Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Sarver Gives Lancers Great Delivery Service

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Sarver Gives Lancers Great Delivery Service

Article excerpt

No one, of course, could have predicted with absolute certainty that Deer Lakes' Siera Sarver was going to deliver the winning hit in the eighth inning of the WPIAL Class AA softball championship game last Thursday.

But it was a virtual lock that she was going to at least put the ball in play and give the Lancers a chance to end it right there.

Sure, Sarver had a recent history of delivering in extra-inning situations during the playoffs. But perhaps more importantly, she also always makes contact -- virtually every time Sarver comes to the plate, she puts the ball in play.

"I can say it now," Lancers coach Craig Taliani said after the WPIAL title game. "I didn't want to say anything before and jinx her. But in the semifinal against Neshannock, she struck out -- and that was her first strikeout in two [high school] seasons."

Sarver, a sophomore first baseman and pitcher, is Deer Lakes' cleanup hitter. She had the winning single in the bottom of the eighth of the WPIAL championship game, scoring Becca Babincak to give the Lancers a 3-2 victory against Greensburg Central Catholic at California University.

That extended Sarver's team lead in both batting average (in the .450 range, according to Taliani) and RBIs (almost 30). Sarver had two of Deer Lakes' four hits against Greensburg Central Catholic ace Anna Marie Gatti, including a single to lead off the fifth that broke up Gatti's perfect game.

"I face her many times in summer ball, so I knew what to expect coming in here," Sarver said after the game. "My first at bat I was edgy, but by the second at bat I was able to figure her out. I was able to keep making contact, and after a while I just got into a groove."

Sarver also started Deer Lakes' rally in the seventh, an inning the Lancers entered trailing, 2-0. Sarver reached with one out on a sharply hit ball to second that deflected off of Leah Daigle's glove and into the outfield. …

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