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Butler County's great daily newspaper

Raiders rally past rival NA, 3-2

Seneca Vallley pitcher Claire Zimmerman tossed a complete game Tuesday, allowinmg only four hits in the Raiders' 3-2 softball victory over North Allegheny.
Zimmerman handcuffs Tigers as SV softball tightens section

JACKSON TWP — Seneca Valley's softball team appeared to be a bit snake-bitten Tuesday afternoon.

Section 2-6A leader North Allegheny had taken a 2-0 lead on a two-out solo home run by Ashley Adams in the first inning and two-out back-to-back doubles by Rachel Martindale and Brooke Serbin in the third.

In the meantime, the Raiders had two runners thrown out at third base in the second inning, lined into a double play in the fourth and had collected eight hits without a run at one point.

Then Seneca Valley bit back.

“The girls never gave up. They kept on battling,” Seneca Valley coach George Trew said.

The Raiders (10--3, 7-3) tied the game in the fifth and added the go-ahead run in the sixth for a come-from-behind 3-2 win at Raider Field.

Seneca Valley pulled within a game of section-leading North Allegheny and Norwin. Hempfield is tied for third with the Raiders.

“This is a huge win for us,” Trew said. “I still think North Allegheny is the best team in 6A. To beat them means a lot to this team.”

No. 9 hitter Julia Ehrman beat out an infield single to begin the SV fifth inning. Kearson Wagner did likewise. Maura Pasquale bunted both runners up and reached base herself when the Tigers' first baseman dropped the throw.

As the first baseman retrieved the ball, Ehrman raced home and Wagner scooted to third. Wagner scored the tying run on Mack Baker's grounder to second.

A leadoff single by Serbin and two Seneca Valley errors enabled North Allegheny (10-3, 8-2) to load the bases with one out in the sixth. SV pitcher Claire Zimmerman got Chloe Szczepaniak to hit a short fly ball to left, then got Bella Janowiak to fly out to left as well.

“Just don't allow any runs to cross there,” Zimmerman said of her mind-set with the bases jammed. “Get a fly ball or a ground ball ... Our fielders will make the plays.”

North Allegheny coach Morgan Vescovi admitted that “we needed to cash in there. But their pitcher did a great job.

“She's a quality pitcher and she threw a nice game. I felt like we should have gotten a few more hits off her, though.”

Zimmerman tossed a four-hitter. The bottom six batters in North Allegheny's lineup went hitless in 17 at-bats.

Madison Hans — frustrated twice earlier in the game — doubled to left to begin the Raiders' sixth. She stole third and scored the go-ahead run on Wagner's sacrifice fly to center.

Hans had doubled with one out in the second, but was thrown out at third as she tried for a triple and over-slid the bag. After Olivia Madey singled to lead off the SV fourth, Hans drilled a low liner up the middle that pitcher Adams snagged and turned into a double play.

“It felt so good to score that (winning) run,” Hans said. “It was about time something went my way today.

“We'll take a win over North Allegheny anytime, any way. They beat us pretty good the first time we played them.”

The Tigers defeated Seneca Valley 6-2 on April 11. North Allegheny has lost three of four games while the Raiders have won three of their last four.

“This was good for us, coming from behind like that and making it happen,” Zimmerman said. “This tightens up the standings.”

Trew agreed.

“We hit sacrifice flies, bunted runners over, moved runners on ground balls and our defense came through when we needed it,” Trew said. “This was a good team win.”

North Allegheny 101 000 0 — 2 4 1

Seneca Valley 000 021 x — 3 9 2

W: Claire Zimmerman 7IP (2K, 1BB). L: Ashley Adams 6IP (5K, 4BB).

North Allegheny (10-3, 8-2): Rachel Martindale 2B, Brooke Serbbin 2B 1B RBI, Ashley Adams HR

Seneca Valley (10-3, 7-3): Kearson Wagner 2-1B RBI, Mack Baker 1B RBI, Karli Hacker 1B, Olivia Madey 1B, Madison Hans 2-2B, Julia Ehrman 2-1B

Thursday: Seneca Valley at North Hills