PIAA softball: Hazleton Area wins by the Book in Class 6A

By John Erzar - [email protected]
Hazleton Area’ Becca Rossi steals second base in the sixth inning as Garnet Valley shortstop Morgan Mesaros waits for the throw during Monday’s PIAA Class 6A state softball game at Wilkes University. - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Hazleton Area second baseman Taylor Kaschak collides with right fielder Julia Mrochko after Mrochko makes a catch in the sixth inning Monday. - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Hazleton Area third baseman Tiana Treon and center fielder Becca Rossi celebrate with pitcher Erika Book (28) after a 4-2 win Monday against Garnet Valley in a PIAA Class 6A state softball first-round game at Wilkes University. - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

EDWARDSVILLE — Hazleton Area’s Erika Book pitched like she had to be somewhere Monday night.

She actually did — the school’s senior awards ceremonies.

Aside from some seventh-inning trouble, Book shut down Garnet Valley on one hit through the first six innings as Hazleton Area posted a 4-2 win in a PIAA Class 6A softball matinee at Wilkes University.

District 2 champion Hazleton Area (22-1) will play in the quarterfinals on Thursday. The Cougars’ opponent will be either D1 champion Central Buck South or D1 fifth seed Neshaminy. Those teams were rained out Monday and will play Tuesday.

Monday’s game started at 2 p.m. to allow Book and the other seniors enough time to get cleaned up and over to the high school for the awards.

“I do have one (award). I don’t know what it is,” Book said. “It’s a surprise, so we’ll get to see.”

Book limited Garnet Valley to one hit — a single to left by Lindsey Hunt in the third — through the six innings. Moreover, the Jaguars weren’t squaring anything up as they hit only one other ball out of the infield and recorded half their outs via grounders.

Quite a difference than in the D2/4 6A subregional championship where Book gave up nine hits and five earned runs.

“I came out with vengeance to say the least,” Book said. “I definitely wanted to redeem myself. I hate letting these girls down because they pick me up so many times. So coming out here and not playing my best is not an option.”

Book ran into some issues in the seventh with Hazleton Area up 4-0. Garnett Valley’s Kelly McLaughlin opened with a double, Hunt followed with a single and Morgan Mesaros added a double to score a run. The Jaguars scored another run on a sacrifice fly to left, but when Mesaros tried to dash to third, the Cougars ended up with a 7-6-5 double play.

Book ended the threat — and the game — with a groundout.

Hazleton Area wasn’t ripping the ball either off Garnet Valley’s Becca Halford and finished with five hits. Two of them — consecutive singles by Becca Rossi and Tiana Treon — led to one run in the fourth. Another scored on a throwing error on Marissa Trivelpiece’s grounder.

Treon made it 4-0 in the fifth with a two-run single, scoring Olivia Wolk and Taylor Kaschak. Wolk reached on an error and Kaschak was hit by a pitcher. Both runners moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by Rossi.

“She threw a lot of off-speed pitches that threw us off just a little bit,” Treon said. “Eventually we got on her, but yeah, her off-speed was very, very good.”

PIAA CLASS 6A FIRST ROUND

Hazleton Area 4, Garnet Valley 2

Garnet Valley`AB`R`H`BI

Torregrossa 3b`3`0`0`0

McLaughlin 2b`3`1`1`0

Hunt c`3`1`2`0

Mesaros ss`3`0`1`1

Bechtold 1b`2`0`0`1

Shenk cf`3`0`0`0

Halford p`2`0`0`0

Saboja ed`2`0`0`0

Valente lf`2`0`0`0

Totals`23`2`4`2

Hazleton Area`AB`R`H`BI

Kaschak 2b`2`1`0`0

Rossi cf`2`1`1`0

Treon 3b`3`1`3`3

Trivelpiece ss`3`0`0`0

Antolick lf`2`0`0`0

Book p`3`0`0`0

Mrochko rf`3`0`0`0

Mooney 1b`2`0`0`0

Peters ph`1`0`1`0

Wolk c`3`1`0`0

Totals`24`4`5`3

Garnet Valley`000`000`2 — 2

Hazleton Area`000`220`x — 4

2B — McLaughlin, Mesaros.

Garnet Valley`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Halford L`6.0`5`4`2`1`2

Hazleton Area`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Book W`7.0`4`2`2`0`4

Hazleton Area’ Becca Rossi steals second base in the sixth inning as Garnet Valley shortstop Morgan Mesaros waits for the throw during Monday’s PIAA Class 6A state softball game at Wilkes University.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_TTL060518Hazleton-Softball1.jpgHazleton Area’ Becca Rossi steals second base in the sixth inning as Garnet Valley shortstop Morgan Mesaros waits for the throw during Monday’s PIAA Class 6A state softball game at Wilkes University. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

Hazleton Area second baseman Taylor Kaschak collides with right fielder Julia Mrochko after Mrochko makes a catch in the sixth inning Monday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_TTL060518Hazleton-Softball2.jpgHazleton Area second baseman Taylor Kaschak collides with right fielder Julia Mrochko after Mrochko makes a catch in the sixth inning Monday. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

Hazleton Area third baseman Tiana Treon and center fielder Becca Rossi celebrate with pitcher Erika Book (28) after a 4-2 win Monday against Garnet Valley in a PIAA Class 6A state softball first-round game at Wilkes University.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_TTL060518Hazleton-Softball3.jpgHazleton Area third baseman Tiana Treon and center fielder Becca Rossi celebrate with pitcher Erika Book (28) after a 4-2 win Monday against Garnet Valley in a PIAA Class 6A state softball first-round game at Wilkes University. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

By John Erzar

[email protected]

Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar

Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar