Nanticoke falls in district final
Unbeaten Elk Lake scores twice in bottom of seventh to eliminate Trojanettes.
Just when extra innings seemed imminent, that break
the kind that can be so decisive appeared Thursday.
And with it, Nanticokes hopes for another
state softball championship disappeared.
Elk Lake rallied for two runs in the bottom of
the seventh, the second scoring on a two-out error, as the Warriors
ended Nanticokes reign with a 2-1 victory in the District 2 Class
2A championship game at Marywood University.
We told them in the seventh inning that
were looking to tie the game up and go extra innings, said
Elk Lake coach Tony Blaisure, who posted his 400th career victory earlier
in the season. Not win it, just tie it.
Elk Lake, which won the title in 2009, improved
to 17-0 and will play District 11 champion Pen Argyl (17-7) on Monday
in the first round of the PIAA Class 3A tournament. Nanticoke ended
its season at 17-1.
Sometimes it just doesnt go your
way, said Nanticoke coach Gary Williams, whose team lost for only
the second time in two years.
You play enough one-run games, youre
bound to lose one sooner or later.
The loss didnt look like it would happen
in the bottom of the seventh. Elk Lakes Brooke Darling started
the frame with a double to the left field fence, quite a feat considering
how strong the wind was blowing in from left.
Casey Tyler followed with a triple to right,
scoring pinch runner Debbie Harvey to tie the score 1-1. The next two
batters tried to bunt, but after two strikes Nanticoke pitcher Sarah
Bertoni struck out the first swinging and the other looking.
That left Kayla Marcy, who hit a grounder that
resulted in an error to score Tyler.
Marcy couldnt describe her feelings when
she was called safe.
It was a whole bunch of everything,
Until then, Elk Lake hadnt done much offensively,
managing just two hits through the first six innings.
The closest the Warriors came to scoring was
when Marcy reached on an error in the third and was eventually stranded
Nanticoke came back to score in the top of the
fourth. Ang Hillman bunted her way on with one out. Bertoni followed
with a lined double just over the head of first baseman Kelsey Mitchell.
The ball hugged the foul line before rolling
into the corner, allowing Hillman to score easily. Bertoni went to third
on the throw home, but like Marcy ended up stuck there.
Bertoni also was stranded at second in the sixth
when she hit a rare infield double with one out. Her pop-up just in
front of the second base bag swirled in the harsh wind as Elk Lake shortstop
Tyler and second baseman Bri Hollenbeck lost their bearings and let
the ball drop.
Nanticoke also left runners on first and second
with two outs in the fifth.
I thought we put the ball in play,
Williams said, but give them a lot of credit. I heard their defense
was shaky, but they played better defense than I expected. They did
a good job.
Nanticoke Elk Lake
a r h bi a r h bi
Gow ss 3 0 0 0 Baltzley c 3 0 1 0
Hillan cf 3 1 1 0 Moon 3b 3 0 0 0
Bertoni p 3 0 2 1 Hollnbck 2b 3 0 1 0
Gola 3b 3 0 0 0 Darling p 3 0 1 0
Benjamin rf 3 0 0 0 Harvey pr 0 1 0 0
Roberts 1b 3 0 1 0 Tyler ss 3 1 1 1
Wolfe c 3 0 0 0 Watkins rf 3 0 0 0
Schinski 2b 2 0 0 0 Kwiatkski dp 2 0 0 0
Kowalski lf 3 0 1 0 Parkhurst pr 0 0 0 0
Marcy lf 2 0 0 0
Gacha cf 1 0 0 0
Mitchell 1b 0 0 0 0
Totals 26 1 5 1 Totals 23 2 4 1
Nanticoke 000 100 0 1
Elk Lake 000 000 2 2
Two out when winning run scored.
E Nanticoke 2, Elk Lake 1. DP Nanticoke
1, Elk Lake 1. LOB Nanticoke 5, Elk Lake 3. 2B Bertoni
2, Darling. 3B Tyler. SAC Gacha, Marcy.
IP H R ER BB SO
Bertoni L 6.2 4 2 1 2 5
Darling W 7.0 5 1 1 1 9
Trojanettes advance to finals
Matt Page - Times Leader
The expectations are obvious.
Nanticoke Area, the defending District 2 Class 2A champion, is expected
to repeat for the district title and make yet another state title run.
Those expectations start with head coach Gary Williams who expects success
but knows it is not guaranteed.
