Greensburg Salem ousted 1 game shy of PIAA championship
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MECHANICSBURG — Greensburg Salem's memorable softball season ended one game shy of the Golden Lions' dream.
Springfield-Delco, the District 1 runner-up, rallied for a 3-2 victory in a PIAA Class AAA semifinal at Messiah College on Monday to spoil Greensburg Salem's postseason run.
Nikki DePietro's RBI single in the top of the sixth inning scored pinch runner Tara Matteo to help Springfield-Delco (24-4) complete its rally.
Springfield-Delco took advantage of a misplayed fly ball and two walks to advance to Friday's title game against District 11 champion Bethlehem Catholic at Penn State.
“They got the clutch hits, and we didn't,” Greensburg Salem coach Jody Morgan said. “I can't sit here and say we had a bad season, because we obviously had a great season.
“We were one step away from where we all wanted to be and we didn't get there. We'll have to come back and try again next year.”
Morgan said the misplayed fly ball and two walks hurt.
“You have to make plays, and you can't give them free passes,” Morgan said.
Pitcher Melissa Wagner struck out four and allowed seven hits and two walks, but both scored.
Greensburg Salem (18-3), the WPIAL's third-place team, grabbed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning off SD starter Courtney DePietro when Kellie Hutchinson singled home Claire Oberdorf, and Maggie Kallock scored a batter later on a throwing error. Hutchinson was tagged out at home trying to score on the play.
Springfield-Delco took advantage of the misplayed fly ball that dropped in between center fielder Karly Mellinger and right fielder Rachael Gerstel for an RBI double by Katie Baumann in the fourth inning.
“That's part of the game,” Springfield-Delco coach Todd Odgers said of Greensburg Salem's mistakes. “I felt we gave them their two runs. To get that third out to end the inning was big and to get a run back the next inning, even if they did give it to us, put us right back into the game.”
Nikki DePietro walked and, scored on a single by Taylor Winkelman in the fifth to tie the score. Then in the sixth, Baumann drew a one-out walk and Matteo scored on Nikki DePietro's hit.
“We've had a lot of comeback wins this year, and this team never ever quits,” Odgers said. “I just felt we needed to continue to make their pitcher work. They believe in themselves because they know they're a good team.”
Greensburg Salem had a finalt shot in the bottom of the seventh when catcher Lauren McLaughlin, who had two hits, lofted a single to left.
Oberdorf walked, but Courtney Scarpato got Kallock to line out to shortstop Torey DePietro to end the game.
Mellinger had a double and single in the loss.
“I have great seniors, great leadership,” Morgan said. “These seniors have seen one WPIAL title, a semifinal in the states and a quarterfinal in the states. They've had four great years.
“It was a good season, I'm happy. I can't sit here and cry. I would have liked to been playing Friday, but these kids have been great.”
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.
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