Tuesday, April 22, 2014

West Greene's Bennington sets career strikeout mark; other notes from Tuesday's games

Bailey Bennington can add herself to West Greene’s record books after the sophomore starting pitcher struck out 13 batters Tuesday in a loss to Monessen. Bennington reached the 300 career strikeouts mark and is also the Pioneers’ best hitter.
Monessen found a way around that by walking Bennington in all four of her plate appearances. The strategy worked as the Greyhounds led West Greene scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning. It is a devastating loss for the Pioneers, who are battling for the final playoff spot in arguably the most competitive section in Class A.
With games against Carmichaels, Frazier and Jefferson-Morgan remaining on the schedule, the Pioneers will likely have to beat two of those three teams to have a shot at the WPIAL postseason.

·         South Fayette’s softball team moved into second place in Section 2-AAA Tuesday with a 13-7 win over Montour. The Lions are a half-game behind first-place Trinity. The Spartans have received a ton of publicity this season after receiving a few transfers from the now-defunct Sto-Rox softball program.

A few writers chose them as the favorite to win the section, but it seems to be a two-team race between the Hillers and South Fayette. While Trinity’s offense is tough to match, the Lions have something the Hillers do not – a shutdown starting pitcher. Junior Ashley Iagnemma displayed why the Lions are a contender when she struck out 17 against Montour and went 5-for-5 at the plate with six RBI.

The Hillers do have two future Division I players, but with the Lions hitting the way they are and with Iagnemma on the mound, it will make for an interesting story to watch as the second half of the season moves forward. 

·         Canon-McMillan’s baseball team took a step in the right direction with a 17-2 victory over Brashear Tuesday. The Big Macs found themselves in must-win situation against the Bulls and responded admirably.

Senior Teagan Piechnick hit a three-run home run in Tuesday’s win and junior Jared Beach added a solo home run. Canon-McMillan has only lost two section games, but with the ultra-competitive nature of Section 5-AAAA, the slightest slip can cost a team a playoff spot.

The Big Macs will face Upper St. Clair Thursday and the Panthers will likely be missing a few key players. Upper St. Clair and Bethel Park were engaged in a benches-clearing brawl Tuesday, which will ultimately lead to suspensions of a few players. It will give Canon-McMillan another opportunity to climb back into the race for a section title
·         Peters Township also helped Canon-McMillan out by losing Mt.Lebanon, 9-2. The Indians and Big Macs battled through nine innings in their last meeting, which makes their May 2 very intriguing. With the landscape of Section 5-AAAA, that game could hold serious playoff implications.
·         Washington fell to Brownsville Tuesday and with Chartiers-Houston grabbing a win, the Bucs have taken control of first place in Section 2-AA. The two teams face each other next Monday with a section title potentially on the line.




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