Senior Day Sweep Of Bethel Park Hands Black Hawks First Losses of Season
By Brandon Rossi
The North Allegheny slow-pitch softball team upended Bethel Park in Sunday’s WPISL double header, 17-12 in game one and 16-4 in game two thanks to a combination of timely hitting and stellar pitching. The wins not only move the Tigers to 7-3 on the season but also marks the first losses of the season for the visiting Black Hawks.
In game one, the Tigers had to battle back early on. North Allegheny found itself trailing 10-3 after two and a half innings but would outscore the Black Hawks 14-2 for the remainder of the game. The key was a six-spot put up in the bottom of the third, where seven straight Tigers got two out base knocks to cut the gap to just one run.
The Tigers took the lead in the bottom of the fourth. A sacrifice fly by senior Evelyn Wiethorn brought home classmate Megan Quinlan, who singled and galloped to third after a pair of BP errors. The tiebreaking RBI was laced for a double by senior Hannah Bennett, part of a 4-for-4 day with two doubles which earned her Wright Automotive Player of the Game honors.
North Allegheny got some insurance in the fifth inning fittingly with five more runs. Five Tigers had RBI singles to push the lead to 17-11. The Black Hawks got one back in the sixth but nothing more for the rest of the game.
All 11 Tigers collected at least one hit and scored at least once. To go along with Bennett’s 4-for-4 stat line, senior Sydney Besket also went 3-for-4 with three straight hits. Quinlan scored three times and sophomore Reilly Spitz drove in three runs.
In game two, the Tigers jumped out to an early 8-0 lead in the first. They were buoyed by a three-run blast to left center field by Wiethorn to get the hitting parade started. It was part of seven straight base hits for the Tigers and eight straight batters to score runs in the big first inning.
However, North Allegheny was not contempt to go into cruise control for the rest of the game. It added runs in every inning for game two. The Tigers added one run in the second and fourth innings, two in the third and four more in the fifth. They were paced by junior Helen Katyal, who went 3-for-3, reaching base all four times and scoring twice. Wiethorn had four runs driven in while Spitz added three more RBI’s.
The defense was outstanding in game two. Senior pitcher Emily Yanchak limited a potent Bethel Park offense that averaged 21 runs a game to just four runs in the second game, 16 between both games of the twin bill. Yanchak did not allow a run until the final inning of game two which turned out to be an inside the park home run. Her stellar performance in the circle gave her Wright Automotive Player of the Game honors.
Now just one game out of first place, the Tigers enter have an important double header with one of those teams tied for first, the Shaler Titans. Those games take place on Sunday, October 10 at Marshall Middle School with game one set to begin at 2:00.