I have high expectations, Williams said. I think were
as good of a team as weve had at Nanticoke and weve had
success before. That doesnt mean were guaranteed success.
The Trojanettes, however, are one step closer to achieving those expectations
after Sarah Bertoni allowed no runs and only three hits in six innings
of work while driving in two runs in a 6-1 semifinal victory over Riverside
on Tuesday in Nanticoke.
She kept them off balance and kept them off base for the most
part, said Williams. Theyre a good team and just to
hold them to one run is a mark of how good our defense is.
After two scoreless innings, the Trojanette offense scored four runs
to break the tie in the bottom of the third. Sammy Gow led off the inning
with a double before Bertoni hit a bloop single to drive her in for
the first run of the game. Then Maggie Gola singled and Kayla Benjamin
was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Katie Wolfe then blasted a bases
clearing double giving Nanticoke Area a 4-0 lead.
Katie is a good hitter, she is hitting close to .500 for the year,
Williams said. I mean as soon as she hit that ball I felt pretty
confident about how the game was going to go from that point on.
With a four-run lead, Bertoni took over, allowing only one hit after
the third inning before being relieved by Hannah Rubasky to start the
The Trojanettes tacked on two more runs on a Angela Hillian RBI in the
fourth and a Bertoni RBI in the sixth bumping the score to 6-0.
Riverside was able to avoid the shutout when Cassie Schuster drove in
a run in the top of the seventh but a pop out to Kayley Schinski sent
the Trojanettes on to the next round.
Nanticoke Area will advance to the District 2 Class 2A final for
the third time in the past four years, where they will take on Elk Lake
a rematch of the 2010 final.
2B GNA: Gow, Wolfe; RIV: Dando. 3B GNA:
Hillian. HR none
IP H R ER BB SO
Derinick (L) 6.0 8 6 5 3 3
Bertoni (W) 6.0 3 0 0 0 5
Rubasky 1.0 3 1 1 0 0
Nanticoke turns on the power
Tom Brolley - Citizens Voice
Nanticoke Area coach Gary Williams said the 2011 Trojanettes
are on par with the 2010 state championship team in most areas.
The coach said the one area the Trojanettes might be better in this
year is the team's overall hitting.
The seventh-hole batter, Katie Wolfe, demonstrated the team's hitting
depth on Tuesday.
Wolfe broke open a close game through two innings with a three-run double
to the right center gap to help the Trojanettes to a 6-1 win over Riverside
in the District 2 Class AA semifinals.
Nanticoke Area will look to defend its District 2 title Thursday against
Elk Lake in a rematch of last year's final.
"We have a couple power hitters and she's one of our power hitters,"
Williams said. "If she does stay patient and keeps her head down,
she can drill the ball. As soon as she hit the ball I felt pretty confident
of how the game was going to go from that point on."
Nanticoke Area pitcher Sarah Bertoni silenced the Vikings bats most
of Tuesday as she allowed just three hits and no runs through six innings.
And Bertoni had her bat going as she collected a game-high three hits
with two RBIs.
Leadoff hitter Sammy Gow set the table for the Trojanettes lineup as
she scored three runs and Angela Hillan added a double.
Maggie Gola nearly added a home run but the third-base umpire ruled
the ball foul. Gola finished with a hit and a run.
Riverside put a little scare into the Trojanettes in the top of the
seventh inning when Williams pulled Bertoni and a few position players.
Jamie Dando's RBI double brought home Ana Sottile and the Vikings picked
up three hits in the inning.
Pitcher Hannah Rubasky eventually settled down and retired the last
two hitters to strand two runners and end the scare.
Williams said he took Bertoni out despite the shutout to give Rubasky
some seasoning in case the Trojanettes need her to pitch down the road.
"You want to get your other pitcher some experience when you think
you have a shot just in case something happens down to Sarah down the
road," Williams said. "I don't want Hannah to come in cold.
I want her to have some playoff experience so that if god forbid anything
does happen she's got some innings behind her."
Nanticoke Area will look to bring its hot bats again on Thursday against
Elk Lake's standout pitcher Brooke Darling.
The Trojanettes won last year's title 3-0 over Darling and Elk Lake.
Both teams finished the season with perfect conference records. Elk
Lake advanced to Thursday's final with a 4-2 win over Montrose.
Williams anticipates a pitcher's dual between Bertoni and Darling on
"They're a tough team. Brooke Darling is a very good pitcher,"
Williams said. "We did everything we could to score three runs
on her last year. Hopefully, we can score enough to win again this year."
