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Connellsville softball eliminated from playoff contention after 10-0 loss to Norwin | TribLIVE.com
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Connellsville softball eliminated from playoff contention after 10-0 loss to Norwin

Tribune-Review
| Tuesday, April 28, 2015 10:03 p.m
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Lori Padilla | For Trib Total Media
Connellsville's Kelsi Burkholder awaits a throw while Norwin's Johnna Karas slides into third base during a Section 1-AAAA game on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at Connellsville High School.
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Lori Padilla | For Trib Total Media
Norwin's Megan Miller slides back to second while Connellsville's Brooke Miller gloves a throw during a Section 1-AAAA game on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at Connellsville High School.
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Lori Padilla | For Trib Total Media
Norwin third baseman Erin Linhart lunges for the ball during a Section 1-AAAA game on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at Connellsville High School.
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Lori Padilla | For Trib Total Media
Connellsville's Joelle Rosky dives back to third base while Norwin's Christiana Skrabak makes a grab during a Section 1-AAAA game on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at Connellsville High School.

It’s been a difficult season for the Connellsville softball team, and the Falcons’ very slim hopes of qualifying for the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs were officially dashed thanks to a 10-0 home loss to Norwin on Tuesday.

But despite the setback, first-year coach Felicia Domasky made sure her team knows there is plenty to play for in the season’s remaining games.

“What I told them (after the game) is that we have to make it our goal to show other teams that we will compete,” Domasky said. “We have to be more consistent and we have to let other teams know that we will be coming for them next year.”

While the score was not indicative of a competitive game, the Falcons (5-7, 3-7) weren’t without opportunities to cash in runs and turn the momentum.

Connellsville managed six hits against Norwin pitcher Hannah O’Block, but couldn’t come up with a key hit. The Falcons stranded seven runners, including three in the fourth inning.

“We had some hits and a lot of people on base,” Domasky said. “But we couldn’t string our hits together, and that hurt.”

Conversely, Norwin hit in bunches. The Knights (7-3, 7-3) collected 11 hits against Connellsville’s Emily Keslar, including four in a decisive five-run fourth inning.

The Knights took a 1-0 lead in the second when O’Block tripled and scored on a single by Johnna Karas. Then in the third, the lead swelled to 3-0 as Erin Linhart scored on a wild pitch before Chrstiana Skrabak delivered an RBI single.

It was the start of a big game for Skrabak. She highlighted Norwin’s five-run fourth with a two-run homer. Maddy Wensel also came up big with a two-run double and Linhart lifted a sacrifice fly to help the Knights build an 8-0 advantage.

A sacrifice fly by Rae Sleith in the fifth and a run-scoring single by Shae Gillham in the seventh provided the final touches on Norwin’s offensive outburst.

“We had a tough loss to Albert Gallatin on Monday, so this was a good rebound for us,” Norwin coach Brian Mesich said.

With 10 runs on her side, O’Block pitched out of a few jams and maintained the shutout through six innings before giving way to Danielle Chorba, who pitched a scoreless seventh.

With the win, Norwin moves into a second-place tie with Penn-Trafford in the Section 1-AAAA standings.

“Right now, we have two (section) games left and we have a big game against Latrobe (Thursday),” Mesich said.

“Hopefully, we bring the bats like we did (Tuesday).”

Jackie Cramer and Emily Keslar each had two hits for the Falcons, and Megan Butler saved a couple of runs by making two great catches in center field. Otherwise, there weren’t many positives for Connellsville.

“They hit the ball, and we just couldn’t keep up,” Domasky said.

Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. Reach him at jblack@tribweb.com.

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