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PIAA Softball: Chartiers-Houston, Center advance to title games

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

By Paul Zeise, Post-Gazette Sports Writer

Chartiers-Houston softball coach Dan Ross doesn't have to hang up his spikes just yet.

The Buccaneers beat Northern Cambria, 2-1, in eight innings yesterday in a PIAA Class A semifinal at Plum Creek Community Park in Elderton.

"I've been doing this for 25 years, and so it is hard to realize that it is coming to an end," said Ross, who was fired as softball and girls' basketball coach by the school earlier this spring but has been allowed to finish the season. "On the way up here, I thought that maybe this would be my last game, but I'm glad I have one more. I'm so proud of the girls. They just fought and fought and fought today.

"We've been to the championship game three times before and lost, so winning this one would be really special, especially given the circumstances."

Chartiers-Houston (18-7) will play South Williamsport (18-3) in the championship game Friday at Shippensburg University.

Northern Cambria took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when Jenna McCombie walked and later scored on a long double by Lindsay Wargo.

The lead held up until the bottom of the fifth inning, when Char-Houston's Elexis Riggle led off with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a single by Megan Criswell.

Chartiers-Houston got out of a jam in the top of the seventh inning. Northern Cambria's Katie Britton led off with a triple and tried to score on a wild pitch. But the ball bounced off the backstop back to catcher Shannon Arnold, who tagged out Britton at the plate.

In the bottom of the eighth, Alderson reached on an error and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and a groundout. She scored the winning run when Riggle hit a grounder to second base that was booted into right field.

Center advances

Corry (23-2) outhit Center, but Center (22-5) came away with a 2-0 victory in a PIAA Class AA semifinal at Lincoln Avenue Complex in Meadville.

Corry, which had seven hits to Center's three, was victimized by four errors. For Center, Ashley Frynkiewicz had a run-scoring single in the third inning and Vanessa Munroe drove home a run with a groundout in the sixth.

In the second inning, Corry's Julia Andrus was thrown out at home trying for an inside-the-park home run.

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