Sweet 16: McKeesport drops its first game of season to West Mifflin Friday
Written by: Jonathan Whaley
April 20, 2013
Tags: Katie Berry Kasey Dansak Vanessa Falce Jess Beitler Mai Gooden Dominique Clark
West Mifflin Lady Titans 0 – 1 – 0 -1 – 8 – 1 – 1 12 – 12 - 1
McKeesport Area Tigers 1 – 0 – 0 - 6 – 0 – 2 - 2 11 – 17 – 6
KATIE BARRY – MCKEESPORT AREA TIGERS – FRESHMEN - THIRD BASEMAN
KASEY DANSAK – MCKEESPORT AREA TIGERS – SENIOR – CATCHER
McKEESPORT – On a cold and rainy afternoon at McKeesport Area High School’s softball field the only remaining “Sweet 16” Softball Program member with an unblemished record the McKeesport Area Tigers (10-0, 7-0 Section 2-AAAA) fell from the ranks of WPIAL unbeaten's with a 12-11 defeat to the Class AAA West Mifflin Lady Titans (10-2, 7-2 Section 3-AAA).
Both the Tigers and the Lady Titans brought their hitting shoes with them on Friday. This was no surprise as the McKeesport Area Tigers came into this game having outscored their first 10 opponents by a margin of 90-12 while West Mifflin had outscored their first 12 foes this season by a margin of 98-35.
The Tigers broke out on top in the bottom of the first inning 1-0 after freshman shortstop Vanessa Falce hit a two out double to right center and junior pitcher Jess Beitler drove her home with an RBI single to right.
The Lady Titans tied the game in the second frame on a four pitch walk to designated player Paige Floire, a sacrifice by right fielder Chelsea Hess followed by a single just beyond first base by pitcher Crystal Cook to put runners at first and third. Left fielder Shannon Davis produced an RBI single to left to bring in Floire and tie the contest at 1-1.
West Mifflin took the lead 2-1 in the top of the fourth on one hit and a pair of Tigers infield errors.
McKeesport took the lead back when the Tigers put up a crooked number in their half of the fourth. 10 Tigers batted and they scored six runs on five hits and one error by Lady Titans third baseman Sydnei Zalice to take the lead at 7-2.
West Mifflin came right back in the top of the fifth to retake a lead that they would not relinquish. The Lady Titans hit the ball hard off of McKeesport Area’s normally solid pitcher Jess Beitler but her infield defense let her down in this game and particularly in this inning. West Mifflin tallied eight runs on five hits and three errors to go ahead 10-7.
The big blow for the Lady Titans in this inning was a three run home run over the left field fence by shortstop Marla Small. That quick response showed that the Lady Titans were not going to go down easy against the unbeaten Tigers.
West Mifflin added a single run in the sixth to increase their advantage to 11-7.
McKeesport scored a pair of runs in the sixth to cut their deficit to 11-9 and West Mifflin countered by adding a run in the top of the seventh to lead 12-9 heading into the bottom of the seventh.
That West Mifflin run in the top of the seventh inning would prove crucial because the Tigers kept competing right to the end.
With one out junior first baseman Mai Gooden singled to left. Leadoff hitter freshman left fielder Dominique Clark singled to center with Gooden advancing to third on the hit. Clark stole second base for the Tigers and McKeesport was in business with runners at second and third with one out.
Junior second baseman Courtney Patterson grounded out to third base for the second out with both runners holding their base. Falce then delivered a clutch two out two RBI single to right center to bring home Gooden and Clark to reduce the Tigers deficit to 12-11 with the tying run on first base.
Beitler, however, flied out to center field to end the game and the Tigers unbeaten streak was over at 10 games.
The “Sweet 16” Softball Program’s players-of-the-game is freshman third baseman Katie Barry and senior catcher Kasey Dansak.
Barry went 3-for-4 (all singles) and scored one run.
Dansak finished 1-for-4 with one RBI and continues to impress with her defense and strong throwing arm. Only one player has successfully stolen a base against Kasey this season and she has essentially taken the Tigers opponents running game away from them. Dansak will be continuing her education and softball career in the fall as she has committed to Penn-State McKeesport.
The Tigers dropped their first game of the season and their record is now 10-1 overall but they still are in the driver’s seat for winning the Section 2-AAAA title. McKeesport Area’s next game is a non-section matchup on Monday at home versus Elizabeth Forward at 4:00 p.m.
Thereafter, the Tigers close out their regular season playing 5 section games in their last seven contests including a big rematch versus the second place Plum Mustangs (6-1, 7-2 overall) next Saturday April 27, 2013 at Noon. McKeesport won their first contest against Plum this season 5-1 on April 13, 2013.
That will be the next “Sweet 16” Softball Program game broadcast for the Tigers.
West Mifflin 11-2 overall and 7-2 in Section 3-AAA returns home to face Yough next Thursday April 25, 2013 in a Section 3-AAA game at 4:00 p.m. The titans defeated Yough on the road earlier this season 3-1 on April 6, 2013.