Nina Cencetti, Pittston Area rout Elk County in opener of state tournament

By Nick Wagner

Nina Cencetti had a big day for Pittston Area, striking out eight in the circle while going 4-for-5 with a triple at the plate.

Pittston Area’s Kerry Shamnoski greets Mindina Lieback during introductions against Elk County on Wednesday.

BERWICK — Whether the ball was in her hand or coming off the bat, Pittston Area’s Nina Cencetti had complete control of it. And her team benefited.

Pittston Area needed just six innings to knock off Elk County, 14-2, in the opening round of the Pennsylvania Senior Softball Championships at Ber-Vaughn Park in Berwick.

Cencetti had a perfect game through three innings. She finished the complete game by allowing just three hits and striking out eight. With the bat, Cencetti finished 4-for-5 with a triple, two RBI and a run scored.

In her last two games, Cencetti has thrown 13 innings, allowed only eight hits and surrendered just two runs. Her most previous shutout was against Old Forge in the Section 5 championships.

“This was a lot of fun today,” Cencetti said. “The speed was just the way I like it. Once I saw the first strike, I knew it was going to be a good day.”

Pittston Area’s next game will be at 4 p.m. Friday back in Berwick against the Bristol Borough/Wellsboro winner. Wellsboro got a bye in the tournament, while Bristol defeated Pocono Mountain East, 12-0, on Wednesday morning.

The championship will be held at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

Pittston Area pounded out 14 hits against Elk County. Mindina Lieback, Alexa McHugh, Abbey Bradigan and Jordan Cegelka each had two hits. McHugh and Bradigan each finished with two RBI.

It was somewhat of a slow start for Pittston Area. The team left four runners stranded in the first two innings, not capitalizing on their opportunities. But things began to open up in the fourth.

“We wanted to keep the pressure on them and we told the kids eventually the hits would fall,” Pittston Area coach Vito Quaglia said. “I knew eventually our bats would warm up and they did. Everyone contributed and we were on today.”

With a 3-0 lead thanks to a Cencetti single and a Kerry Shamnoski hit, Pittston Area scored four more runs in the fourth inning. Cegelka led off the inning with a double to left followed by a single from Lieback. McHugh then brought home Cegelka before another Cencetti single brought home Taylor Baloga.

“We have to make sure we get quality at-bats and quality outs,” Quaglia said. “If you get out that’s fine, but we had some bad swings today so we’ll work on that.”

Pittston Area’s biggest blow came in the sixth when the team sent 11 batters to the plate. Bradigan had a two-run single, Rachel Kochanowski had a run-scoring walk and Dominique Quaglia drove in a run with a sacrifice bunt. Thanks to two Elk County errors, Pittston Area score seven runs.

“You don’t want to be in that situation,” Quaglia said when asked about the insurance runs. “You don’t want to worry about an error or anything like that to make the game close. It’s nice to have some cushion.”

Cencetti didn’t allow a baserunner in the first three innings before giving up three hits and two runs in the fourth. She had just one runner reach in the fifth and sixth.

“I was trying to get ahead in the count and let me defense work,” Cencetti said. “One inning they strung some hits together.”

Pittston Area 14, Elk County 2

Pittston Area`AB`R`H`BI

Lieback c `3`2`2`1

McHugh ss `3`3`2`2

Baloga 1b `1`1`0`0

Kochanowski 1b `1`1`0`1

Bradigan 3b `5`0`2`2

Cencetti p `5`2`4`2

Shamnoski lf `3`0`1`1

LGronka lf `0`1`0`0

Gardner cf `4`1`0`0

Quaglia 2b `3`1`1`1

Cegelka rf `2`1`2`0

HGronka rf `1`1`0`0

Totals `36`14`14`10

Elk County`AB`R`H`BI

Quiggle c `3`1`1`0

Johnson cf `2`0`0`0

Kocjanck 3b `3`1`1`0

Sherry p `3`0`1`2

Park ss `2`0`0`0

KDowdall 2b `2`0`0`0

Kasmierski rf `1`0`0`0

Sabatose rf `1`0`1`0

ADowdall lf `1`0`0`0

Williams lf `1`0`0`0

Uhl 1b `1`0`0`0

Swanson 1b `1`0`0`0

Totals `19`2`4`2

Pittston Area` `111`407`—`14

Elk County` `000`400`—`2

2B — Cegelka, McHugh, Sherry; 3B — Cencetti

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


Elk County`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO



Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick

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