PENNSYLVANIA SOFTBALL Grove City, Kennedy still alive
Both teams lost in district action, but advanced to state tournament play.
By BILL ALBRIGHT
MEADVILLE, Pa. -- There was good and bad news that came out of the District 10 playoffs for the Grove City and Kennedy Christian softball teams Wednesday.
On the negative side, neither team was able to win a district title, as Grove City was edged 4-3 by Corry in the Class AA bracket, while Kennedy was dealt a 4-0 shutout by Conneaut Valley in the Class A final.
However, on the positive side, both teams will advance to the state tournament that begins Monday. Sites and times will be announced.
For Grove City, it was simply a case of running out of time.
Battled back: Baffled by the offerings of Corry starter Jolene Daniels for the first five innings, the Lady Eagles picked on the deliveries of reliever Katie Clark and nearly pulled the game out.
"I told our kids that after the way we played yesterday against a good Warren team and then today, we played well against a team better than Warren, we showed we can play against the best of them because Corry is without a doubt the best [in District 10]," said Grove City coach Shawnee Denbow.
"Had we been able to advance the runners and maybe have scored some of the runs early in the game when we had some opportunities, we would have been the winners instead of them."
Trailing 4-0, the Eagles scored a single run in the top of the sixth when Jamie Cooney was hit by a pitch and Tony Reiber followed with a triple to left.
Then in the seventh, Grove City used a bunt single by Amber Churz, a RBI double to right by Kacey Gothe, a single by Cindy Reiber and some nifty base running by Shannon O'Neil and Kim Telesz to get to within one with the tying run on second and the go-ahead run on first.
But Daniels returned to the mound and the senior right-hander responded by putting out the fire.
Kennedy Christian left the bases loaded in the fourth inning.
"I am proud of the way these girls have battled all year," said Kennedy Christian coach Tim Pratt.
One bad inning: "We had one bad inning where we had two or three errors and that set the table for them [Conneaut Valley] to score. We had avoided that for the last 10 games during our winning streak, and that is all it took, one bad inning."
Grove City (19-2) will meet the champion from District 9 (either Brookville or St. Mary's) while Kennedy Christian (14-5) will tangle with the champion from District 7 (WPIAL).