NA Storms Back to Beat Pine-Richland, 10-6
The North Allegheny softball team rallied from an early 4-0 deficit with a 16-hit attack and defeated the visiting Pine-Richland Rams on Tuesday night, 10-6. Five players posted multi-hit performances to lift the Tigers to their sixth win in the last seven games.
In what turned out to be a slugfest, Pine-Richland initiated the long ball in the first inning with back-to-back home runs by Calle Henne and Izzy Sulesky. Henne’s home run was a three-run shot and Sulesky’s solo homer gave the Rams a 4-0 lead four batters into the contest.
Despite a rocky start for the Tigers, sophomore pitcher Sammy Plotsko entered the game in relief and limited the Rams to just two more hits and two runs (one earned) the rest of the game. Plotsko struck out 11 batters, including five in a row in the second and third innings, to earn her sixth win of the season.
Junior Anne Melle started the game in the pitcher’s circle, and despite a rocky start in the top of the first, the Keiser University commit bounced back quickly in the bottom of the inning. After singles by McKenna Rowlands and Meghan McDonough set the table, Melle feasted on a Sulesky pitch and drove it over the left field fence for a three-run homer, trimming the PR lead to 4-3.
The NA lineup continued to batter Rams’ pitching in the second inning. An RBI single by Rowlands scored Mayson Brokos to tie the game at 4-4. Plotsko and Reagan Sheets tacked on RBI singles of their own to pole vault the Tigers in front, 6-4. Sheets, who entered the day with a .500 average, went 4-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Melle clubbed her second home run of the day and fourth of the season with a solo bomb to straight away center to increase the NA lead to 7-4. Later in the inning, a pinch-hit RBI single by Julia Drazga ballooned the NA advantage to 8-4. On the day, Melle went 3-for-4 with the two long balls and four RBI’s to earn Wright Automotive Player of the Game honors.
Pine-Richland cut the score to 8-6, North Allegheny, in the top of fifth inning when Marissa DeLuca stroked a two-run homer, but it was as close as the visiting Rams would come. The Tigers tacked on two more insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth to solidify NA’s position. McDonough led off the inning with a triple and scored on an RBI single by Plotsko. Later in the frame, a sacrifice fly RBI by freshman Taylor Neese closed out the scoring in a 10-6 victory.
Among many great efforts on the day, McDonough finished with a 3-for-4 performance, three runs scored and a pair of dazzling catches in centerfield. Along with her winning effort in the pitcher’s circle, Plotsko also added a pair of hits and two RBI’s at the plate. Rowlands posted a two-hit day with two runs scored and an RBI.
Sulesky took the loss for Pine-Richland, surrendering six runs in two innings. DeLuca pitched in relief and allowed four runs on eight hits in four innings of work.
With the win, North Allegheny improves to 8-2 overall and 5-1 in Section 1-6A. Pine-Richland slips to 2-6 overall and 2-3 in the section. The Tigers will host Norwin on Wednesday night for another section battle. The game will be broadcast live by the North Allegheny Sports Network.
Box Score - Softball vs. Pine-Richland - 04/11/2023
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