What happens when you combine small ball with a couple blasts?
A lopsided verdict.
Beginning its quest to repeat as Distirct 10 Class A champion, Saegertown used its wheels and a three-run home run from McKenna Morian for an 11-1 victory over Reynolds on Saturday afternoon in semifinal action at Penn State Behrend.
The Lady Panthers (16-3) will play Iroquois on Monday at noon at Penn State Behrend for the D-10 championship.
SHS coach Mark McKissock is looking forward to the showdown.
“Iroquois is a quality program,” he said. “We try to imitate them. We have scrimmaged them a few times and they are good. We have a lot of respect for their program.”
As for the win over Reynolds, McKissock was extremely pleased with his team’s effort.
“For the most part, we played a clean game ... which I’m very happy about,” he said. “We made the defensive plays when we had to and got some clutch hits.”
McKissock plays aggressive ball and Reynolds got an early dosage of it.
Without the benefit of a hit, Saegertown jumped out to 3-0 first-inning lead as the Panthers capitalized on two walks and a Raiders’ error. Arianna Hanley and Jaricka Simmerman scored on passed balls and the hustling Lexi Palmer crossed home plate when Reynolds committed a throwing error.
“Our goal is always to score first,” said McKissock.
After the small-ball strategy, the Lady Panthers went long ball in the second and sixth innings.
Freshman Becca Siple, McKissock’s No. 9 stick, belted a run-scoring triple in the second and later scored on Hanley’s fielder’s choice to increase the Lady Panthers’ lead to 5-1.
In the sixth, Palmer — after hearing McKissock’s encouraging words, “drive one” — drilled a lead-off triple and Morian followed with her aforementioned three-run bomb. Hanley capped off Saegertown’s six-run inning with a two-run single.
Speaking of Hanley, the Panthers’ ace hurler stymied the Raiders with her assortment of pitches — scattering seven hits while striking out three and walking one.
The crafty Hanley pitched herself out of three jams.
After yielding one run in the first inning and with runners on second and third, Hanley defused the Raiders’ rally by retiring Alaura Straka on a groundout.
In the fourth, Straka and Madison Rhoades lined consecutive one-out singles, but were stranded as Hanley retired Maggie Ringer on a grounder and Danielle Babcock on a line drive to shortstop Siple.
Hanley was in a real pressure cooker in the fifth — bases loaded and none out.
After Hailey Gearhart popped out, Hanley retired Kristen Shearer on a fielder’s choice as Siple gunned out Paige Baker at the plate. Hanley took care of the third out by striking out the next Raiders’ batter on three pitches.
Next up: Iroquois.
SHS lead-off batter Rachel DiBartolomeo was two-for-three and Hanley and Morian each drove in three runs.
Palmer, McKissock’s second baseman, made the defensive play of the game with a diving stop on Gearhart’s hard-hit grounder in the third inning.
What happens when you combine small ball with a couple blasts?
Breese lone local to reach Class AA finals
A busy and entertaining Day 2 of wrestling at the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championships in Hershey came and went, as did the dreams of a gold medal for a handful of local wrestlers.
The one local wrestler that doesn’t apply to is Lakeview’s Sam Breese, who had the Giant Center crowd in aw during his two matches Friday. The two bouts equated to two wins, which means a shot a defending his championship.
Lee, Wheeling survive Day 2 in Hershey
Ehrin Lee’s smile following his quarterfinal win Friday at the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championships told the whole story.
Lee has had his eyes on the state championships all season long, and just getting there wasn’t enough. The Titusville 160-pounder has wrestled like one of the best grapplers in the state during the tournament thus far, and his 3-2 overtime win over Northampton’s Bobby Fehr proved that if nothing else, he’s one of the four best wrestlers in his weight class.
Cards can’t slow Vincentian
The starters on the Cochranton boys basketball team probably slept like logs on Friday night.
They left every ounce on the hardwood of Meadville High School’s House of Thrills, going up against the high-intensity attack of Vincentian Academy in the opening round of the PIAA Class A playoffs.
McLane rolls past Neshannock
Sarah Jay has made a habit of presenting her players with in depth scouting reports prior to each and every game.
But the report she handed them on Neshannock, the Lady Lancers’ first round opponent in the PIAA Class AA playoffs, was nothing like they had seen before.
Class AA first round filled with highs, lows for locals
It was a day full of highs and lows for the 11 local Class AA wrestlers on the opening day of the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championships in Hershey.
For some, it was business as usual, and for others, the atmosphere of a crowded Giant Center proved to be a little much. By the time the preliminary and Round 1 consolation rounds were finished, eight wrestlers are still alive, with state wrestling experience proving to be invaluable Thursday morning.
Lee, Wheeling stay in hunt for Class AAA state title
A win is a win, and when it comes to the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championships, as long as your score reads higher in the end, it really doesn’t matter how you get there.
During the preliminary round of the tournament Thursday afternoon at the Giant Center in Hershey, the six local qualifiers certainly had mixed results, but in the end, two wrestlers are still in the championship bracket, exactly where they want to be.
Cards look to slow down Vincentian
“The best way to sum it up is,” said Cochranton head coach Scott McCurdy, “it’s like they’re down five and there are 30 seconds to go. Only, they play like that for the entire 32 minutes.”
McCurdy is talking about the Vincentian Academy boys basketball team, which employs a style that’s ... well ... calling it up-tempo just doesn’t seem to suffice.
Lancers get tough draw in opener
One may think that by winning a District 10 title and getting paired up with the seventh seed out of District 7 for the first round of the state playoffs, that said champion would have a pretty choice matchup.
Yet, that’s not how things shook out for the General McLane girls basketball team. The D-10 champion Lady Lancers drew a challenging foe in Neshannock.
’Dogs rout Bison to reach title game
Having defeated Fort LeBoeuf by a grand total of 24-0 in their previous three meetings, the tension wasn’t exactly palpable for the Meadville Bulldogs hockey team as it squared off with the Bison in a Lakeshore Hockey League semfinal game on Thursday night at Erie Insurance Arena.
Calvary wins opener
The Calvary Baptist girls basketball team won its opening game of the National Christian School Athletic Association Tournament on Thursday at Family First Sports Park.
- More Sports Headlines
- Breese lone local to reach Class AA finals