A-K Valley campus clippings: Knoch grad earns MVP in PAC Tournament
Celia Knappenberger turned in an MVP performance to lead Saint Vincent to the Presidents’ Athletic Conference championship.
The freshman from Knoch threw 16 shutout innings Friday as the Bearcats won three consecutive games to claim the PAC title on their home field.
Knappenberger began the day by pitching a five-hit shutout in a 4-0 elimination-game win over Westminster, advancing the Bearcats to the championship round. She threw six shutout innings, striking out three, in a 7-0 victory over Thiel to force a winner-take-all championship game, where she blanked the Tomcats over the final three innings to get the save in a 7-4 victory.
Sophomore Shae Robson (Deer Lakes) earned a spot on the PAC All-Tournament team for the second consecutive year, going 4 for 9 with five RBIs on Friday. That included a four-RBI game in the first victory over Thiel, in which Robson hit both a double and triple.
Carlow: Sophomore Kasey Wolford (Burrell) had two hits, including a double, but the Celtics dropped both games to get eliminated from the River States Conference tournament.
Franciscan: Freshman Anna Swierczewski (St. Joseph) helped the Barons reach the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference championship game. In five games, Swierczewski hit 8 for 17 with a double, two RBIs and five runs. Franciscan lost 5-1 to Mt. Aloysius in the championship game Sunday.
Gannon: Juniors Maria Taliani (Deer Lakes) and Rachel Tanilli (Deer Lakes) put up big efforts to help the Golden Knights reach the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship game, where they fell to Lock Haven. Taliani went 8 for 24 with two home runs — including a grand slam in a win over Mansfield — a double and 11 RBIs in Gannon’s seven tournament games. Tanilli went 6 for 21 with a double, home run and three RBIs.
Mt. Aloysius: Freshmen Emily Cochran (Highlands) and Tawnya Holben (Fox Chapel) contributed to the Mounties’ second consecutive Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference championship. Cochran went 5 for 11 with a double and two RBIs in three victories. She also pitched three innings in the title-game victory over Franciscan on Sunday, allowing one run on four hits in a 5-1 win. Holben had a pinch-hit single in Mt. Aloysius’ 5-4, extra-inning win over Franciscan on Saturday, which propelled the Mounties to the championship game.
Penn State Behrend: Senior Katie Gozzard (Deer Lakes) went 5 for 13 with two doubles, a triple, two RBIs and two runs during the AMCC Tournament. The Lions fell to Franciscan in the final game before the championship round Sunday. Freshman Ashleigh Schmidt (Freeport) had two hits, including a double, and scored a run during the tournament.
Penn State New Kensington: Senior Brittney Wolford (Burrell) and sophomore Calle Zmenkowski (Fox Chapel) were named first-team All-Penn State University Athletic Conference. Wolford hit .338, second on the team, with 26 hits and 15 RBIs. Zmenkowski, a pitcher/shortstop, ranked fifth in the PSUAC with 10 doubles, seventh with a .425 batting average and 10th with 39 strikeouts at pitcher.
Point Park: Senior Tiffany Edwards (Deer Lakes) went 1 for 3, but the Pioneers fell 6-2 to IU Southeast in the consolation bracket final in the River States Conference Tournament, ending the team’s season. Edwards also pitched three innings in Point Park’s 8-3 to IU Southeast earlier in the tournament.
Thiel: Seniors Jess Kelley (Freeport) and Miranda Reesman (Leechburg) helped the Tomcats reach the PAC championship game. Kelley threw a shutout in a 3-0 win over St. Vincent on Thursday to advance Thiel to the championship round. She also earned the win in Thiel’s tournament opener, 2-1 over Westminster. Reesman went 3 for 7 combined in those games and was named to the all-tournament team.
Junior Lacey Cohen (Fox Chapel) led The Rock to the PSAC championship match, where the team fell 4-1 to Mercyhurst. Cohen, who was named PSAC Player of the Week earlier in the week, earned wins at singles and doubles in a semifinal victory over Bloomsburg and had another victory at doubles in the championship match.
Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Doug at 412-388-5830, [email protected] or via Twitter .