BROCKWAY—-Super sophomore pitcher Holly Lansberry of Curwensville threw a no-hitter in the first round of the PIAA Class A Playoffs Monday afternoon, 1-0, over Leechburg. The Lady Tide now advance to the quarter-finals against the winner of the Homer-Center/Vincentian contest this afternoon in Boalsburg. The quarter final game location and site has yet to be determined. With yesterday’s victory the Lady Tide are now 22-2 on the year while Leechburg, the District 7 number three team, finishes the 2007 campaign at 17-3.
Lansberry struck out seven Lady Blue Devils while walking just one to become a 20 game winner with a season mark of 20-2. The Lady Tide hurler let just one batter on base, a 2nd inning walk to Trisha Klingensmith. Then it was 16 straight outs to finish the game as Leechburg couldn’t find a way to get to the Tide ace. Lansberry now has 233 strikeouts for the season.
Afterwards Lansberry said, “I was somewhat nervous at the start of the game because I want our team to go as far as possible in the playoffs.” About just tossing a no-hitter, the right hander said, “ I didn’t know I just pitched a no-hitter until we had our team huddle in center field after the game.” She certainly shared the glory in stating, “My teammates backed me up with great defense today just like they have all year long. They deserve an awful lot of credit.”
Head coach Allen Leigey said of his pitcher, “I thought Holly pitched her best game of the year for us. Every pitch I called she put it right were I wanted it.”
It was also another Lady Tide sophomore, right fielder Shannon McDonald, who made the play of the game that enabled Curwensville to come home with the victory. McDonald led off the bottom of the second with a single to right field on a 1-2 pitch from Leechburg’s Emily Batiz. Senior Kristi Newpher then followed with a beautifully placed bunt on an 0-2 pitch. Then off to the races went McDonald, as on a very smart move she went all the way from first to third to get into scoring position. After Samantha Haney struck out, Lady Tide senior Ronna Knepp came through with a two out single to right scoring McDonald with what was the winning run. McDonald talked about her hustling play after the game saying, “We have been taught all along to take third base if no one is covering. I saw that and just took off for third. She added, “ I am just so thankful that it worked out for us.”
Coach Leigey chipped in with, “That’s just a real head’s up play by Shannon. It was huge for us, obviously. Of course Ronna’s hit driving in McDonald was enormous. She has really been coming through for us.”
The Tide only had four hits all afternoon, all singles, as Lansberry had two and Knepp and McDonald one each. Curwensville only threatened two more times in the game. They left Lansberry stranded at second in the third inning and McDonald at third base in the fourth.
About the somewhat lack of offense on the day Leigey quipped, “Well, we did put the ball in play as we struck out only five times.” He then added, “ I am not overly concerned as long as we continue to put the bat on the ball because good things can happen.”
The Lady Tide are now one of the “Elite Eight” in the Class A softball playoffs in Pennsylvania. Curwensville also has 16 shutouts on the year. They have allowed their opponents only 17 runs in their 24 games for an amazing .7 runs per game scored against them. On offense the Tide have now scored 190 runs for a 7.9 per game average.
Many schools have father’s coaching daughters, but in Leechburg’s case their head coach, Jim Oberdorf, coaches granddaughters Victoria (freshman) and Olivia Oberdorf (sophomore). The Lady Blue Devils appear to be strong for the 2008 season as only two seniors were in the starting line-up against the Lady Tide. Pitcher Emily Batiz, a recruit for Thiel, and catcher Karlee Fisher are the only upperclassmen.
LEECHBURG 0 Victoria Oberdorf 2b 3000, Olivia Oberdorf ss 3000, Karlee Fisher c 3000, Emily Batiz p 3000, Keri Barnes lf 2000, Trisha Klingensmith 3b 1000, Keli Barnes 1b 2000, Kaysie Young dp 2000, Megan Cockroft cf 2000, Kelsey Antoniono flex-rf 0000.
CURWENSVILLE 1 Holly Lansberry p 3020, Dani Struble ss 2000,Dana Johnson c 2000, Ashley Demchak 3b 2000, Shannon McDonald rf 2110, Kristi Newpher 2b 1000, Samantha Haney lf 2000, Ronna Knepp 1b 2011, Tess Bloom cf 2000.
SCORE BY INNINGS R H E
LEECHBURG 000 000 0 0 0 0
CURWENSVILLE 010 000 x 1 4 0
ERRORS-None. LOB-Curwensville 5; Leechburg 1. DP-Leechburg. SAC-Newpher 2.
CURWENSVILLE Lansberry 7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K.
LEECHBURG Batiz 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K.
WP-Lansberry (20-2) LP- Batiz (16-3)