LORETTO - What a difference 24 hours makes.
When Central Mountain and Canon-McMillan started their PIAA Class AAAA quarterfinal on Thursday, it looked like it was going to be a lopsided affair.
Then Mother Nature came in and delayed the game -heading into the fourth inning - with Canon-Mac holding a strong 6-1 lead, one that held up as the final score to eliminate?Central Mountain.
Tara Schram of Canon-McMillan reaches first base as Central Mountain’s Jess Strouse fields the throw Friday at St. Francis University.
"It isn't an easy scenario," Central Mountain coach Dave Peters said. "Particularly when you know you are coming in down five runs. You are starting out in a hole, with a limited number of innings to battle back. To the girls' credit, they battled today. We hit the ball better today, but Canon-McMillan made some nice plays when they had to."
When the game resumed Friday, Central Mountain's Ciarra Peters had the opportunity to get the Lady Wildcats restarted on the a great note. With two outs and runners on first and second, she flared a possible momentum-swinging dagger into the empty void just over Canon-McMillan's shortstop, Veronica Rothka.
Rothka went back to field the bloop, and she lost her footing on a wet field at St. Francis University.
As the ball started to drop, the Lady Big Mac stuck her glove up and grabbed the ball - good enough for the final out of the fourth inning and stopped Central Mountain's potential rally.
"She is sitting on the ground and catches the ball," coach Peters said. "We have been through those tough scenarios all season. Recently, we have been the team making those plays. That is the game of softball. Some times the breaks go you way and some times they don't. It would have been great to see that ball drop. We could have put some runs on the board early today, put the pressure on them and get the momentum. If we could have gotten the momentum, it would have been nice to see what we could have done from there."
It was ultimately the first day of action that sunk the Lady Wildcats as Canon-Mac led 4-0 after the first inning on a double by Maddie Engel and a single by Giorgiana Zeremenko.
The next two Canon-Mac runs came in the third as Olivia Lorusso smacked a two-run home run over Johnna Garbrick's head and the fence.
The Lady Wildcats struck in the bottom of the third, when Moriah Lindsey and Morgan Kunes smacked back-to-back singles -with Kunes' single scoring Lindsey and cutting the deficit to 6-1.
That was all the action for Thursday as the skies over St. Francis University never cleared up.
"I wish we would have played the whole thing Thursday," Canon-Mac coach Michele Moeller said. "We had the momentum strongly on our side. Our graduation ceremony was that night, so I think that really played on our girls' mind some. They wanted to stay and play, but it is graduation. They wanted to get back for it."
Canon-McMillan will face Bishop Shanahan on Monday.
For Central Mountain, the junior-dominated team will look to build upon this year's success.
"With only two seniors (on the team), we have a good core coming back," coach Peters said. "It speaks highly about where we can be. We move to a new league next year and that will hold some new adventures. All-in-all, we have high expectation. We don't want this to be a one-year thing. We want this to be the consistency of the Lady Wildcat program."
Canon-McMillan 402 000 0 -6 6 1
Central Mountain001 000 0 -1 6 0
CA: Alayna Astuto and Giorgiana Zeremenko. CE: Whitney Peters, Rachael Shady (3) and Paige Dickey. WP -Astuto. LP -W. Peters.
HR: CA Olivia Lorusso. 2B: CA Maddie Engel, Tara Fowler. MH: CA Zeremenko.