South Fayette wins marathon game
(Photo: South Fayette celebrates after beating Knoch, 6-4, in nine innings in the first round of the WPIAL Class 4A softball playoffs at North Allegheny. Stephanie Strasburg/Post-Gazette)
South Fayette softball coach Olesia Stasko had a hunch her squad's WPIAL Class 4A first-round playoff game against Knoch would come down to the final at-bats. What she didn't know was just how many at-bats it would take.
In a back-and-forth battle that lasted nine innings, the Lions pulled off the upset and stunned Knoch, 6-4, at North Allegheny.
"It was a pretty big win," Stasko said. "We knew that we would get a pretty tough test and we did."
In the top of the ninth, freshman Ashley Micholas doubled home Sara Jubas to give South Fayette (12-7) the lead. Delaney Ging provided an insurance run by driving home Micholas with a single.
The Lions' Lauren Barnett lined a two-run triple in the sixth that tied the score, 4-4.
Knoch (16-3) was held scoreless after the fifth inning.
More Class 4A
Central Valley 4, Derry 2: A three-run, third-inning homer courtesy of junior Calista Taormina gave the Warriors (11-5) a lead they would not relinquish en route to a first-round victory at Fox Chapel. Derry (5-10) plated two runs in the first, but was blanked the rest of the way by winning pitcher Jordan Uhing, who struck out five.
Elizabeth Forward 14, Beaver 1: Elizabeth Forward (9-11) had three home runs and pounded Beaver (10-7) at Baldwin to move on to the second round. Taylor Ludwick had a grand slam, while Jess Cartia and Lauren Matthews each smashed three-run homers.
Latrobe 2, Mt. Lebanon 1: Kiley Myers went the distance, including two extra innings, while striking out 16 to lead Latrobe (11-7) past Mt. Lebanon (8-7) in the first round at Gateway. Junior Karley Kovach doubled in Angela DiOrio in the bottom of the ninth for the winning run.
North Allegheny 7, Fox Chapel 6: Brooke Serbin really earned the win. The North Allegheny hurler was the winning pitcher, largely because she drove in Ashley Borg in the bottom of the seventh to give the Tigers (12-7) a first-round victory against Fox Chapel (8-11) at Hampton.
Shaler 6, Norwin 1: Lyndsey Lakatos was a one-girl wrecking crew, as she smacked three hits, including two doubles, and drove in four runs for the Titans (11-7) in their triumph against Norwin (8-9) in the first round at Gateway.
Freeport 6, Steel Valley 4: Claire Crytzer provided the late-game heroics by cranking a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to lift Freeport (11-4) to a win against Steel Valley (10-8) in the first round at Fox Chapel.
Burrell 5, McGuffey 4: With the score tied, 4-4, in the bottom of the seventh, Brittany Dunn lifted a short pop fly that landed between second base and right field to score Delaney Markle for the winning run for the Buccaneers (8-7) in their first-round victory against McGuffey (7-12) at North Allegheny.