WEXFORD, Pa. – DuBois Central Catholic aims to make it an even 50 percent in the last decade for District 9 Class A softball teams.
Since 2007, D9 has sent four teams to the PIAA Class A championship game. A DuBois Central Catholic win over WPIAL champion West Greene Monday (6 p.m. at North Allegheny High School) would give District 9 five of the last 10 representatives from the western half of the state – three have won PIAA titles including Elk County Catholic last year.
In order to advance to the title contest, DCC will have to knock off a West Greene team that has been rolling not losing since a 4-3 defeat to Moore Catholic (N.Y.) April 1 in Myrtle Beach, S.C., winning 22 in a row while sitting at 25-1 on the year.
The Pioneers have been especially impressive in the postseason outscoring their opponents 61-8 in six playoff games. They are coming off a 4-1 win over District 10 champion Saegertown in the quarterfinals Thursday after beating District 9 runner-up Clarion, who DCC topped 2-1 in the D9 title game, 12-2 in five innings. Clarion actually led 2-0 after a ½ inning and trailed by just a run, 3-2, going to the fifth before West Greene exploded for nine runs in the fifth to end the game.
The quarterfinal win over Saegertown marked the closest postseason game for West Greene, which beat Chartiers-Houston, 12-3, in the WPIAL game. It was the Pioneers closest game since a 5-4, nine-inning win over Bentworth in the regular-season finale.
Of course, while West Greene has a blemish on its record, DCC hasn’t been beaten.
The Lady Cardinals are sitting at 24-0 and are coming off a 3-0 win over Conemaugh Valley, last year’s Class A runner-up. DCC also beat Everett 16-0 in three innings in the opening round.
DCC is talented on both sides of the ball but it really starts with junior pitcher Riley Assalone.
Assalone has given up one earned runs in her last 70 innings and has a miniscule 0.51 ERA while sporting a 19-0 record. In 109 ⅔ innings of work, she has allowed just 63 hits while walking 23, a 0.78 WHIP. She has also struck out 131 (1.19 per inning). Assalone is coming off back-to-back shutouts in the PIAA playoffs including a five-hit, no-walk, six-strikeout performance against Conemaugh Valley.
DCC also has a strong offense and is hitting .453 as a team with a 1.140 OPS.
Jordy Frank leads the way on offense. The junior catcher is hitting .678 with 12 home runs, 11 doubles, nine triples, 15 stolen bases and 42 RBIs. All but the stolen bases, which are second, lead the team. She has an eye-popping 2.118 OPS.
Freshman Ashley Wruble and junior Macey Hanes are also hitting over .500 with Wruble coming in at .586 with a 1.404 OPS and Hanes at .570 with a 1.384 OPS. Hanes has three home runs, three triples, four doubles and 23 RBIs, while Wruble has hit one homer, six doubles and two triples while driving in 37. Hanes also leads the team with 20 stolen bases with Wruble adding 11.
Assalone, meanwhile, is hitting .427 with 18 RBIs, and senior Stephanie Rossi, one of just two seniors on the team, is coming in at .447 with five triples and 28 runs driven in.
West Greene’s numbers on offense are very similar.
The Pioneers are hitting .424 as a team with a 1.185 OPS.
Freshman McKenna Lampe leads the way hitting .610 with three home runs, seven doubles and four triples to go with 21 RBIs and a 1.591 OPS.
Madison Renner, a sophomore, Bailey Bennington, a senior, and Madison Lampe, a freshman, are also all hitting .500 or better for West Greene.
Renner comes in at .581 with a team-leading nine home runs and 65 RBIs. She also has 15 doubles and a triple. Her OPS is 1.663
Bennington is tied for the team lead in doubles with 15 while adding seven home runs, a triple and 35 RBIs and is hitting .563 with a team-best 1.732 OPS, and Madison Lampe is hitting .500 with six home runs, 10 doubles, four triples and 42 RBIs and a 1.212 OPS.
Renner has also been very solid in the circle with a 1.62 ERA and an 18-1 record. In 120.2 innings of work she has struck out 115 and walked 32 with opponents hitting .199 against her.
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS(7-1) West Greene (25-1)
No. Player Pos.
16 McKenna Lampe CF
4 Madison Lampe 3B
48 Madison Renner P
24 Bailey Bennington SS
2 Kaitlyn Rizor 2B
8 Lexie Mooney 1B
7 Linzee Stover LF
9 Mackenzie Carpenter RF
14 Shelby Morris C
Manager: Bill Simms
(9-1) DuBois Central Catholic (24-0)
No. Player Pos.
2 Macey Hanes CF
1 Jordy Frank C
5 Riley Assalone P
9 Ashley Wruble 2B
4 Stephanie Rossi 3B
15 Alyssa Bittner 1B
3 Tessa Sayers RF
12 Caitlin Drahushak DP
8 Libby Maurer SS
10 Madi Nasuti* LF