Trojanettes roll a 7, end Dallas jinx
By Jill Snowdon - Citizens Voice
It took seven years, seven innings and seven runs for
Nanticoke Area's softball team to finally end its losing streak against
Led by Sarah Bertoni's three-hit pitching performance and key hits from
Lindsay Roberts and Katie Kowalski, the Trojanettes kept their undefeated
record in tact with a 7-0 victory Wednesday night on the Mountaineers'
Dallas (9-2) was the only team to beat Nanticoke (12-0) last season
prior to the Trojanettes' run to the PIAA Class AA championship.
"It feels so good to finally get a win against Dallas," Roberts
said. "The first time I went up to bat, I was shaking so bad. It
actually felt like it was a championship game."
Roberts kept her nerves in check long enough to deliver what proved
to be the game-winning run in the top of the second inning. After Kayla
Benjamin connected for a one-out triple, Roberts drove her home on a
double to center field.
The Trojanettes went ahead 2-0 in the third as Kowalski blasted a home
run over the right field fence for her second home run of the season.
Offensively, Dallas never posed a threat to the Trojanettes. The Mountaineers
got runners on second base twice, but would go no further.
"I think our defense really is our strength," Nanticoke Area
coach Gary Williams said. "We have solid defense behind great pitching
by Sarah. No runners getting past second base is a tribute to her pitching.
I don't think they hit anything hard today, but when Sarah's pitching
like that it makes playing defense a lot easier."
Dallas' Sarah Konopki, Taylor Kelley and Sara Kohli were the only batters
to get a hit against Bertoni as she struck out eight and didn't allow
Maggie Gola, however, came up with a key defensive play that halted
any chances for Dallas to get something going in the fifth. After Kohli's
one-out single, Gola rushed in to snag a pop-up on a bunt attempt from
Dez Roberts. Gola riffled a strike to Roberts at first base to get Kohli
out for the double play.
The Trojanettes gave themselves some breathing room in the sixth as
she scored five runs on five hits. Roberts hit a two-run home run to
center and Kowalski knocked in two more on a double off the left field
fence, scoring courtesy runner Bronwyn Perrins and Katie Wolfe.
"It's been seven years since they beat us, but they came to play
tonight and unfortunately we didn't play seven innings, and they did,"
Dallas coach Joyce Tinner said. "We have some young kids in key
spots, but we're better than what we showed tonight. It's a tough loss
and it hurts but Nanticoke came to play and Gary had them ready."
NANTICOKE AREA 011 005 0 - 7
DALLAS 000 000 0 - 0
WP: Sarah Bertoni, 7IP, 3H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 8SO. LP: Kristan Baker 7IP,
9H, 7R, 7ER, 4BB, 7SO. 2B: Roberts, Kowalski. 3B: Benjamin
HR: Roberts, Kowalski
Nanticoke downs Dallas
That five-run inning popped up again for a second time
in two years.
Only this time, Nanticoke was the beneficiary as it made amends for
its only loss during its 2010 Class 2A state championship season.
Lindsay Roberts hit a two-run homer and Katie Kowalski added a two-run
double in the five-run sixth inning as Nanticoke defeated Dallas 7-0
Wednesday night in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 softball game.
Theyre always good. Theyre always a tough team,
said Kowalski, who added a solo homer in the third. It felt like
a championship game.
Nanticoke improved to 12-0 in Division 1 East, with a showdown at Hazleton
Area (11-1) coming today. Dallas fell to 9-2 in Division 1 West and
had its lead over Tunkhannock (9-3) trimmed to a half game.
I said in the beginning of the year, if we could match what we
did last year and lose to Dallas, Id take it, Nanticoke
coach Gary Williams said.
Last year, Nanticoke took a 3-0 lead only to have Dallas rally for five
runs in the fifth to win 5-3.
Wednesday nights game has some similarities as Nanticoke led 2-0
entering the bottom of the fifth. But after Nanticoke pitcher Sarah
Bartoni once again quieted Dallas bats, the Trojanettes tore open
First, it was Roberts two-run blast to center field that pushed
the advantage to 4-0. Katie Wolfe and Kayley Schinski followed with
singles before Kowalski ripped a two-run double off the base of the
left field fence.
Ang Hillan plated the final run with a single as Nanticoke sent nine
batters to the plate, just like Dallas did last year.
Another number, though, caught Roberts attention.
We havent beaten them in seven years, said Roberts,
who knocked in her teams first run with a double in the second.
