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, Nanticoke’s 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 Nanticoke’s 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 we’re 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 doesn’t 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, you’re bound to lose one sooner or later.”
The loss didn’t look like it would happen in the bottom of the seventh. Elk Lake’s 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 couldn’t describe her feelings when she was called safe.
“It was a whole bunch of everything,” Marcy said.
Until then, Elk Lake hadn’t 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 at third.
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.
Bertoni L 6.2 4 2 1 2 5
Elk Lake
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 we’re as good of a team as we’ve had at Nanticoke and we’ve had success before. That doesn’t mean we’re 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. “They’re 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 seventh.
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
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 Thursday.
"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 Dallas.
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' home field.
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 a walk.
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
Times Leader

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.
“They’re always good. They’re 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, I’d 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 night’s 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 the game.
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 haven’t beaten them in seven years,” said Roberts, who knocked in her team’s first run with a double in the second. “It was 7-0, seven innings. It’s weird, but it was a huge win.”
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 we’re better than what we showed tonight, and we have to come back tomorrow (against Wyoming Area).
“It’s a tough loss, it hurts, but Nanticoke played well and came to play today.”

Nanticoke Dallas
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.
Bertoni W 7 3 0 0 0 8

K.Baker L
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 years."
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 victories.
"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
Citizens' Voice

Nanticoke Area
Senior, Softball
Hometown: Nanticoke
Age: 18
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.

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
Sarah’s 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.
Sarah’s favorite thing about softball is . . . winning.
Sarah thinks the hardest thing about softball is . . . getting out of a slump.
The one thing Sarah can’t live without is . . . her family.
Sarah’s 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 squad.
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.

Father-daughter game
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.

Nanticoke Area

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."