Nicholas Tolomeo profiles the Gateway softball team.
(Photo: Senior left-hander Kim Mignogna provides a veteran presence in the field for the Gators. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)
"His team's slow starts in games had first-year Gateway softball coach Andy Popajas worried; the way they closed games though, had him anything but concerned.
Gateway overcame slow starts to blast its first three opponents of the season, Penn Hills, Oakland Catholic and Allderdice. The three section wins allowed the Gators to vault to the top of the Class AAAA Section 2 standings. Losses to Plum and McKeesport last week dropped them to third in the section standings, however.
In those first three section victories, Gateway did not once reach the seventh inning, activating the 10-run mercy rule in all three wins.
"I was a little concerned, the bats didn't really roll in the early innings," Popajas said. "We seemed to struggle in the early innings and then all of a sudden we caught fire after the third inning and that was it. Things started happening.""