Hot-hitting DuBois ousts Latrobe
It was one of those games for the Latrobe softball team Thursday in the PIAA Class AAAA quarterfinal at Slippery Rock.
Nothing seemed to go their way early and unfortunately for the Wildcats. The high they felt Monday after beating WPIAL champion Shaler became a low at the hands of District 9 champion DuBois, fresh of an upset victory over 2013 state champion Canon-McMillan.
DuBois (19-3) scored four runs in the first inning and coasted to a 9-5 victory against Latrobe. DuBois advances to the semifinals Monday against Souderton at a time and site to be determined.
The Beavers belted 13 hits off four Latrobe pitchers, knocking starter Meredith Carr out of the game in the first inning. Rachelle Kruzelak's two-run double ended Carr's day.
“That was a fantastic team win,” DuBois first-year coach Rick McClelland said about Monday's win. “The girls were so excited; there was no doubt that propelled us to this one.
“The girls came out of the box ready to roll. That was the difference in the game. It was nice to have that lead. It's a different game if you don't start like that.”
Latrobe got back-to-back singles by Maddy Stein and Jenna Raccor to open the second inning, but failed to score. Stein was called out at home on a controversial play at the plate.
“I felt there was obstruction,” Latrobe coach Alexa Bryson said. “I didn't feel Maddy had a chance to get to the plate because I felt the catcher had the plate blocked before she got the ball and had a play to make.”
DuBois tacked on a run in the second inning and added three more to take an 8-0 lead after three.
Bryson used four pitchers trying to break up DuBois' momentum.
“We had to do something,” Bryson said. “We had to change it up on them. It was a do-or-die game.”
Latrobe pitchers allowed five walks.
“We tell them you can give up big hits or big walks,” Bryson said. “But you can't give up both. They come back to bite you.
“They're a good team. I didn't think we had a letdown after beating Shaler. They came out strong like we did against Shaler. They got us on our heels and that's part of the game.”
Latrobe strung together six hits in the sixth and cut the deficit to 8-4. Ashley Perillo, Jenna Adams, Stein and Reilly McCracken drove in runs.
DuBois added a run in the sixth before Latrobe threatened to have another big inning in the seventh.
Lexie Zoppetti reached on an error, and Shelby Noel collected her third double of the game. Zoppetti scored on Perillo's sacrifice fly before winning pitcher Rachael Henry settled down to end the threat.
“What was important is that we threatened and put some runs up on the board,” Bryson said. “Although we didn't come out with the win, we still had the same heart and character we had all season.”
Raegan Hanna was 3 for 3 with two RBIs for DuBois. Every DuBois starter had a hit.
“Latrobe is a good hitting team,” McClelland said. “They proved that at the end of the game. You're not going to shut them down the whole game, so it was important to score first.”