Outcome this year a lot different
By Philip Cmor
STRATTANVILLE – When Everett met up with Moniteau in last season’s PIAA Class AA softball playoffs, the District 5 champion Lady Warriors rallied from a six-run deficit and advanced to the second round with an 8-7 victory in nine innings.
To ask for history to repeat itself on Monday was too much.
Everett once again got down by six runs, but, this time, Moniteau pitcher Kennedy DeMatteis didn’t give the Lady Warriors any chance to come back, neutralizing the District 5 champs formidable lineup and sending her team into the state quarterfinals, 6-0, at Clarion-Limestone High School.
“It was just one of those days,” said Everett senior catcher Hannah Laidig, whose infield single to lead off the sixth inning was the Lady Warriors’ lone hit.
DeMatteis, a compact but powerful right-hander, didn’t allow even any of Everett’s outs to leave the infield, as she struck out 13. Everett, which finished 18-3, did work five walks, though.
“It was mostly location. I tried to work the corners,” DeMatteis said. “I tried to limit the walks, which I really wasn’t able to do, but I tried to make the balls they hit playable.”
It was an impressive performance, especially considering the offensive firepower DeMatteis was facing. Everett came in averaging close to double-digit hits per game. The top five in the batting order – Sydney Reffner, Allison Snider, Laidig, Kadie Morral and Raelyn Rice – all are especially dangerous.
The DeMatteis completely shut down the Lady Warriors left Everett coach Jackie Levy struggling to find words.
“I don’t even know what to say. We average seven-to-11 hits a game. It’s just uncharacteristic of us. We just fell short today,” Levy said. “Our girls swung the bats hard. They just didn’t connect today. I don’t have any answers for that.”
Everett’s best scoring chances came in the top of the second, when Morral and Taylor Ritchey’s walks were sandwiched around a Rice sacrifice to start the inning before DeMatteis struck out Kecia Cogan and Brittany Ewing, and the fourth, when the Lady Warriors loaded the bases with two outs while trailing 3-0. DeMatteis got out of the second jam by getting Ewing to ground to short.
“Hits are contagious. We just needed that one spark. That’s kind of been our thing all year. We’ve had a lot of big innings, so, even coming into that last inning, I was optimistic,” Levy said.
That key hit, however, didn’t come. Moniteau, which also wears red and white and also uses the nickname “Lady Warriors,” then for all intents and purposes put the game away with three runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Cortney Claypoole and Kristina DeMatteis each went 3-for-3 for Moniteau. Claypoole scored three times, while Kristina DeMatteis knocked in three.
The District 9 champs were aggressive on the basepaths from the very beginning – Claypoole scored the first run in the bottom if the first from second on an infield hit. Moniteau stole four bases in five attempts.
“We’re always looking for more. We don’t want to settle,” Claypoole said. “When they came back last time, we folded. This time, when they got runners on base, we kept going. We didn’t get down.”
Moniteau improved to 22-1 and will meet Ellwood City in Thursday’s quarterfinals. This is the deepest Moniteau has made it into the postseason.
“We felt we let one get away (last year), and the girls were hungry. That made a difference,” Moniteau coach Dan Beebe said.
Afterward, Morral, Everett’s 6-foot right-handed pitcher and cleanup hitter, couldn’t hold back the tears, but she said they weren’t flowing because of the game.
“The sun’s going to come up tomorrow. It’s been such a successful group, and I’m going to miss my teammates. That’s the harder part, not getting to play with my senior friends anymore and the rest of my teammates,” Morral said.
Morral keyed the Lady Warriors to four District 5 championships. Everett will graduate six seniors, including starters Morral, Snider, Laidig and Rice.
“We stuck together as a family. We never fought with each other or were on each other’s backs. We were always helping each other or encouraging each other,” Morral said.
“They’re such good people. They’re such good kids,” Levy said of her seniors. “I hope the younger kids took note of that and can continue that example and keep that culture in our program.”
EVERETT (0): Reffner ss 300, Snider cf 300, Laidig c 301, Morral p 100, Rice 3b 100, Ritchey rf 200, Cogan 1b 200, Ewing 2b 300, Jenkins lf 300. Totals – 21-0-1.
MONITEAU (6): Stewart rf 411, Claypoole ss 333, Ke. DeMatteis p 311, Kr. DeMatteis c 313, Hull 3b 100, Hepler 1b 300, Am. Dailey pr 000, Sowinski lf 300, Shunk dp 100, Greaves cf (flex) 201, Al. Dailey 2b 300. Totals – 26-6-9.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Everett000 000 0 – 0 1 1
Moniteau102 030 X – 6 9 0
E-Rice. LOB-Everett 6, Moniteau 4. 2B-Stewart, Kr. DeMatteis. RBI-Kr. DeMatteis 3, Claypoole, Ke. DeMatteis. SAC-Rice. SB-Kr. DeMatteis 2, Hull, Claypoole. CS-Greaves.
Everett: Morral (L)-6 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO.
Moniteau: Ke. DeMatteis (W)-7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 13 SO.
Records: Everett (18-3); Moniteau (22-1).
Umpires: Jay Siegel, plate; Denny Koppenhaver, first; Jim Pullman, second; Joe Shick, third.