Today Saegertown, tomorrow the world.
Well, at least the state of Pennsylvania (for now).
The French Creek Valley American 9-and-10 Year Old softball team battled its way into the Pennsylvania State Tournament with an undefeated run through Section 1, capped off by Friday’s narrow 4-2 victory over DuBois in the championship game held at Bertram Park.
“Very exciting, and that’s what we expected,” said Saegertown head coach Mike Young. “We knew it was going to be a battle to the end. And that’s what it was. A battle to the end.”
The Saegertown girls will next travel to Greensburg for the state tournament, which starts Wednesday. The tournament will be hosted by West Point Little League. FCVA opens the tournament against the Section 2 champion at 1 p.m.
DuBois, meanwhile, ends a great run all-star run.
“The girls went through a lot this year,” said DuBois head coach Frank Lecker. “I’m just proud of them all. We adjusted. We had a bad game the first time we played that team.”
FCVA defeated DuBois 12-0 in the first round of the section tournament back on July 10.
“Saegertown’s one heck of a good team,” Lecker said. “They’re going to go far at states. But we made some adjustments and we hung in there with them. We just came up a little short.”
FCVA climbed on top early. Carlie Schlosser led off the bottom of the first with a walk. Using some aggressive base running — a tactic that would pay big dividends for FCVA yesterday — Schlosser worked her way over to third. And on a passed ball, she zoomed in to score and put her team ahead.
“We try to preach that in practice — base running makes a huge difference, from this level to the major leagues,” said Young.
FCVA used similar means to go up 2-0 in the second. Ashley Merritt drew a walk with one out. She took second on a wild pitch, third on a steal, and another wild pitch allowed Merritt to come home and score.
The Saegertown girls stretched that lead to 4-0 with a pair of runs in the third. Schlosser again walked, then moved to second on a passed ball. Then Kaylee Mulligan laid down a bunt that died in the dirt and beat the throw to first by catcher Ally Andrulonis. At the same time, Schlosser was rounding third and heading home, where she would slide in safely.
Katelyn Young, FCVA’s pitcher (more on her below), was up next. She went to the bunt as well, and, like Mulligan, beat the throw to first.
With Mulligan on third, Young took off for second base. She was caught stealing, but in the meantime Mulligan sprinted towards the plate to make it 4-0.
“In tight games, you’ve got to take advantage of everything you can,” said Young “So that was a good team that we beat. We knew that was a good team. And it was a fight.”
DuBois tried to climb back. In the fourth, Shay Gulvas put the ball in play and made it all the way to third on a pair of FCVA errors. She would then score on a wild pitch.
Then in the fifth, Brynlie Galiczynski notched DuBois’ only hit of the game with a lead-off single. She was pushed to second on a walk, and made third on a sacrifice bunt by Abby Lecker. She then scored on a passed ball.
“That was nerve-wracking,” Young said about DuBois’ comeback bid. “And I just kept telling Katelyn to battle. And she pulled through. She keeps a clean head for the most part and throws strikes. That’s all you can ask.”
Katelyn Young entered the circle in the sixth inning, clinging to a 4-2 lead. Skipping the dramatics, she went 1-2-3 with a pair of strikeouts to end the game.
“No momentum,” said coach Young. “No momentum. That was big in the last inning, to have a clean inning.”
Young finished the game allowing one hit through six innings with three walks and 10 strikeouts.
Yet that performance was only slightly better than DuBois’ pitcher Kaylee Sadowski, who allowed two hits over five innings, walked five and struck out 10.
Today Saegertown, tomorrow the world.
- Local Sports
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Welcome to the Ryan Express II, Kennedy Catholic.
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