TOWER CITY - Marian head coach Joe DeAngelo's biggest job entering Tuesday's District 11 Class A quarterfinal matchup against Williams Valley was making sure his team forgot about the loss to the Vikings by 11 runs in the regular season.
DeAngelo had his team mentally prepared as this time the Fillies were in the game until the final out, despite seeing their season end by a 2-0 score.
"I expected us to represent ourselves well," DeAngelo said afterwards. "The first time we played them we felt that the score was very misleading. We played them competitively for five innings and things just went awry late. So we just wanted to play a complete game today and give ourselves an opportunity to win and I think that's what we did."
The only resemblance of the first game was the two-hit shutout thrown by Williams Valley's Cassidy Pinchorski, who fanned 12 Marian batters, the same amount she did last time they met.
Pinchorski was so dominant on the mound, the Fillies managed to get one runner to second base, and that came in the seventh inning.
Marian's Bethany Shaud did her part to keep the Vikings off balance, allowing just one earned run and that came in the third inning. She gave up just five hits, walked two and struckout one. And despite three errors, the defense behind her was otherwise strong.
"Bethany executed her pitches excellently," DeAngelo added. "There's no doubt about it. It kept us in the game. They're a great hitting team and to keep them to one earned run is certainly a credit to her."
It looked like the Vikings were going to push some runs across in the second inning, but Marian's Kaitlin Kowker made a diving catch out in left field to end the threat.
In the third inning, Tri-Valley did take the lead. Hannah Nestor reached on a infield single, moved to second on another infield single by Kylie Doyle and scored on a double to right by Pinchorski. Doyle stopped at third on the double and wound up being stranded there.
The Vikings added an unearned run to their total in the fourth inning to give Pinchorski a cushion.
Haley Nestor added another infield single and moved right around to second on a throwing error. With one out, Maura Kreiser bunted and was thrown out at first. A throw to third trying to get Nestor was wide, allowing her to score the only other run in the game.
Sam Faust led off the game for the Fillies with a walk, but was thrown out at second after a failed sacrifice to end the inning.
In the third inning, Shaud laced a one-out single to right, but that Marian threat ended on a double play.
The Fillies gave it one last effort in the top of the seventh when Abby Hall reached first after striking out but Williams Valley catcher Maura Kreiser let a passed ball go all the way to the backstop. She was sacrificed to second, but the Vikings got two straight outs to end the game.
"We're still relatively young," DeAngelo said. "We graduate two great seniors, but only two. So hopefully this is a stepping stone in a playoff atmosphere at Williams Valley against a great caliber of a program that they are. To be in it until the last pitch it says a lot about our girls. It certainly started with Bethany on the Hill, but carried over to the rest of the team as well."
The Vikings now meet meets Schuylkill League rival and No. 2 seed Minersville, a 15-0 winner over Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg in a district semifinal at 5 p.m. Thursday at Blue Mountain's Patton Field.
Marian 000 000 0 - 0 2 3
Williams Vy. 001 100 x - 2 5 0
Shaud and Hill; Pinchorski and Kreiser. W - Pinchorski.