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2021-2022 Game Summaries

Tigers Fall to Pennsbury in PIAA Quarterfinals

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The North Allegheny softball team dropped a 10-2 decision to Pennsbury in the PIAA Class 6A quarterfinals on Thursday afternoon at Messiah University in Mechanicsburg. In the first ever meeting between the two programs, the District 1 runners-up broke open a tight game with a five-run fifth inning to advance the state semifinals for the second consecutive season.

Pennsbury got off on the right foot in the second inning when sophomore Presley Foote drove in the game’s first run with an RBI single and a 1-0 lead. Foote followed by stealing two bases and scored on a throwing error for a 2-0 advantage.

In the third inning, the Falcons increased their lead to 3-0 when Sam Raub singled home Colgate commit Rowan Mulholland.

The Tigers got back into the game in the bottom of the third thanks to two-out single by freshman McKenna Rowlands and a two-run homer by senior Alaina Whipkey to trim the deficit to 3-2. The majestic home run over the leftfield fence was Whipkey’s eighth of the season and 18th of her career at North Allegheny. The Cal-U commit also had a sterling day defensively at shortstop, throwing out a runner at home plate in the first inning and assisting on a 6-3 double play later in the game. For her all-around efforts, Whipkey was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.

While the Whipkey home run pulled NA back into the game, the momentum was short-lived as Pennsbury answered back with a run in the top of the fourth on an RBI single by Foote and broke the game open with a five-run fifth inning for a 9-2 lead. The crooked number in the fifth inning was highlighted by a three-run inside-the-park home run by sophomore Ava Storlazzi. Pennsbury tacked on one more run in the seventh inning on an RBI double by Taylor Askey to bring the score its eventual final, 10-2.

Franklin & Marshall University commit, Ainsley McClure, tossed a complete game with seven strikeouts and no walks, allowing only two runs. North Allegheny sophomore Anne Melle went 4.1 innings and was saddled with the loss. Freshman Sammy Plotsko pitched 2.1 innings of relief and allowed just one run with one strikeout and no walks.

Pennsbury improves to 24-2 on the season and advances to the PIAA semifinals to face Seneca Valley on Monday. North Allegheny concludes its season with a 14-11 record. Congratulations to head coach Morgan Vescovi and the entire Tigers softball team for a memorable playoff run and season.

Box Score - Softball vs. Pennsbury - 06/09/2022

Score by Innings1234567RHE
Pennsbury021150110131
North Allegheny0020000252
WP - Ainsley McClure LP - Anne Melle (11-7)

NA Rallies For 6-4 Win At Mifflin County in PIAA 1st Round

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North Allegheny rallied from a 3-0 deficit for a dramatic 6-4 win at Mifflin County in the opening round of the PIAA Class 6A playoffs on Monday afternoon. It was the first win in the state playoffs for the Tigers since a 1-0 triumph against McDowell in the 2015 PIAA first round.

The District 6 champions, appearing in the state playoffs for the sixth time in the last nine years, struck first with an RBI single by Alexis O’Brien in the bottom of the second inning for a 1-0 lead. The host Huskies added a run in the second inning thanks to an RBI double by Payton McClure and increased the lead to 3-0 courtesy of an RBI groundout by Jaylee Bodtorf in the bottom of the fourth.

Mifflin County starter Madison Wolfgang was erratic with five walks and three hit batsmen, but managed to pitch her way out of danger, leaving seven runners stranded in the first three innings. However, that erratic nature finally came back to haunt Wolfgang in the fifth inning when McKenna Rowlands opened the frame on a hit by pitch. An out later, sophomore Anne Melle doubled and junior Annalyn Isaacs followed with an RBI groundout to get North Allegheny on the scoreboard trailing, 3-1. With two outs, senior Alaina Whipkey belted an RBI double to score Melle and the Tigers cut the deficit to 3-2.

The score remained 3-2 heading into the seventh inning with the Tigers’ down to their final three outs. North Allegheny answered the bell in the final frame and loaded the bases with nobody out. Senior Sydni Junker came through for a clutch two-run single to give North Allegheny a 4-3 lead. The Tigers added on to the lead on a sacrifice fly RBI by Mayson Brokos and junior Meghan McDonough tacked on another run with an RBI double to give the Tigers a 6-3 advantage. McDonough reached base four times in the game and finished 2-for-3 with two stolen bases, two hit by pitches and an RBI. Melle went 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

On a warm day coupled with an extremely dry infield at Mifflin County, the front of the pitcher’s circle wore down creating a large hole on the landing spot for Melle by the seventh inning. The NA hurler managed to retire the first batter in the inning but permitted a walk, a hit batsmen, and another walk to load the bases. Not unfamiliar with pitching in a critical spot in relief in the postseason, freshman Sammy Plotsko entered the game. Mifflin County power hitter Dakota Hershberger drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to cut the NA lead to 6-4, but also accounted for the inning’s second out. Following a base hit by Riley Hine that loaded the bases again, Plotsko buckled down and induced a game-ending popup off the bat of Sophie McCurdy to secure a 6-4 victory for the Tigers.

