Kittanning resumes softball game today
CALIFORNIA — Hallie Jack belted the ball over the head of the Waynesburg right fielder with two outs in the top of the second inning on Wednesday.
The rain was falling, and Kittanning’s designated hitter slipped on her way to second base. Jack barely made it to the bag safely, and as soon as the play ended, the umpire delayed the game.
More than 90 minutes later, the umpires and coaches for both teams decided to resume the WPIAL Class AAA first-round softball game at 3 p.m. today at California (Pa.) University’s Lilly Field.
“It was about a two-hour-and-15-minute drive, so yeah, it was frustrating we couldn’t get the game in,” Kittanning coach Keith Shaffer said. “But, that’s spring sports. You have to prepare for anything.”
Neither team scored yesterday. Carly Ochs singled in the first with two outs for Kittanning, but she was left stranded. Waynesburg had runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the first, but Liz Lambert struck out Kaylie Barger to get out of the jam.
Waynesburg starting pitcher Lauren Minor faced seven batters and had three strikeouts.
“We knew she had a good changeup, and we knew she was a quality pitcher,” Shaffer said of Minor.
To prepare for Minor, the Wildcats had former Elderton standout Shauna Walker pitch to them in practice. Walker is a pitcher for Slippery Rock University.
“I think Shauna helped us out,” Shaffer said.
Szymanski to start for Sabers
When Ford City faces Shady Side Academy in the first round of the WPIAL Class AA baseball playoffs at 6 p.m. today at Highlands, Sabers senior Luke Szymanski will get the start.
Szymanski was 6-2 during the regular season with 32 strikeouts and a 2.00 ERA. Szymanski, who also is Ford City’s cleanup hitter, has walked just six.
“I feel confident when he’s on the mound,” Ford City coach Larry Cujas said. “He keeps us in the ball games.”
Szymanski didn’t play football last fall in order to concentrate on baseball. Cujas said he thinks the move paid off for Szymanski.
“He wasn’t tired coming into the season, and he was injury free,” he said.
Sabers well rested
When Ford City takes the field tonight at Highlands, it will be the Sabers’ first game in eight days.
Cujas said his team is well rested and ready to play.
“We’ve just been keeping them focused,” he said.
Tonight’s game will be played under the lights. The Sabers’ only other night game this season was a 6-5 loss to Freeport on May 5.