Meadville Tribune

Sports

June 4, 2013

PIAA SOFTBALL PLAYOFFS: Rough outing sends Panthers to early exit

HARBORCREEK TOWNSHIP — When the postseason rolls, the only teams that can finish the year off with a win are those left hoisting state championship trophies.

In softball, that’s four teams in Pennsylvania; four out of a total of 647 teams.

That is the message Saegertown head coach Mark McKissock left his team with on Monday afternoon following a heartbreaking 13-9 loss to Carmichaels in the opening round of the PIAA Class A state playoffs at Penn State Behrend.

“It stinks losing,” Saegertown senior pitcher Arianna Hanley said. “But like coach said, ‘Every team ends with a loss unless you’re state champs.’ I’m disappointed but I’m so proud of my girls because they didn’t give up.”

“We gave it our all,” fellow senior Courtney Lilly said. “We gave it our all.”

Saegertown had aspirations of being that team in the state title game at Penn State University on June 14 and toting the large gold trophy home at the end. But it just wasn’t the Panthers’ day yesterday.

The Panthers committed seven errors against the Mighty Mikes, who also collected 13 base hits. Saegertown had two errors in the first, third and fifth innings and one in the sixth. Carmichaels scored in each of those innings, including five each in the third and fifth frames.

It was the third inning that was pivotal.

Carmichaels took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Caroline Cree got things started for the Mighty Mikes with a one-out single. Morgan Berardi followed with a groundout to third base. The Panthers then threw to second to try to get Cree who had rounded the base a little too aggressively.

The throw was off the mark and Cree took off for third. The throw to third was high and over the glove of McKenna Morian allowing Cree to score.

Saegertown, which had seven errors in a 20-19 win over McMinn County (Tenn.) during their spring trip to Florida on March 29, didn’t stay down for long. The Panthers got that run back and one in the bottom half of the inning thanks to a two-run single by Morian, scoring Rachel DiBartolomeo and Hanley.

The Panthers added three more in the bottom of the second to take a 5-1 lead.

“Any time it’s the bottom of the second and you’re up 5-1 in a game like this, you’re thinking things are looking pretty good,” McKissock said. “But we had some miscues and things got out of hand and hitting is contagious.”

Carmichaels led off the third inning with three straight singles followed by an error and a hit batsman before the Panthers were able to record their first out. At that point the Mikes had pulled to within two (5-3).

Carmichaels tied it on a two-run error and took a 6-5 lead on an RBI groundout by Danielle McClellan. Saeger-town never led again.

“We just weren’t at the top of our game,” McKissock said. “And it was a bad day to not be at the top of our game because they hit the ball hard.”

The Mighty Mikes added five more runs in the fifth inning on an RBI double by Lindsey Osborne and two-run singles by Emma Lowry and Erica Burns.

The bright spot for the Panthers, though, was they refused to give up.

Saegertown came to the plate in the sixth inning trailing 13-5.

Junior Tori Eckart was set to lead off the inning. As she made her way to the plate, senior catcher Rachel DiBartolomeo, her voice wavering, encouraged Eckart.

“Get it started, Tori,” DiBartolomeo yelled from the dugout. “I believe in you. I believe in you.”

Eckart was hit by a pitch to give the Panthers a leadoff runner. Becca Siple followed with a single and Di-Bartolomeo came through with a drive to the fence in center field for a triple, scoring Eckart and Siple to pull the Panthers to within six (13-7).

DiBartolomeo scored on a groundout by Hanley and Lexi Palmer added another run when her drive to the warning track was dropped by the Mikes’ centerfielder and the throw to third got away, allowing her to score.

But that was it for the Panthers.

“You see errors, you make errors yourself,” Hanley said. “It’s hard to watch and I’m sure it’s hard for the fans to watch as well. But I think in the sixth inning we got past it and started hitting the ball like we should. It just came a little too late.”

The Panthers end their season at 17-4. And the careers of one of the most successful senior classes in program history also comes to a close.

“This is our third year with them (as a coaching staff),” McKissock said. “They’ve been successful at pretty much everything they have done as a group. This coaching staff just kind of stumbled into that.

“They are a great group of kids and we are going to miss them big time. It’s a special group without a doubt.”

The senior class hopes that it has left a positive and lasting impression on the underclassmen.

“Stay a family,” Lilly said.

“I told them I would be here next year to watch them kick butt,” Hanley said.

“I’m sure I’ll tag along,” Lilly added.

“They are a great group of girls,”Hanley said. “They all have great personalities. They are great people. And love softball. I know that is going to take them far.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • MLB replay Selig calls replay start ‘remarkable’

    Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says the sport’s new replay system is working well despite a few problems during its first two weeks.
    While baseball began video review late in the 2008 season, it was limited to potential home runs and boundary calls. The new system that began March 30 vastly expands the types of plays that managers and umpires can ask to be reviewed at a replay center in New York.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cardinals roll to a sweep of Eagles

    The match only lasted three games, but Logan Herzberger still found the time to post a double-double, notching 14 kills and 18 digs while the Cochranton volleyball team swept Conneaut 25-22, 25-16, 25-18 during Region 1 action on Tuesday.

    April 15, 2014

  • Brendon Barclay Unbeaten Panthers need five games to top Bulldogs

    Through the first four games, there was no telling which team was undefeated and which team had only one win entering Monday night’s Region 1 volleyball clash between Meadville and Saegertown.
    By the fifth and deciding game, the cream rose to the top.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ogwumike goes No. 1

    It was a busy draft night for the Connecticut Sun.
    Minutes after taking Chiney Ogwumike with the top pick in the WNBA draft Monday night, the Sun made a blockbuster deal to trade 2012 MVP Tina Charles to the New York Liberty.

    April 14, 2014

  • Watson pulls away at Augusta to win second green jacket

    One of golf’s most exciting players squeezed most of the drama out of the Masters on Sunday. That’s just fine with Bubba Watson.
    All he cared about was slipping into that green jacket.
    Instead of hitting a 40-yard hook out of a forest of Georgia pines — the signature shot in his playoff victory two years ago — the final act Sunday at Augusta National took place on the 18th green. Watson had a three-shot lead and consulted with his caddie on a 15-foot birdie putt.

    April 14, 2014

  • Harvick survives shootout for win at Darlington

    Kevin Harvick used one of the few weekend missteps to pull out his first Darlington victory.
    Harvick was among several veteran drivers fighting for the Nationwide Series win Friday night when rookie Chase Elliott used fresher tires and a strong machine to move from the back of the pack to first place over the final two laps.

    April 14, 2014

  • Spezza lifts Senators to SO win over Penguins

    Jason Spezza scored in the shootout to help the Ottawa Senators beat the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday night and finish the season on a five-game winning streak.
    The teams were tied 2-2 after two periods and didn’t score in the third or overtime.

    April 14, 2014

  • Brewers sweep Pirates, win ninth straight

    Kyle Lohse was eager to top his Milwaukee teammates.
    He sure came close.
    Lohse came within an out of a complete game, and the Brewers won their ninth straight with a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

    April 13, 2014

  • Ramirez lifts ChiSox over Indians

    Alexei Ramirez came up to the plate, ready to swing.
    Ramirez hit a two-run homer on the first pitch he saw from John Axford in the ninth inning, rallying the Chicago White Sox over the Cleveland Indians 4-3 on a rainy Sunday.

    April 13, 2014

  • Masters Watson Watson surges to Masters lead following birdie spree

    Bubba Watson won the Masters two years ago with his brand of “Bubba golf,” producing shots of raw skill and wild imagination. His strategy now is to keep it simple, and he is halfway to another green jacket.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

Sports Scoreboard
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Business Marquee
AP Video
Poll

Is simplifying the U.S. tax code the best way to boost the economy? The code today is 73,608 pages and it grows every year. Which one of these suggestions seems like the best solution:

Make a progressive tax rate that’s a simple 6 percent for everyone.
End tax breaks for the “1 percent.”
It’s not as simple as one change — many things have to happen.
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks