VENETIA — The Frazier softball team might’ve had visions of prom dancing in their heads as they took the field on May 18 at Peterswood Park.
But, once the Lady Commodores snapped out of those visions, they turned on the offense and, coupled with a few Jefferson-Morgan miscues, hustled off the field for prom prep with a 12-2 victory in the WPIAL Class A quarterfinals.
Frazier (13-0) advanced to the semifinals against Carmichaels. The Lady Mikes (13-0) defeated Leechburg, 13-3, in six innings.
“Listen, we have a prom. I think they came in not 100 percent,” said Frazier coach Don Hartman. “They pressured our defense (in the first inning). We forgot about the prom and got to business.
“It’s been a week and a half since we had a game.”
The Lady Rockets (9-8) came out firing in the first inning.
Ava Wood singled to opened the game and Kayla Larkin followed with a single.
Payton Farabee popped out to second base, but Addie Larkin singled to load the bases.
Winning pitcher Madison Bednar wiggled out of the bases-loaded situation with a pop out to shortstop and an infield ground out.
“It was frustrating not to get at least one across. It’s a different game if we do,” said Jefferson-Morgan coach Rich Rush.
Kayla Larkin stranded a pair of runners in the bottom of the inning with the help of her defense.
Jensyn Hartman opened the inning with a sharply hit double. Bednar walked. Delaney Warnick slapped a grounder to shortstop Karlee Crockard, who quickly threw to third for the out on Hartman.
The runners were stranded with an infield pop fly and an infield ground out.
After a scoreless second inning, Jefferson-Morgan came through with the first run.
Wood started the rally with a walk and moved to third when Addie Larkin’s two out single skipped away from the outfielder, allowing both runners to advance a base.
Kaylee Crockard came through with an RBI single.
The run seemed to waken the previously-dormant Frazier bats with four sharp hits in the bottom of the inning.
Warnick had a run-scoring single and Grace Vaughn followed with a sacrifice fly. A mishandled fly ball cost the Lady Rockets two more runs as Frazier moved out to a 4-1 lead.
Three hits and two errors in the fourth inning allowed Frazier to increase the lead to 8-1. Warnick and Emi Bednar had run-scoring singles.
Jayanna Citerno doubled with one out in the fifth inning. Jensyn Hartman followed with a single and Citerno scored on an ill-fated attempt to throw out Hartman at first.
“We gave up too many extra bases,” said Rush. “They hit the ball hard. The second, third time around they started to put the bat on the ball.”
Jefferson-Morgan benefited from a Frazier miscue in the top of the sixth inning.
Jenna Cyr doubled and kept chugging around the bases to third. The throw was in time, but the ball was not handled cleanly as Cyr slid in for a triple.
She scored on Jillian Katruska’s ground out.
The Lady Commodores invoked the mercy rule with three runs in the bottom of the inning on four hits and another error. The first scored on Warnick’s home run over the left-center fence.
“At this point, it’s win or move on, and we did,” said Don Hartman. “We qualified for states and moved into the semifinals.”
“We played well. This is the best game we played all year,” said Rush. “We’re not there yet.”
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