Tigers Rally To Top Fighting Highlanders

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By: Jared Barton

The North Allegheny softball team battled back from a five-run deficit to beat Baldwin at home Saturday afternoon 10-8.

The Tigers sprinted to an early lead due to strong offense from the heart of the order. Senior Carlyn Vaupel hit a double and eventually came around to score. Junior Sammy Plotsko reached on an error and scored later in the inning on a wild pitch. Sophomore Taylor Neese walked and her courtesy runner freshman Leah Carlson scored following a single off the bat of sophomore Erin Fadgen. NA led 3-0 after one inning of play.

The Highlanders pulled themselves back in the game and eventually into the lead as the team batted around and plated seven runs in the top of the second inning. Senior pitcher Anne Melle was charged with the runs but did record two strikeouts before she gave up a third-inning solo homer via Madalyn Schumacher. Sammy Plotsko was called in to spell Melle.

With Baldwin leading 8-3, Plotsko took control from the circle, striking out seven batters in the final innings, including five K’s in a row between the fifth and six innings.

Baldwin Pitcher Anna Schumacher kept the Highlanders ahead and was only in the game for six of North Allegheny’s runs. The Tigers scored two runs in the fourth, as junior McKenna Rowlands reached on an error and scored later in the frame on a wild pitch. Vaupel then singled and later scored on a fielder’s choice for an 8-5 score.

A solo home run by senior Julia Drazga in the bottom of the fifth inning brought the Tigers within two runs. The tide changed for NA in the bottom of the sixth inning. Baldwin replaced Schumacher at the circle for freshman Melina DeFelice. A Vaupel solo homer started out a four-run frame. Sammy Plotsko walked and scored on an RBI double from Melle tying the game.  Melle later came around to score as well. Fadgen singled later and scored on the fielder’s choice hit by Drazga. A three-pitch top of the seventh from Plotsko clinched the 10-8 win for the Tigers. She took home Wright Automotive Player of the Game laurels for her pitching relief and clutch offense late. A special shutout to Vaupel who was four for four from the dish with the homer, a double and two singles.

With the win, North Allegheny improves to 5-3 both overall and in section play. The Tigers are back in action Monday evening at home against Butler at 5:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast live by the North Allegheny Sports Network.

Line Score - Softball vs. Baldwin - 04/20/2024

Score by Innings1234567RHE
North Allegheny300214X10133
WP - Sammy Plotsko (4-3) LP - Melina DeFelice