Canon-McMillan clinches undefeated section title
Lady Macs prepare for title defense
With a 12-1 triumph over Peters Township at North Strabane Field, Canon-McMillan clinched the Section 4-AAAA title with an undefeated, 14-0, record.
Linda Rush led the Lady Macs’ hit parade. The freshman shortstop crushed a three-run homer to end the game in the sixth inning. She socked three hits in five plate appearances.
Giorgiana Zeremenko also tagged a round-tripper in the sixth. The junior catcher is just rounding into shape after having missed six weeks of the season because of a shoulder injury.
One of the WPIAL’s most powerful hitters, Zeremenko batted .475 with seven homers and 31 RBIs last spring when the Lady Macs captured the WPIAL Quad-A title. While the four-bagger was Zeremenko’s first of the year, she went 2-for-3 with a double in a 15-2 win over Upper St. Clair, prior to the PT win.
“I don’t think she’s where she needs to be. It’s like the beginning of the season for her,” said CM skipper Michelle Moeller of Zeremenko. However, she noted that the home run helped Zeremenko’s confidence.
“It’s going to take some time, but Giorgiana was always one who sees the ball well. She always was able to adjust to pitches and that’s why her strikeout total has been so low.”
Alayna Astuto’s strikeout total, however, is high. That’s because she’s the Lady Macs’ talented pitcher. The senior has 72 strikeouts and owns a 1.45 ERA.
Astuto struck out six against the Indians. She scattered three hits, two for extra bases, a double by Tori Weida and a home run by Carly Konopka.
The Lady Macs tagged nine hits off Konopka. She struck out two and walked five.
Senior first baseman Maddie Engel drilled a three-run double for CM. Abby McCartney and Taylor Bruno also doubled for the Lady Macs.
McCartney leads the Lady Macs in batting with a .565 average. She has tagged three homers and driven in 22 runs.
While Bruno and Engel are batting .400 and .388 respectively, Tara Fowler raised her average with a 3-for-4 showing against the Indians. The sophomore is batting .412.
Olivia Lorusso is at .444. The junior third baseman has clubbed eight doubles and four homers. She has driven in 24 runs. Lorusso tagged a three-run homer against USC.
Also in the win against the Panthers, Engel was 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI. McCartney smacked two doubles. Zeremenko and Ally Bellaire also had two-baggers while Rush tagged a triple.
After finishing up the regular season with a non-section game against Ambridge, the Lady Macs begin their defense of the WPIAL title next week. The WPIAL announces its playoff pairings for softball on May 9. The championship contests are set for May 30 with a rain date of May 31.
The Lady Macs suffered only one loss during the regular season. They dropped a 17-6 decision to Hempfield back on April 5. The Spartans were runners-up to Canon-Mac in last year’s WPIAL Quad-A final.
Despite the loss to Canon-Mac, Peters Township qualified for post-season play. The Indians finished section action as runner-up to the Lady Macs with a 10-4 record.
In Class AA, Chartiers-Houston and Seton-La Salle captured undefeated section titles.
The Buccaneers captured the Section 2 crown with a 12-0 mark. After winning the WPIAL Class A title last year, they have moved up a division this spring.
A 2-0 win over rival Keystone Oaks assured the Rebels the Section 1 banner. SLS finished 10-0 in the division while the Golden Eagles followed in second place with an 8-2 slate.