensburg Salem jumped in front with a two-run fourth. Second baseman Kellie Hutchinson, who had three hits, and pitcher Melissa Wagner started with back-to-back doubles to tie it.

Left fielder Maggie Kallock's bloop single into shallow left field scored courtesy runner Alyssa Milligan for the Golden Lions' second run. Wagner added a sacrifice fly in the seventh, but Prickett and second baseman Megan Fitzgerald recorded outs to seal it.

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.