Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Knoch Eliminates the Doubt This Year

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Knoch Eliminates the Doubt This Year

Article excerpt

The seniors on the Knoch softball team are well versed in playoff tiebreaking scenarios.

Knowing the tiebreaking rules and "scoreboard watching" entering the final week of the regular season had become rites of passage each spring for the Class of 2014.

As freshmen, they entered the final week of the season needing two wins and some help to make the playoffs. They got neither.

As sophomores, they entered the last section game of the season needing a win and some help. They got both, finished 5-5 in the section in a four-way tie for second and made the playoffs by virtue of a tiebreaker.

As juniors they learned that not all 5-5 records and four-way ties for second place are created equal. Despite winning their last two games of the season and finishing in yet another four-way tie for second place, Knoch was denied a postseason trip by virtue of a tiebreaker.

This season, the senior-heavy group was determined to take as much drama out of the postseason hunt as possible.

They bounced back from a section-opening setback at Highlands to win eight of their final nine section games to clinch not only a playoff spot, but a share of the section title.

"I would say that it is about time," Knights coach Tim Knappenberger said shortly after his team blasted Hampton, 14-4, Monday night to ensure at least a share of the section title. "I could not be more proud of my seniors. Not only are they in the playoffs but they have a share of the section title."

Senior catcher Abbi Smithmyer, senior shortstop Bethany Hay and senior pitcher Codi Reed, all four-year letter-winners, were around for late-season heartbreak in 2011 and '13. Senior Schaely Renfrew joined the team this year. Late in the season she earned the starting spot in right field.

"She has contributed huge," Knappenberger said. "Not only on the field but she has brought a positive attitude, an enthusiasm off the field. …

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