WEIRTON - Many high school softball games end up in pitching duels, but not the one played Saturday in a steady light rain at Starvaggi Park.
It is doubtful that the Weirton city softball championship ever was decided in a game as wild as this one. There was some good pitching, but there was a lot more heavy hitting and each team made their share of defensive mistakes. There was a total of 17 runs and 20 hits in the game.
Through it all, Madonna scored a run on an unusual play in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 10-9 come-from-behind victory to capture its fourth straight Weirton City Championship.
CHAMPS — The Weirton Madonna softball team poses with the City Championship trophy following its 10-9 come-from-behind win over Weir to secure its fourth consecutive Weirton city title.
"I'm very proud of the girls," said victorious coach Chris Conti. "It was a very good win for us. The girls never gave up even after we were down by six runs in the fifth inning."
Conti's Blue Dons (5-6) won the game when pinch runner, Montana Mascio, scampered home from third base with the winning run as her teammate, Amanda Paul, was being tagged at second base for the second out of the inning by Weir High's right fielder, Caitlyn Fodor.
"We made some mistakes, but we'll learn from this and be a better team," said Red Rider coach, Dave Hinerman. "This is the second game in as many days that we were ahead and got beat by one run. We have to learn to put teams away."
Weir High was ahead 5-0 Friday night at Brooke, but the Bruins came back to win the game 6-5.
The Red Riders (4-10) had the best of the early going jumping out to a 7-1 lead in the first five innings. The Riders scored two runs in the first inning, three in the third and two more in the fifth. The Blue Dons could answer with just a single run in the bottom of the first inning.
Junior Micah DiBacco was the beneficiary of the run support, but she ran into some difficulty when the Blue Dons tallied seven times in the bottom of the fifth inning to take the lead at 8-7.
Weir High bounced right back with two runs in the top of the sixth inning, but Madonna scored in the bottom of the inning to tie it at 9-9 going into the seventh frame.
The Red Riders had the potential winning run at third base with one out in the top of the inning, but couldn't get her home.
Madonna's big fifth inning saw the Blue Dons rap four straight hits off the bats of Lettie Quattrochi, Emily Pietranton, Annie Magnone and Emily Hvizdak. All four scored and so did Sara Lyons, who later doubled and Isabella Anile, who had singled. Madonna senior, Stephanie Magnone got aboard when her smash toward third went between the Red Rider third baseman's legs. Mascio ran for Magnone, worked her way around the base paths and scored on a groundout.
Freshman Amanda Pulice chalked up the win. She gave up 10 hits, walked one and struck out one.
Madonna senior, Stephanie Magnone started the winning rally in the bottom of the seventh when she induced a base on balls. Mascio ran for Magnone, who is nursing a an injured knee sustained playing basketball for the Blue Dons. Mascio moved to second when Amanda Paul followed with another walk and scored when Fodor tagged Paul out at second base.
"Everybody that got into the game were a part of the game and that's what I like," said Conti. "We hit the ball very well today. We have hit the ball well the last couple of games, they just didn't fall, but today they fell in. Also our defense played well and, for a freshman, Amanda (Pulice) pitched very well, too."
Sophomore center fielder, Emily Hvizdak and senior Courtney Moss, who smashed a run producing triple in the bottom of the sixth inning, led the Madonna hit parade. Hvizdak, the Blue Don leadoff batter, blasted two doubles and a single and drove in a run while scoring three times. Moss had a single to go with her triple and drove in two runs.
"I want to congratulate Chris Conti and his whole team," said Hinerman, who came back to coach the Red Riders after being away from softball for several years. "They deserved to win. They kept coming back. It seems that the fifth inning has been our nemesis all year. I applaud the Madonna team."
Miekka Buffo, Fodor and Alyssa Shingle topped the Weir High offense with two hits each. Buffo and Shingle each tripled. Buffo scored three runs and Haley McLaughlin and Fodor each scored two runs. Fodor also had two runs batted in.
Madonna hits the road next Tuesday with a game at Toronto. Weir High travels to Wheeling Central Monday.
Madonna 10, Weir 9
Weir 203 022 0 - 9 10 2
Madonna 100 071 1 - 10 10 3
WEIR (4-10) DiBacco (LP, 2K, 2BB) and Buffo. Buffo T, S, 3R; McLaughlin D, 2R, RBI; Fodor 2S, 2R, 2RBI; Rasicci T; Drizake S; Zatezalo S, R; Shingle S, D, R.
MADONNA (5-6) Pulice (WP, 1K, 1BB) and A. Magnone. Hvizdak 2D, S, 3R, RBI; Moss S, 3B, 2RBI; Lyons 2B, R, RBI; Anile S, R; Quattrochi S, R; Pietranton S, R; A. Magnone S, R, RBI.