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Neshannock shut out in PIAA Class A softball final | TribLIVE.com
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Neshannock shut out in PIAA Class A softball final

Craig Smith
| Friday, June 14, 2013 6:09 p.m
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Canon-McMillan's Maddie Engel (left) is mobbed by teammates after recording the final out of the PIAA Class AAAA softball championship game against Neshaminy Friday, June 14, 2013, at Penn State University.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Canon-McMillan catcher Giorgiana Zeremnko tags out Neshaminy's Jen Walker at home plate during the 10th inning of the PIAA Class AAAA softball championship game Friday, June 14, 2013, at Penn State University.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Canon-McMillan's Linda Rush rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the 12th inning of the PIAA Class AAAA softball championship game Friday, June 14, 2013, at Penn State University.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Canon-McMillan's Linda Rush watches her two-run home run during the 12th inning of the PIAA Class AAAA softball championship game against Neshaminy Friday, June 14, 2013, at Penn State University.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Canon-McMillan pitcher Alayna Astuto delivers to the plate against Neshaminy during the PIAA Class AAAA softball championship game Friday, June 14, 2013, at Penn State University.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Canon-McMillan's Linda Rush hits a two-run home run in the 12th inning against Neshaminy in the PIAA Class AAAA softball championship game Friday in University Park.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Canon-McMillan's Linda Rush leaps onto home plate after hitting a two-run home run during the 12th inning of the PIAA Class AAAA softball championship game against Neshaminy Friday, June 14, 2013, at Penn State University.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Canon-McMillan coach Michele Moeller hugs pitcher Alayna Astuto after the Big Macs defeated Neshaminy in the PIAA Class AAAA softball championship game Friday, June 14, 2013, at Penn State University.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Riverside players watch the final out in their 1-0 loss to Brandywine Heights during the PIAA Class AA softball championship game Friday, June 14, 2013, at Penn State University.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Riverside catcher Nicole Manfield (left) and pitcher Kirsten Wilson, both seniors, react after receiving their runner-up medals following the Panthers' 1-0 loss to Brandywine Heights in the PIAA Class AA softball championship game Friday, June 14, 2013, at Penn State University.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Riverside head coach Pam McCarty consoles senior pitcher Kirsten Wilson after the Panthers' 1-0 loss to Brandywine Heights in the PIAA Class AA softball championship game Friday, June 14, 2013, at Penn State University.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Riverside's Logan Snyder triples during the PIAA Class AA softball championship game against Brandywine Heights Friday, June 14, 2013, at Penn State University. Snyder was stranded at third base, as Riverside lost, 1-0.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Riverside pitcher Kirsten Wilson delivers to the plate against Brandywine Heights during the PIAA Class AA softball championship game Friday, June 14, 2013, at Penn State University.
Beaver loses PIAA Class AA title game on walk-off
UNIVERSITY PARK — Neshannock softball coach Tracy Kimmel had a pretty simple explanation for his team`s 13-0 loss against District 11 champion Williams Valley in...

UNIVERSITY PARK — Neshannock softball coach Tracy Kimmel had a pretty simple explanation for his team’s 13-0 loss against District 11 champion Williams Valley in the PIAA Class A championship game Friday at Penn State’s Beard Field at Nittany Lion Softball Park.

“The better team won today,” Kimmel said. “There’s no question about it.”

In a game shortened to six innings by the 10-run mercy rule, the WPIAL champion Lancers (21-3) got the worst of it in the field where pitchers Madison Shaffer and Cassidy Burrelli yielded nine hits and 10 walks, six of which drove in Vikings runs with the bases loaded.

Shaffer, who threw two no-hitters and a perfect game earlier this season, managed to throw three scoreless frames to start the game but walked in two runs and gave up an RBI single in the fourth.

The rout was on from there, and Shaffer was especially disappointed with her control.

“It was off, definitely,” Shaffer said. “I wasn’t happy with my performance.”

Offensively, the Lancers were stymied by Vikings pitcher Cassidy Pinchorski.

The junior held Neshannock hitless until the fifth inning and allowed just three hits and a walk while striking out two in a shutout.

The Lancers entered the game with five batters hitting .500 or better, but Williams Valley coach Lee Reiser said Pinchorski’s changeup kept them off balance for most of the day and thought her curveball was working well, too.

He also said pitching with a lead from the fourth inning helped her effectiveness.

But Kimmel said the pressure on his players after falling behind in the fourth might have gotten to them as well.

“When you get down three runs in a game like this, the pressure’s going to start to mount,” Kimmel said. “The bats tighten up. That’s just a fact.”

And while the coach didn’t think the big stage of a state title game affected his squad — eight starters returned from last season’s PIAA Class AA championship team — he hoped the loss would be a good learning experience for Shaffer, a sophomore pitching in her first such contest.

That, however, was little consolation for Shaffer, who played primarily third base on last year’s team.

She said there were a lot of similarities in the preparation from the 2012 title-game victory and this year’s runner-up finish.

The Lancers defeated Warrior Run, 4-3, last season to claim the PIAA Class AA title and were trying to win a state crown in two different classifications in consecutive seasons after dropping to Class A in the previous offseason.

“We felt ready for both,” Shaffer said.

In the end, though, the preparation didn’t translate as the Williams Valley players walked off the field with its first PIAA title.

And a year after his team did the same thing, Kimmel tried to take the loss in stride, saying he was happy for his players to advance as far as they did.

“It was their day,” Kimmel said. “That’s all you can say.”

Adam Bittner is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at abittner@tribweb.com.

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