Marian rolls into semis
Ron Gower/TIMES NEWS Marian's Kayla Knight delivers a pitch toward the plate Tuesday against Pius X.
It's not always spectacularity that makes the difference in a sporting contest. Sometimes just good, solid playing is all that's needed.
The Marian Fillies showed consistency in fielding and produced just enough offense yesterday afternoon to defeat Pius X of Roseto, 3-0, in District XI softball playoff game in Hometown.
Two things did stand out, though, for the local squad: The two Kaylas as in Kayla Merchlinsky and Kayla Knight.
Both had hits two of their three times at bat. In addition, Knight was the winning pitcher, giving up just three hits and stirking out five.
The win means Marian (13-8) will now play the number one seed in district competition, Schuylkill League Champion Minersville, who holds two victories over the Fillies in league play.
The local team's head coach Joe DeAngelo was pleased with the victory, but admitted they might have to come up a notch in effort for the Miners. He said of yesterday's performance, "Our defense has been pretty solid all year." He termed Merchlinsky as "one of our leading hitters and our catalyst."
Of Knight, he remarked, "She was around the plate whih allowed the defense to do its job."
"Obviously we've got to play better Thursday," he said, adding that he is planning a lot of hard work at a practice session today.
Knight allowed only one walk, which came in the third inning. No batter for Pius got beyond second base.
The Fillies combined for six hits.
For second year Pius coach Marie Cuocco, this is her second trip to the playoffs after the school had a 12-year drought. The Royals (10-11) produced three errors, two of them letting Marian players get into scoring positions.
In the first inning, the Fillies took a 1-0 lead. Merchlinsky started things off with an opening pitch single. She then stole second and advanced to third on a well-drilled outfield fly by Shannon Skotek. A hard grounder to second base by Nina Curran let the speedy Merclinsky come home.
In the second, Marian added two more runs, with the other "K" starting things off. Knight whacked a ball down the third base line for a base hit. During her at-bat, she hit a foul tip off her shin, so Sam Faust came in as a pinch runner. Faust stole second and scored on a line-drive by Abbey Hill.
Pius X 000 000 0 - 0 3 2
Marian 120 000 0 - 3 6 0
Oslinker and Haderthouse; Knight and Hill. W - Knight. L - Oslinker.