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Greensburg Salem softball hopes to maintain success in future

Paul Schofield
| Saturday, June 23, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Greensburg Salem's Kelly Hutchinson looks for a time-out as Knoch's Bethany Hay hustles for a tag during the softball game at Gateway High School on Wednesday May 16, 2012.
Erica Hilliard  |  Valley News Dispatch
Greensburg Salem's Kelly Hutchinson looks for a time-out as Knoch's Bethany Hay hustles for a tag during the softball game at Gateway High School on Wednesday May 16, 2012. Erica Hilliard | Valley News Dispatch
Greensburg Salem's Alyssa Mellinger and Sydney Bacha celebrate their win against Knoch after the softball game at Gateway High School on Wednesday May 16, 2012.
Erica Hilliard  |  Valley News Dispatch
Greensburg Salem's Alyssa Mellinger and Sydney Bacha celebrate their win against Knoch after the softball game at Gateway High School on Wednesday May 16, 2012. Erica Hilliard | Valley News Dispatch

It was quite a season for the Greensburg Salem softball team.

The Golden Lions went to a place that no other Greensburg Salem team has gone — the quarterfinals of the PIAA Class AAA playoffs.

Veteran coach Jody Morgan would like to make it an annual trip.

“We'll be back,” Morgan said after a 4-1 loss to Montour on June 8. “That's what I keep saying. These girls learned a lot and many are back.”

The Golden Lions (17-4) won the Section 4-AAA title and advanced to the WPIAL semifinals before losing a heartbreaker to Elizabeth Forward. But they bounced back to defeat Belle Vernon, 1-0, in the third-place consolation to qualify for the PIAA playoffs.

Greensburg Salem, which rolled to a 16-0 victory against Carrick in the opening round of the state playoffs, was 4-2 in the playoffs.

All of the success this season has Morgan excited about the future.

“We had a wonderful season,” Morgan said. “We had our opportunities, but they (Montour) were able to stop our rally.

“I'm not upset about losing to a team like Montour. The players know how much fun it was getting to this point, and I think they'll do it again next year.”

Morgan returns a veteran squad, led by pitcher Jayne Oberdorf and catcher Taylor Mehan. Oberdorf had an ERA under 1.00, while Mehan pounded seven home runs, including two grand slams.

Others back are shortstop Claire Oberdorf, second baseman Kellie Hutchinson, third baseman Melissa Wagner, designated player Madison Hantz and first baseman Sydney Bacha, who replaced injured senior Megan Sanberg late in the season.

Morgan said she must find replacements for center fielder Alyssa Mellinger, left fielder Alex Garsteck, who had the second highest batting average in the playoffs, and outfielder Sara Stiffey.

“This is the best team I've ever had,” Morgan said. “I know they'll work hard and try to be even better next year. They want to go further next season.”

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at pschofield@tribweb.com or 724-853-2109.

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