West Allegheny earns Taylor-made victory over Albert Gallatin
Two-time WPIAL Class 5A champion West Allegheny was dressed to the nines in a 10-3 victory over Albert Gallatin on Thursday.
Now they are Taylor-made for another trip to the state softball semifinals.
Leadoff hitter Taylor Goldstrohm had three hits and three RBIs, and No. 2 hitter Taylor Cummings added two hits, including a home run, as the Indians beat the Colonials at Peterswood Park.
“Our No. 2 batter, Taylor (Cummings), had a bad day at the plate the other day against Donegal, and she came back today,” West Allegheny coach Mindi McFate said. “That’s how sports are; you can’t worry about what you did last time, and she had a really great day for us at the plate today.”
Cummings got the ball rolling for West Allegheny, rolling down the hill beyond the left-center field fence with a solo homer in the top of the first.
Goldstrohm notched the first of her three runs batted in with a run-producing double in the second that scored Megan Pollinger to make it 2-0.
West Allegheny added to its lead without a hit in the third when Savannah Lewis walked, was sacrificed to second, went to third on an illegal pitch by Albert Gallatin starter Maddy Hershberger and scored on a sacrifice fly by Pollinger.
West A’s lead increased to 5-0 in the fourth on a run-scoring triple by Goldstrohm and an RBI groundout by Cummings.
Albert Gallatin had plenty of chances against pitcher Ashley Seamon, but could not get a break or a big hit.
The Colonials had the leadoff hitter reach base in each of the first three innings but stranded seven runners in the first five innings and bounced or lined into a pair of inning-ending double plays.
“Our defense had an amazing day today,” McFate said. “Those are inning killers, momentum killers when you think you have something going and all of a sudden, the inning is over.”
West Allegheny put the game away with five runs in the sixth inning on a sac fly by Lewis, run-scoring singles by Seamon and Goldstrohm and another Albert Gallatin error.
The Colonials did scratch home a run in the sixth on a Hannah Turtzer groundout that scored Hershberger, who had led off with a double. Then RBI singles by Ally Bezjak and Hershberger finished the scoring in the two-run seventh for Albert Gallatin.
It was a tough day for the Colonials who outhit the Indians, 12-8, but defensive mistakes with four errors, eight walks and a hit batter ended the best season in Albert Gallatin (14-5) softball history.
Seamon scattered 12 hits and walked one batter in the victory.
“Ashley is a competitor,” McFate said. “She’s not an overpowering pitcher, but she keeps teams off balance and hits her spots well.”
West Allegheny (22-1) returns to the PIAA semifinals Monday against a familiar foe, Thomas Jefferson. The Indians defeated the Jaguars in the WPIAL title game.
Don Rebel is a TribLive High School Sports Network broadcaster and staff writer. Reach him at email@example.com.