W. PA. Kennedy Catholic slips past Sharon
The Eagles won 1-0 despite a no-hit game by Tiger pitcher Lindsey Churlick.
By BILL ALBRIGHT
VINDICATOR SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
HERMITAGE -- One run isn't a whole lot of offense, but that's all Kennedy Catholic needed on Thursday.
Scoring the game's only run in the bottom of the first, the Eagles held on for a 1-0 victory over Mercer County Athletic Conference rival Sharon, despite a no-hitter by the Tigers' Lindsey Churlick.
Game's only run
The Eagles (4-1) scored their run with one out, when Molly Shelestak walked, advanced to third on back-to-back wild pitches and scored on Traci DeGarmo's grounder to third.
Other than that, the only other Kennedy baserunners allowed by Churlick were Heather Bianco, with a one-out walk in the second, and Shelestak, who reached on a Sharon (2-4) error in the sixth.
"That [the second wild pitch] was a little my fault," said Sharon coach Tim Pratt. "I called a pitch she normally doesn't throw that much, but at the time, it was right for it to be called. She just really started pitching in November, and she has done an outstanding job for us this year. We have a long way to go, but she is going to be there for us."
DeGarmo was masterful on the mound. The right-hander retired the first 11 hitters she faced before Niki Andrusky worked a walk. She had a no-hitter going until Monica Esenwein beat out a bunt single with two outs in the top of the seventh.
"She [DeGarmo) pitched a good game and our defense played well," said Kennedy Catholic coach Joel Girosky. "It was a case of two aces out there going at it and they both pitched well. Hopefully we can get back out there tomorrow and try to put a few more runs up on the board."
Pratt liked what he saw from his young and inexperienced team.
"I am very happy with the way they battled," he said. "We had a sophomore on the mound, a freshman catcher and only two seniors on the field, so with that considered, I thought we played very well."
Pratt, who coached DeGarmo last season while at Kennedy, agreed.
"When Traci is at 80 percent, she is good enough to beat most teams," said Pratt. "We came here hoping to put the ball on the ground because I knew they were young at the corners, but we just couldn't get the bats going."
The Tigers threatened in the sixth when Crystal Zupp reached on an error and Stacey Schell was hit by a pitch. Gina Fragle moved up the runners with a sacrifice bunt, but Monsman and Andrusky both popped out to end the threat.
"We had our opportunities," said Pratt. "We just couldn't get that runner in from third base."
Vasconi is just a freshman, but played well, Girosky said.
"Maria made a great play on that pop fly," he said. "She is a good athlete and did a good job back there defensively.
"We had great pitching and played great defense and that is the name of the game in fastpitch softball."