Melle pitched 6.1 innings to earn the victory, improving to 11-6 on the season. Plotsko earned her second save of the playoffs by recording the final two outs. Wolfgang suffered the loss, permitting six runs in a complete game effort.

Junker, who finished 2-for-4 with two RBI, and Plotsko were named the Wright Automotive Co-Players of the Game.

North Allegheny improves to 14-10 on the season, while Mifflin County’s season ends with an 11-10 record. The Tigers advance to the PIAA quarterfinals to face Pennsbury on Thursday at a site and time to be determined. The game will be broadcast live by the North Allegheny Sports Network.

Box Score - Softball vs. Mifflin County - 06/06/2022

Score by Innings1234567RHE
North Allegheny0000204690
Mifflin County0111001490
WP - Anne Melle (11-6) LP - Madison Wolfgang SV-Sammy Plotsko (2)

NA Falls In WPIAL Championship to Seneca Valley

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Appearing in the WPIAL Class 6A championship for the second time in the last three seasons, the North Allegheny softball team dropped a 9-5 decision to the Seneca Valley Raiders on Wednesday afternoon at California University of Pennsylvania’s Lilley Field. The fourth-seeded Raiders won their first WPIAL title since 1999 and third crown overall.

The seventh-seeded Tigers struck first in the second inning and opened the frame when junior Annalyn Isaacs led off with a walk. On Sydney Junker’s sacrifice bunt, Isaacs headed toward third base where Seneca Valley’s Hayley Walter uncorked a wild throw, allowing Isaacs to race home for a 1-0 lead.

Seneca Valley answered quickly in the bottom of the second when freshman Lexie Hames hit a two-run homer, her 14th of the season, to give the Raiders a 2-1 lead.

The seesaw nature of the game continued in the top of the third as North Allegheny regained the lead on a two-run single by Reagan Deitrick that scored McKenna Rowlands and Alaina Whipkey for a 3-2 advantage. Deitrick was 2-for-2 on the day with a pair of singles and two walks, earning Wright Automotive Player of the Game honors.

Seneca Valley vaulted back in the front in the bottom of the third on a three-run homer by Maddie Gross, her 14th of the year, giving the Raiders a 5-3 lead. The Raiders tacked on three more runs in the third inning on a two-run double by Bella Gross and an RBI single courtesy of Lina Chardella for an 8-3 lead.

North Allegheny chipped away at the deficit with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth. Isaacs drove in one run, her 15th of the season, on an RBI single that brought home Caitlin Logan. Junker added another run with an RBI single of her own, scoring Anne Melle to trim the score to 8-5, Raiders.

Seneca Valley added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth courtesy of a single from Kara Pasquale to bring the score to its eventual final, 9-5.

Hames earned the win for Seneca Valley with a complete game effort, allowing five runs (two earned) with six strikeouts and four walks. Melle (10-6) took the loss for NA in 2.1 innings of work. Freshman Sammy Plotsko pitched well in 3.2 innings of relief, permitting only one run with two strikeouts and a pair of walks.

North Allegheny falls to 13-10 on the season, while Seneca Valley improves to 13-6. The Tigers advance to the PIAA playoffs next week and will take on District 6 champion Mifflin County in the opening round of the state tournament on Monday at a site and time to be determined.

Box Score - Softball vs. Seneca Valley - 06/01/2022

Score by Innings1234567RHE
North Allegheny0120200581
Seneca Valley026010X9123
WP - Lexie Hames LP - Anne Melle (10-6)

NA Humbles Pine-Richland, 5-1, to Advance To WPIAL Championship

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Sophomore Anne Melle drove in three runs and tossed a complete game three-hitter to help propel North Allegheny to a 5-1 victory over section rival Pine-Richland in the WPIAL Class 6A semifinals on Wednesday evening at Mars High School. Matching up against Boston College commit Gabriella Aughton, Melle outdueled her pitching opponent and limited the third-seeded Rams to just one unearned run for her 10th win of the season. Melle also belted a two-run homer off of Aughton and was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game by the North Allegheny Sports Network.

The seventh-seeded Tigers immediately got to work in the top of the first inning and loaded the bases on back-to-back singles from Meghan McDonough and McKenna Rowlands and a walk by Alaina Whipkey. Aughton uncorked a wild pitch that brought home a hustling McDonough to give North Allegheny a 1-0 lead. An out later, Melle drove in her first run of the night with a sacrifice fly to score Rowlands from third base for a 2-0 advantage.

North Allegheny celebrates as Anne Melle hits a two-run homer in the third inning.

With Aughton reeling in the early going, the Tigers continued to pounce in the top of the third. With two outs and McDonough at third, senior Reagan Deitrick hammered an RBI double to deep left for a 3-0 North Allegheny lead. Melle followed the Deitrick double with a line-drive opposite field home run over the right field fence to bring home two more runs and the NA lead swelled to 5-0. The home run was Melle’s second of the season and increased her RBI total to 14 on the campaign. It was also North Allegheny’s fourth home run of the playoffs, collectively.

