Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Weather or Not South Park a Winner, It Was Some Wet, Wild Softball Season

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Weather or Not South Park a Winner, It Was Some Wet, Wild Softball Season

Article excerpt

It might not be quite the same as winning the WPIAL championship, but South Park had its sights on the Greater Pittsburgh Softball League 18-and-under championship last night when it was scheduled to play host to North Hills at Wilson Field in the best-of-three series.

South Park, coming off a WPIAL Class AA title in the spring, features six players who were starters for the Eagles varsity team. This group is led by pitcher Stacey Rhoades and second baseman Stacey Bugle, the only recent graduate on the summer team.

The others are expected to return next spring for the South Park varsity.

South Park and North Hills spilt a doubleheader last Thursday in Ross Township to open the final series. South Park won the first game, 3-2, with North Hills rebounding for a 7-3 triumph. South Park barely qualified for the playoffs, posting an 8-5 record in the Southern Division. Five scheduled division games were never played because of rainouts.

The Greater Pittsburgh League features 40 teams primarily from WPIAL-based softball programs, ranging from Butler to Washington.

South Park often played its regular-season games without its full lineup because of vacation trips, college visits and summer jobs.

Despite these obstacles, South Park marched to the finals by defeating Mount Washington, 13-5 in the first round, followed by playoff wins over McGuffey, 1-0; and Carrick, 3-2.

South Park trailed Carrick in the semifinals, 2-0, before a 3- run rally in the sixth inning. Rhoades broke the drought for South Park by driving in two runs with a single. Third baseman Shannon Schleicher followed by driving in the winning run with a single.

"The group of girls we have wants to make a name for South Park, whether it's in the WPIAL or the summer [recreation] league," Manager Rene Rhoades said.

Other players on the team are second baseman Nikki Kaschauer, third baseman/center fielder Sara Oxenreiter, catcher/outfielder Jacki Braszo, catcher/third baseman Beth Marchetti, first baseman Gina Sopp, outfielder Molly Kintigh and pitcher/outfielder Kristi Heidkamp, who was called up from the 15-and-under team. …

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