Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Deer Lakes Rolls toward Section 3-AA Title

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Deer Lakes Rolls toward Section 3-AA Title

Article excerpt

Deer Lakes softball coach Craig Taliani likes to borrow a baseball term and strategy in how he utilizes his pitchers.

With three capable arms -- an unusual situation for a high school softball team -- Taliani has a baseball-esque pitching rotation.

"I look at it just like baseball, we have a legitimate bullpen," Taliani said. "If someone is getting tired or if the other team is getting them timed up, we have a lot of confidence to bring in someone from the bullpen. So far it has worked this year."

"Worked" might be an understatement, Deer Lakes is 13-1 overall this season and 10-1 in Section 3-AA as it closes in on its first outright section title. Deer Lakes won section co-titles in 2006 and '09 but it shared those with Greensburg Central Catholic and Burrell, respectively.

The Lancers sustained their first loss of the season on Tuesday, a 1-0 decision against Burrell. They are scheduled to close out section play today against Shady Side Academy. A victory will clinch the section title outright. Freeport (12-3, 9-2) is a game behind.

The team has done it mainly with outstanding hitting. The Lancers have scored 161 runs through 14 games, but they have also done it with that three-person pitching rotation of senior Haliey Moretti, sophomore Siera Sarver and freshman Tiffany Edwards.

Deer Lakes may lead its section in wins, but do not expect to see one of its pitchers leading the WPIAL in any statistical categories. The innings are spread around pretty evenly. Moretti has six wins this season, Sarver has four and Edwards two.

Moretti and Sarver shared innings last season as Deer Lakes made a run to the WPIAL semifinals. Sarver is the power pitcher of the group while Moretti and Edwards rely more on location and movement.

"They are all good pitchers, I am sure there are a lot of teams who would love to have any of them as their number one pitcher," Taliani said. …

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