Monday, May 20, 2013

Softball extras from today

Got back a little bit ago — long enough to enjoy a hearty meal of warm peanut butter and jelly, bananas, tortilla chips and a protein bar, clearly the dinner of champions — from the WPIAL Class AAAA softball quarterfinals at California University's Lilley Field.

In short, Peters Township and Canon-McMillan both won, 1-0 and 6-0.

But there was so much more to both of these games.

Canon-McMillan was the top-seeded team in Class AAAA and received a first-round bye, which meant the Big Macs last played on May 8, a 12-day layoff. Head coach Michele Moeller, understandably, worried how her team would handle the break.

"I was really concerned about the layoff, but it actually worked to our benefit because the first two scrimmages we played, boy, did we not look good," Moeller said. "We all kind of realized what we had to work on."

Whatever those things were, of course, that's a distant memory. Canon-McMillan was very impressive, hitting two home runs, getting a superb outing from Alayna Astuto and playing great team defense.

The two homers — by Yaszmin Kotar and Tara Fowler — came after the Big Macs actually stopped trying to hit them, Moeller said. (Canon-Mac managed two hits and no runs through the first four innings.)

"I knew if we could just start hitting through it, we'd be OK," Moeller said. "If we could just start hitting some gaps instead of trying to put it over the fence — and I actually think the ones that went over, they were done trying to put it over the fence."

In the first game I covered, Peters Township got an infield single from Carly Konopka to score a run in the first, and Kellyn Perich made it stand up with an outstanding pitching performance.

Konopka on her hit, which dropped into shallow center: "I thought it was going to be caught. I was terrified. I was just hoping that it would fall and that we would be able to score some runs off of it."

The Indians, as I wrote about for Tuesday's edition, ended "the curse." Which means they actually won at Lilley Field after losing playoff games there each of the past four seasons.

I asked Peters Township coach Bob Bowers, who's a first-year coach, whether he was the reason Peters Township was finally able to win at Cal.

"That's what they were telling me," Bowers said, laughing. "I heard they haven't been successful on this field. I'm not superstitious. Just give me a field to play on, and I'm fine."

No comments:

Post a Comment