It was 7-0, seven innings. Its weird, but it was a huge
Bertoni once again played a huge part with yet another outstanding pitching
performance. After giving up a single to Taylor Kelley to start the
second, she retired 17 of the next 18 batters. Sara Kohli lofted a single
to right in the fifth for the only baserunner during that span.
And like earlier in the game, Dallas tried to manufacture a run when
Kohli reached, only to have the strategy backfire when a bunt was lined
to Nanticoke third baseman Maggie Gola for an easy double play.
Back when Kelley singled, another bunt was popped up. Only two Dallas
players reached second base, Kelley in the second and Sarah Konopki
in the first after she singled and Mary Kate Osick reached on an error.
We have some young kids in some key spots, Dallas coach
Joyce Tinner said, but were better than what we showed tonight,
and we have to come back tomorrow (against Wyoming Area).
Its a tough loss, it hurts, but Nanticoke played well and
came to play today.
ab r h bi ab r h bi
Gow ss 2 0 0 0 Comitz 2b 3 0 0 0
Hillan cf 3 0 1 1 K.Baker p 3 0 0 0
Rubasky ph 1 0 0 0 Konopki 1b 3 0 1 0
Bartoni p 4 0 0 0 Osick cf 3 0 0 0
Gola 3b 3 1 1 0 T.Baker rf 3 0 0 0
Benjamin rf 2 1 1 0 Kelley 3b 3 0 1 0
L.Roberts 1b 4 1 2 3 Shaver lf 2 0 0 0
Wolfe c 3 0 1 0 Kohli ss 2 0 1 0
Wynn pr 0 1 0 0 D.Roberts c 2 0 0 0
Schinski 2b 4 1 1 0
Kowalski lf 2 2 2 3
Totals 28 7 9 7 Totals 24 0 3 0
Nanticoke 011 005 0 7
Dallas 000 000 0 0
E Nanticoke 1. DP Nanticoke 1. LOB
Nanticoke 6, Dallas 3. 2B L.Roberts, Kowalski. 3B Benjamin.
HR L.Roberts, Kowalski. SB Kelley. SAC Gow.
IP H R ER BB SO
Bertoni W 7 3 0 0 0 8
HBP Benjamin (by K.Baker).
Trojanettes reward Williams with 300th win
By Jill Snowdon - Citizens Voice
Gary Williams would like to forget some losing seasons
he has experienced in 21 years as Nanticoke Area's softball coach. But
one particularly losing season actually helped the veteran coach take
a few steps closer to a milestone.
Williams recently miscounted his coaching victories as he inadvertently
overlooked the 1995-1996 season. The Trojanettes finished an uncharacteristic
4-13 that year but, when added to his other wins, Williams closed in
on 300 victories a little sooner than expected. On Friday, Williams
was rewarded with his 300th win after the Trojanettes posted a convincing
10-2 victory over Coughlin at K.M. Smith Field.
"Before we started the season, I went back and rechecked everything,
but somehow I totally forgot a year," Williams said. "I knew
I was getting close because we've had a pretty good run the last few
That run continues as Nanticoke's win over Coughlin improves the
defending Class AA state champions to 10-0 in the Wyoming Valley Conference.
Junior Katie Wolfe highlighted the victory as she drove in six runs
on two home runs and a double. She also added a single, while Sammy
Gow followed with a home run, double and three RBIs.
"We actually didn't know about it until (assistant coach) Mr. (Ryan)
Stetz passed around a ball for us to sign," Wolfe said. "It's
nice to be a part of something like this and be a part of a team that
is capable of doing so many good things."
Williams was doused with Gatorade from his players and enjoyed cake
with his family, while his players went off to decorate his front lawn.
It's become tradition for the Trojanettes to prank Williams after milestone
"Now we get to go have fun with his yard," Wolfe said. "We'll
get toilet paper and shaving creme and we stick clear plastic forks
in the ground."
Williams was anticipating his team's good-fun antics. With such a prestigious
coaching achievement added to his resume, Williams didn't mind the celebration.
The win also gave him a chance to reflect on his 21 seasons, that include
two Class AA state titles, five District 2 Class AA championships and
five Wyoming Valley Conference crowns.
"I really appreciate the fact that I've always been around a really
good group of girls, very nice kids to associate with," Williams
said. "And I also appreciate the fact that from day one when my
brother-in-law agreed to be my assistant, to my present assistant coaches,
I've never had a bad assistant coach. Denise Beltrand and (the late)
Charlie Brown were with me for a long time and now Dave Warren and Bernie
Dalmas have been with me at least a dozen years. And then the newer
additions of Ryan Stetz and Diane James. I really couldn't have asked
for a better coaching staff."
