NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. – In 2019, DuBois Central Catholic played for the PIAA Class 1A state title.
The Lady Cardinals were shut out in that game by Williams Valley. While most of the players from that team are gone, the current DCC seniors were freshmen then, and on Thursday they have a chance to go back and finish what they started four years ago.
That’s because DCC scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and Morgan Tyler made them stand up in the seventh as the District 9 champion Cardinals defeated District 10 champion Saegertown, 4-0, to punch their ticket to the state championship.
Rewatch the game
“It would mean everything (to win the state title),” DCC’s Emma Suplizio said. “Especially since as freshmen we got there for the first time ever so to be a senior, I feel like I have unfinished business there.”
See Suplizio’s full interview:
It was somewhat fitting then, that Suplizio drove in the first run of the game for the Lady Cardinals.
Having managed just one hit off Saegertown ace Mikaila Obenrader, DCC finally broke free in the sixth tagging the sophomore for the four runs on four hits and a walk.
Back-to-back-to-back-to-back singles by Suplizio, Kayley Risser, Savannah Morelli, and Madi Hoyt after a leadoff walk to Kali Franklin fueled the rally.
“We knew they had a good pitcher, we didn’t know how we’d be able to hit the ball so we practiced our small game coming in and that really helped,” DCC pitcher Melia Mitskavich said. “I think we had the confidence. I think we knew we’d score runs.”
The four runs were plenty for the tandem of Mitskavich and Tyler.
Mitskavich went five shutout innings allowing four hits and a walk while striking out three, and Tyler got the win throwing two scoreless innings allowing three hits while striking out two.
See Mitskavich’s full interview:
Saegertown had an opportunity to put at least one run on the board in the top of the sixth. Rylie Braymer hit a leadoff single. Two outs later, Obenrader singled to center. Braymer went from first to third, and Obenrader advanced to second on the play. Braymer was just the second baserunner, for either team, to make it safely to third in the game.
Tyler and Hailee Gregor had a 7-pitch battle at the plate. Tyler ultimately came out on top, getting Gregor swinging to end the inning.
“I just think, honestly, we have some of the best pitchers in the state,” Suplizio said. “I think they are the most amazing pitchers ever. I love those girls.”
Hoyt reached on a bunt single to start the DCC second and moved to second on Jessy Frank’s sac bunt. Hoyt went to third on a wild pitch, but Obenrader got Lauren Davidson to strike out and Mitskavich to fly out to end the inning.
Obenrader wouldn’t allow another hit until the sixth.
“She is an amazing pitcher, but we’ve had hard pitchers before and always come through eventually,” Suplizio said. “I had full confidence in my team.”
Saegertown had runners in scoring position multiple times but was unable to get any of them across the plate.
Braymer hit a 1-out single in the first and stole second, but consecutive groundouts stranded her there.
With one out in the third, Kylie Thompson walked and went to second on Braymer’s 2-out single. Rhiannon Paris hit a liner up the middle, but Hoyt was able to make a jumping catch for the final out.
Hoyt, who had an RBI bunt single in the four-run sixth, was 2-for-2 with a walk and an RBI to lead DCC.
Braymer was 3-for-3 for Saegertown.
Obenrader took the loss going six innings allowing four runs, three earned, on five hits, and two walks while striking out seven.
DCC, which also went to the PIAA title game in 2019 (there was no season in 2020) will face Montgomery, a 9-0 winner over Glendale, at 11 a.m. Thursday at Beard Field at Nittany Lion Softball Park on the campus of Penn State.