Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

End of Journey for Canon-Mcmillan Seniors, This Piaa Title Started Many Years Ago in Youth Softball

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

End of Journey for Canon-Mcmillan Seniors, This Piaa Title Started Many Years Ago in Youth Softball

Article excerpt

It was a long eight-year road from the fields of the U-10 Canonsburg Knights youth softball team to the PIAA Class AAAA championship.

So when Canon-McMillan finally arrived Friday at Nittany Lion Softball Park at Penn State University to play for its first state title, coach Michele Moeller wanted to remind her team they were still on a softball field -- no less, no more.

In a Hoosiers-esque stadium walk through on the night before the PIAA final, Moeller had one of her players run to a base.

She would yell out and ask them how far it was from home plate.

"Sixty feet," her junior catcher Giorgiana Zeremenko would yell back.

They repeated the same for the other bases and the pitching rubber.

"Even though it is a bigger venue, it is still the same field," Moeller reminded them. "It is still the same game you have to play."

And the Big Macs played their game.

They outlasted District 1 Neshaminy, 4-3, in a 12-inning thriller to give the program its first PIAA softball championship.

It was only the third PIAA Class AAAA title from a WPIAL team since Class AAAA formed in 2005 with Shaler (2006) and Mt. Lebanon (2010) also winning. The game also tied for the second-longest title game with the 1989 PIAA Class AAA final between Williamsport and Baldwin (a 2001 Class AA championship between Fleetwood and Riverside went 14 innings.)

Moeller just missed playing in that 14-inning 1989 final, she graduated from Baldwin in 1988. She did play in a PIAA volleyball championship game in which her team finished runner-up.

"I played in a state final in volleyball when I was 16 or 17, we took second, I don't remember that feeling," Moeller said. "But after this game, I don't think I'll ever forget the feeling."

In the PIAA final, senior pitcher Alayna Astuto was phenomenal, pitching nine innings of no-hit softball and going the complete game to get the win. Things got interesting in the 10th when under International Tiebreaker rules each team started each inning with a runner on second base and no outs. Canon-McMillan and Neshaminy each scored a run in the 10th and 11th.

The one dimension that was different at Nittany Lion Park was the home run walls. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.