Athlete of the Week: Sarah Bertoni
Family: Parents, Eileen and Bob Bertoni; Brother, Robert.
Accomplishment: The Nanticoke Area ace threw the second perfect game
of her high school career in a 7-0 victory over Wyoming Area on Friday.
She struck out six.
GETTING TO KNOW SARAH BERTONI
Favorite subject: Psychology
Favorite book: By the Time You Read This
Favorite movie: The Hangover
Favorite TV show: Pretty Little Liars
Favorite artist: Rascal Flatts
Favorite food: Chicken tenders and fries
Favorite junk food: Funfetti cookies
Favorite sport: Softball
Favorite team: Philadelphia Phillies
Favorite athlete: Jimmie Rollins
Favorite color: Purple
Sarahs dream prom date is . . . Jeff Jezewski
Away from sports, Sarah enjoys . . . hanging out with family and friends.
The one word Sarah would use to best describe herself is . . . determined.
Sarahs favorite thing about softball is . . . winning.
Sarah thinks the hardest thing about softball is . . . getting out of
The one thing Sarah cant live without is . . . her family.
Sarahs biggest role model has been . . . her dad.
Up next: Sarah will be playing softball and studying elementary education
at Millersville University.
Nanticoke Area poised for PIAA repeat
By Jill Snowdon (Staff Writer) - Citizens' Voice
Snow is still on the ground, some teams are still practicing
in their gyms, and team uniforms are just getting handed out.
The 2011 softball season is still a few days away, leaving a little
more time to look back on Nanticoke Area's incredible run for the state
title in 2010.
And while local softball fans can easily recall the Trojanettes' thrilling
3-1 11-inning victory over Philipsburg-Osceola in the championship game,
they can also anticipate the potential of that this year's Nanticoke
With eight returning starters, including MVP pitcher Sarah Bertoni,
Nanticoke Area again is the clear cut favorite in the Wyoming Valley
Conference. And until someone knocks them off, there's no reason to
believe the Trojanettes aren't the favorite in the state.
Bertoni was exceptional as a junior and took her game to another level
once Nanticoke reached the postseason. Behind her is an experienced
defense, with quick thinking and quick movements. Nanticoke graduated
key players Jenn Harnischfeger, Amanda Cardone and Katie Brown, but
welcomes back a ton of talent, including a pair of pitchers behind Bertoni.
"Besides Sarah we have Hannah Rubasky, who pitched 40 innings of
scoreless ball and Brooke Chapin, who had 20 innings of scoreless ball,"
Nanticoke coach Gary Williams said. "I think with Sarah's success
in the playoffs, every one may have overlooked what they did."
Twenty six victories went a long way for Nanticoke Area last season
as the Trojanettes picked up a league title, a District 2 AA championship
and PIAA Class AA gold. The 26 wins also added onto Coach Gary Williams'
win total and brought him within 17 victories of earning 300 career
coaching wins. Williams, who enters his 21st season, says he's not big
on personal milestones, but it will surly be an honor when the veteran
coach posts the best coaching record in softball history in the WVC.
Bob Bertoni is obviously a huge supporter of his daughter Sarah when
she pitches for Nanticoke Area. The proud father, however, will have
a slight dilemma on April 11. Instead of cheering Sarah on, he'll be
trying to figure out how to solve her dominant pitching as he will be
coaching against her. Bertoni accepted the head coaching job at Crestwood,
one of Nanticoke's division rivals. He'll miss a majority of Sarah's
games, but will get to see her twice as the Comets will meet Nanticoke
on the 11th as well as May 16th.
Coach: Gary Williams
Home field: Nanticoke Little League
Players to watch: Senior - Sarah Bertoni, pitcher;
Juniors - Brooke Chapin, pitcher; Maggie Gola, 3b; Sammy Gow, ss; Gabby
Grabowski, 2b; Ange Hillan, of; Ashley Horoshock, catcher; Kate Kowalski,
of; Lindsay Roberts, 1b; Hannah Rubasky, pitcher; Katie Wolfe, catcher;
Kayla Benjamin, of; Kayley Schinski, 2b.
Coach's Outlook: "I have high expectations because
we have so many kids coming back. We're deep in talent even though we
lost three great starters. We have 17 kids on varsity and I believe
I can put a different line-up in every game and still be competitive."