CLARION, Pa. – Over the next few weeks D9Sports.com’s Chris Rossetti we will take a look at his the Top 25 stories that impacted District 9 during the 2018-19 school year.
(Photo by Jared Bakaysa of JB Graphics. See more of Bakaysa’s work here)
NO. 5 – DCC SOFTBALL REACHES PIAA TITLE GAME
Over the past few seasons, the DuBois Central Catholic softball team seemed to just be a play or two away from advancing to the PIAA Class 1A title game but always seemed to come up short.
Not in 2019.
The Lady Cardinals overcame some midseason adversity to reach the PIAA title game for the first time in school history ousting an old thorn in the side on the way to the title game. And while DCC came up short in a 5-0 loss to Williams Valley in the championship tilt, it is a season that won’t soon be forgotten in Lady Cards history.
DCC, which set a team goal of reaching the championship game before the season started, started the year on fire winning nine in a row. But then adversity struck. It was discovered, internally, that the school had failed to submit the proper paperwork on a student who had transferred into the school at the start of the school year. DCC took action reporting its mistake to the District 9 committee, which declared the Lady Cardinals had to forfeit the nine games that player was used in meaning DCC now had nine losses on its official slate despite not losing a game on the field.
Those nine “defeats” would be the only ones “suffered” by DCC in the regular season but it was enough to send the Lady Cardinals on the road for the District 9 Class 1A playoffs.
That didn’t pose a problem, as DCC used a great offense to roll past Coudersport, 15-3 in five innings in the quarterfinal, then past top-seeded Otto-Eldred, 22-8, in the semifinals. In the title game, a seven-run first inning was enough to help the Lady Cardinals capture their third D9 title in the last four years, 7-2, over second-seeded Clarion.
It was more of the same in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs, as DCC knocked off Leechburg, 14-4, in six innings.
The PIAA quarterfinals meant a date with Claysburg-Kimmel, the team that beat DCC in the same round in 2018.
And it looked like the Lady Bulldogs were going to repeat the feat when they used a fifth-inning grand slam to take a 5-2 lead.
Jordy Kosko got a run back with a home run in the bottom of the fifth, but things seemed bleak for DCC in the seventh when, despite having runners on second and third with two outs, the Lady Cards were down to their last strike when Ashley Wruble fell into an 0-2 hole. But Wruble poked a single up the middle to score two runs and force extra innings. Then in the ninth, Avery Sickeri’s single won the game sending DCC onto the PIAA semifinals for the third time in four years.
In the semifinals, the Lady Cards faced old nemesis West Greene, who beat DCC in the semifinals in both 2016 and 2017.
The game was tied at two going to the top of the third when Shay Gulvas led off the inning with a solo home run to put DCC ahead 3-2.
The game remained 3-2 into the bottom of the seventh inning when West Greene, the two-time defending PIAA champion, put runners on first and third with two outs. A groundball in the hole at shortstop looked like it could tie the game, but Gulvas was able to get to the ball and throw to first to send the Lady Cardinals to Penn State and the PIAA title game.
Wruble earned D9Sports.com District 9 MVP and Offensive Player of the Year honors after hitting .632 with six home runs, 10 doubles, seven triples, 47 RBIs and 47 runs scored while recording an on-base percentage of .679 and an OPS of 1.794. She was also 13-1 in the circle with a 1.79 ERA.
ROSSETTI’S TOP 25 MOST IMPACTFUL HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS STORIES FROM 2018-19 SCHOOL YEAR
6. Brookville boys’ track finishes second in the state
7. Clarion-Limestone/Clarion football programs combine
8. Curwensville head coach Andy Evanko passes away after a long fight with ALS
9. C-L’s Newcomb runs into D9 record book
10. Young Clearfield softball team reaches PIAA semifinals
11. Cranberry softball reaches PIAA semifinals
12. Winning one for the coach, Kane rallies behind Dave Kiehl
13. A-C Valley girls’ basketball makes school history
14. Clarion Volleyball Wins D9 Title, Advances to PIAA quarterfinals
15. Ridgway Boys’ Basketball reaches PIAA quarterfinals
16. Six D9 Cross Country athletes medal at PIAAs
17. North Clarion Girls’ Basketball gets unexpected three-peat
18. Moving up in class? No problem, Ridgway Football wins third straight D9 title
19. ECC Baseball goes from D9 fifth seed to final eight in the state
20. Moniteau Baseball battles back to win D9 title
21. Brookville Wrestling, a D9 Dynasty
22. Chambers steal and miracle Shot
23. Callen nearly unhittable
24. Wruble’s Clutch Hit
25. Ella Marconi’s terrific season caps terrific career