Neshannock softball team advances to PIAA semifinals

Jun. 7—MEADVILLE — Neshannock High's Addy Frye had quite a day in the pitching circle.

Frye recorded 17 strikeouts and allowed just one hit to help lift the Neshannock High softball team to a 5-0 PIAA Class 2A quarterfinal-round victory against Saegertown at Allegheny College's Robertson Softball Field.

"It was just definitely a lot of motivation and doing it for our four seniors," Frye said on the win. "They've made a lot of sacrifices this year and they came after graduation yesterday to hit so it was doing it for them."

Frye (17-0) went the distance to earn the win, walking none. She had four innings where she threw three consecutive strikeouts.

"I know she was ready. I think Addy gets stronger every game," Neshannock coach Jackie Lash said. "She was ready to pitch hard for her team. We really just pitched to their weaknesses after watching some of their at bats online."

Neshannock (24-0) will face Laurel in the PIAA Class 2A semifinals on Monday at a time and site to be determined. The Lady Spartans (20-5) avenged a 2-1 loss to Benthworth in the WPIAL Class 2A semifinals by posting a 5-3 decision over Bentworth in the PIAA Class 2A quarterfinals on Thursday.

The Lady Lancers swept the Lady Spartans in WPIAL Section 1 action, 3-0 and 5-1. Laurel was one of six teams to score at least one run against Neshannock.

In the top of the third inning, Neshannock's Miley Anderson and Jaidon Nogay hit a single each to get on base. Frye followed that up with a ground out to bring home Anderson and the first run of the game.

"They're so important," Lash said of her 1, 2 and 3 hitters. "You lead off with Miley and Jaidon, both with such speed, and they have a good eye for the ball so I always believe they're going to put balls in play whether they're a soft little bunt or they're hitting it clear to the fence. Once they get on base, they feel pretty confident that Donny (Nogay) is going to call something to keep moving them up.

"A lot of times, with both of them because of their experience and aggressiveness, he doesn't really even need to call something. They're able to read a pitch and see what's coming out of her hand and take an extra base then. Then, you bring Addy up to bat who you're kind of expecting power all of the time and I love that Donny called a bunt for her today. I don't think most people are going to expect that from this big, strong pitcher. She put it down beautifully and did what we needed in that moment."

Anderson started things off again in the top of the fifth inning with another single. Nogay was walked after to bring Frye back up to the plate. Frye connected with a bunt and reached on an error to bring home the second run of the game.

"I've been practicing bunting a lot," Frye said. "Donny (Nogay) always jokes about being the best bunter on the team. When he gave me the bunt (sign), I knew I had to get it down."

Gabby Perod kept things rolling in the top of the fifth inning with a line drive to left field to reach second and bring home two more runs to boost Neshannock's lead to 4-0 over Saegertown (19-3). Perod led the Lady Lancers with two RBIs.

"There was a bee in my helmet and I was kind of focusing on that," Perod said. "I just hit the ball and started running really fast."

Perod said advancing to the semifinals is "redemption for last year," adding, "Last year's end was something that none of us wanted. This year we want to go all the way."

Perod graduated at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and was back with her team practicing around 8 p.m. that night.

"It was a long day," Perod said. "But, honestly, I thought it was well worth it. We got lots of practice in and commencement was fun."

In the top of the sixth inning, Anderson singled again and stole second before Nogay reached second on an error to bring Anderson home for the final run of the game. Leah McGill singled for Saegertown's lone hit of the game before being caught in a rundown with Callie Biondi making the out.

"It was a great heads-up play with multiple players on the field starting with Gabby Perod and making the nice throw down," Lash said. "Just all of the girls hustled, focused and were in the right place."

Frye delivered strikeout No. 17 in the bottom of the seventh inning to end the game.