SCRANTON – When neither team knows much about the opposing pitcher, success usually comes down to which solves the riddle the best.
Wyoming Area did that so much better than West Scranton Thursday afternoon.
The Warriors banged out five doubles and Gwen Glatz threw a three-hitter in a 6-0 victory over West Scranton in a District 2 Class 4A softball quarterfinal game.
Wyoming Area coach John McNeil scouted West Scranton hurler Tatum Repshis via stats online. The rest was keeping with a strategy used all season.
“I just tell them to focus, focus on our zones where we can hit,” McNeil said. “As long as we focus on our zone, we’ll put the bat on the ball. That’s what we work at.”
Fifth-seeded Wyoming Area (8-6) will play at top-seeded Tunkhannock (11-3) Tuesday in the semifinals, with the winner guaranteed a spot in the PIAA Class 4A state tournament. Fourth-seeded West Scranton completed its season at 7-7.
Glatz retired the first eight batters she faced before West Scranton’s Maeve Cast hit a sharp grounder to left in the third inning. Julianna Biedler lined a single to center in the fourth, but overall Glatz kept the Invaders in check over the first five innings.
“You go in and kind of feel around the first inning or two,” Glatz said. “You get a feel for the umpire, a feel from where they like to hit or don’t like to hit. But a big cue is just watching them warm up.”
The sixth inning was different, though, as two walks sandwiched around a single by Navaeh Ross loaded the bases with two outs for West Scranton. Glatz got out of the jam with a groundout and retired the Invaders in order in the seventh, sending the Warriors to the D2-4A semifinals for a second consecutive year.
As for the offense, Wyoming Area got to Repshis in the second inning. Jess Parente led off with a single to right and later scored when Annie Karcutskie blasted a double over the head of Cast in right field.
Consecutive doubles by Brianna Pizzano and Nicole Silinskie plated runs in the fifth for a 3-0 advantage.
Any West Scranton comeback hopes were dashed for the most part in the seventh as a four-hit Wyoming Area barrage doubled the lead. Pizzano doubled with one out, Silinskie followed with a single and both girls scored when Glatz doubled to left. She scored an out later on a single by Parente.
Parente finished 3-for-4. Pizzano, Silinskie and Glatz each added two of the team’s 11 hits.
Pittston Area 1
Alexa McHugh threw a three-hitter, had two hits of her own and scored one run – the only one of the game – in Thursday’s Class 5A semifinal.
McHugh walked just one and struck out nine
Pittston Area (9-5) will play Abington Heights (13-1) in the district final for the third straight year. The game will be played Wednesday at a site and time to be announced.
Madisyn Antal drove in the only run with a fourth-inning infield single.
McHugh started the inning with a single and went to third on Nina Cencetti’s double.
Pittston Area 0
Derrick Vosburgh tossed a four-hit shutout and drove in two runs Monday when fifth-seeded Wallenpaupack came to Pittston Area and knocked the fourth-seeded Patriots out in a Class 5A quarterfinal game.
Vosburgh threw 70 of his 97 pitches for strikes while fanning nine and walking just one.
The Buckhorns broke the game open with one run in the sixth and three more in the seventh.
Joe Cencetti doubled for Pittston Area’s only extra-base hit. Dylan Spurlin went 1-for-2 and drew a walk.
The Patriots finished 7-7.
Wyoming Area 10
Tunkhannock erased a 10-3 deficit by scoring five times in the bottom of the fifth and three more in the sixth inning of Wednesday’s Class 4A quarterfinal.
Matt Wright had a triple, double, single and three RBI to lead Wyoming Area.
Chase Yochem, who drove in three hits, and Cole Coolbaugh, who drove in two, had two hits each.
Dylan Melberger had two hits and scored four times. Daniel Wiedl scored three runs.
Old Forge 14
Holy Cross 1
The top-seeded Blue Devils had the Class 2A bracket’s only quarterfinal bye, then routed Holy Cross in Friday’s semifinals.
Old Forge (11-4) will play Northwest (5-11) in Wednesday’s 5 p.m. championship game at PNC Field in Moosic.
Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.