ShareThis Page
High School Sports

Big test looms for Deer Lakes softball

| Sunday, May 20, 2012, 12:30 a.m.
Southmoreland's Kelsey Kuhns attempts to tag Deer Lakes' Courtney Lubrick during the softball game at Gateway High School on Wednesday May 16, 2012.
Erica Hilliard  |  Valley News Dispatch
Southmoreland's Kelsey Kuhns attempts to tag Deer Lakes' Courtney Lubrick during the softball game at Gateway High School on Wednesday May 16, 2012. Erica Hilliard | Valley News Dispatch

At this point in the WPIAL postseason, it's common to face a team with considerable accomplishments.

That's the situation facing the Deer Lakes softball team as the Lancers (16-1) prepare for Monday's Class AA quarterfinal against Mohawk (13-7) at North Hills field.

Mohawk has been to the playoffs six of the past seven seasons, advancing to the semifinals in 2008 before losing to South Park. This year, the Warriors were third in Section 5-AA behind top-rated Neshannock and Riverside.

“They play a pretty competitive schedule,” Deer Lakes coach Craig Taliani said. “It helps to play these good teams, and they've become battle-tested.”

Mohawk is coming off a 5-2 victory against Burgettstown in the opening round. The Warriors trailed, 2-0, going into the sixth inning, when they tallied three unearned runs before adding two insurance tallies in the seventh. Rachel Miller had singles in each inning to pace the rally.

In its opener Wednesday, Deer Lakes jumped on Southmoreland by scoring three unearned runs with two outs in the first inning. The Lancers rolled to a 12-2 victory.

“We talk to the girls about recognizing these situations,” Taliani said. “It's a one-game season, and you have to capitalize. Then on defense, you can't give up extra outs.”

It was the ninth time this season that Deer Lakes scored in double figures.

“In three out of four practices, we do different types of hitting drills,” Taliani said. “We focus on batting and baserunning situations, then work solely on defense.”

Practice in warm weather could bring on drudgery, but that has not been the case for the Lancers.

“We practiced in the heat Friday, and we had our (junior-varsity players) with us practicing as baserunners against the varsity, and everybody kept their focus,” said Taliani, who's in his eighth season. “These girls are great to coach.”

Tomorrow's winner faces Neshannock in the semifinals, tentatively set for Wednesday.

George Guido is a freelance writer.

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.

click me