Following the Melle long ball, Aughton returned to form, and at one point, retired nine batters in a row. However, the Rams could muster very little against Melle and scored their only run on an RBI ground out by Illy Aggelou in the sixth that cut the NA lead to 5-1.

Melle closed out the win in the seventh, with the help of a superb diving catch by sophomore Carlyn Vaupel for the inning’s second out, as the Tigers punched their ticket to the WPIAL championship game with a 5-1 triumph.

Melle improves to 10-5 on the season with the victory. Aughton also threw a complete game but suffered the loss, allowing five runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts and one walk.

North Allegheny leaps to 13-9 on the season, while Pine-Richland’s season ends with a 12-5 mark. The Tigers will take on Seneca Valley in the WPIAL Class 6A championship on Wednesday, June 1 at California University of Pennsylvania’s Lilly Field. The game will be broadcast live by the North Allegheny Sports Network.

Box Score - Softball vs. Pine-Richland - 05/25/2022

Score by Innings1234567RHE
North Allegheny2030000580
Pine-Richland0000010131
WP - Anne Melle (10-5) LP - Gabriella Aughton

NA Outlasts Mt. Lebanon In WPIAL Quarterfinals, 12-6

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The North Allegheny softball team punched its ticket to the WPIAL Class 6A semifinals for the second time in the last three seasons with a 12-6 win over Mt. Lebanon on a rain-soaked Wednesday evening at Montour High School. The seventh-seeded Tigers played through the rain and upset the second-seeded Blue Devils on the strength of a 13-hit attack.

The game began under cloudy skies and was scoreless until junior catcher Deirdre Flaherty hit a solo home run, her 12th of the season, to give Mt. Lebanon a 1-0 lead. The Tigers tied the game in the top of the third when Rachel Rusnica stole third and scored on a throwing error, knotting the contest at 1-1.

With rain becoming more of a factor, Mt. Lebanon jumped back in front in the bottom of the third inning on RBI singles from Flaherty and Olivia Bickiso to grab a 3-1 lead. As would be the trend throughout the game, for each punch from the Blue Devils the Tigers answered with a counterpunch.

After receiving three innings of effective pitching from starter Clara Hartnett, the Blue Devils turned to reliever Gabrielle Boone in the top of the fourth inning. Senior Alaina Whipkey greeted Boone unkindly with a leadoff home run, her seventh of the season, over the left field fence to cut the deficit to 3-2. Sophomore Carlyn Vaupel added a two-out RBI single later in the inning to tie the score at 3-3.

Mt. Lebanon took the lead back in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI double by Iris Barone for a 4-3 advantage. However, it would be the last time the Blue Devils held the lead.

North Allegheny continued to bombard Boone in the top of the fifth and tied the game, 4-4, on a RBI single by sophomore Anne Melle. Not done yet, the Tigers took the lead on an RBI single by Annalyn Isaacs and increased the advantage to 7-4 thanks to a two-out, two-run double by senior Sydni Junker.

In the bottom of the fifth, North Allegheny starter Anne Melle had been pitching well but had trouble with her grip under the steady rainfall and walked two batters and uncorked two wild pitches. The second wild pitch allowed Brooke Boehmer to score from third, cutting the NA lead to 7-5. With the Blue Devils inching closer, North Allegheny opted for freshman reliever Sammy Plotsko who struck out two consecutive batters and induced a groundout to end the inning and the Tigers’ two-run lead remained intact.

After Boone struggled and allowed six runs in two innings, Mt. Lebanon brought back Hartnett to the pitching circle for the top of the sixth. The Tigers exploded for five runs against Hartnett in the sixth and put the game out of reach. The five-run inning was highlighted by a bases loaded walk by Reagan Deitrick, an RBI single by Isaacs, a bases loaded walk by Junker and a two-run double by Vaupel for a 12-5 lead. Isaacs was 3-for-4 on the day with two RBI and two runs scored. Junker finished 2-for-3 with two doubles, a walk and three RBI. Vaupel went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI.

Plotsko pitched the remainder of the game in relief for North Allegheny and yielded only one run in three innings of work with five strikeouts and one walk. Plotsko picked up the first save of her career and earned Wright Automotive Player of the Game honors. Melle earned the victory to improve to 9-5 on the year and struck out six batters in four innings of work. Boone suffered the loss for the Blue Devils.

North Allegheny improves to 12-9 on the season, while Mt. Lebanon’s season ends with a 12-5 mark. The Tigers advance to the WPIAL semifinals to face section rival Pine-Richland on Wednesday at a site and time to be determined.

Box Score - Softball vs. Mt. Lebanon - 05/18/2022

Score by Innings1234567RHE
North Allegheny012450012130
Mt. Lebanon0121010692
WP - Anne Melle (9-5) LP - Gabrielle Boone SV - Sammy Plotsko (1)