In early-season goings it was hit or miss for the Seneca Valley offense. The Raiders were shutout in their season opener at Moon, 2-0, and then lost a 13-1 decision at Hempfield. Sandwiched between those two games was an 11-1 romp at Mars. From there on out, the Seneca Valley offense got extremely consistent. It scored exactly 10 runs three consecutive games in wins over Norwin, Montour and North Hills. In non-section home games, Seneca Valley got past Norwin, 10-0, and Montour, 10-5, to set the stage for its Class 6A Section 3 schedule.
The 10-run barrage continued in section play when the Raiders traveled to McIntyre Elementary and blanked North Hills, 10-0. This week, in their biggest test of the season, Seneca Valley's bats cooled off a bit but it was able to deliver with defense, pitching and good old manufactured offense at home against Shaler.
The Raiders and No. 4-ranked Titans needed extra-innings, but in the ninth it was Mandy Magill coming around to score the winning run in walk-off fashion on a fielder's choice to give Seneca Valley a 4-3 win over Shaler. It was Magill's second run of the game. She was 3 for 5 at the plate. It was the first win for Seneca Valley when they did not score 10 runs.
The win over Shaler puts the Raiders (5-2, 2-0) in good positioning in what is sure to be a tight race in Section 3 with North Allegheny (2-1, 2-0), Pine-Richland (3-1, 1-1), North Hills (3-2, 1-1), Shaler (1-2, 0-2) and Butler (0-4, 0-2).
On Monday, Seneca Valley is set to host North Allegheny in a matchup of first-place, unbeaten teams in the section. The game will start at 4 p.m. at Seneca Valley.