PITTSTON TWP. — For the first time in several years, Pittston Area was able to field a 10-11 softball team to compete for a District 16 championship.
With the combination of Duryea, Avoca/Dupont, Pittston Township and Jenkins Township, the team was just one of two teams vying for the title. It would come down to a series with Nanticoke.
Pittston Area took care of business with wins on Monday, July 13 and Wednesday, July 15 to claim the championship.
“This feels pretty awesome,” Pittston Area coach Jim Giordina said. “We had enough to compete this season and the girls were so excited.”
Pittston Area will begin its quest for a Section 5 championship at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 24 at either Pittston Township or Jenkins Township. District 16 is the host for the Section 5 tournament. The team will play the winner of the Old Forge-West Side game, which will be held on Wednesday, July 23.
Pitcher Lexi Borthwick threw a pair of complete games to win the championship. Through those two games, Borthwick walked just four batters in her 13 innings of work. In both games, Borthwick provided Pittston Area with key hits.
Despite Nanticoke tying the game in the bottom of the sixth, Borthwick came back to hit the game-winner in the top of the seventh. In that game, Grace Giordina had a two-run triple, while Tiara Gorge had a single and scored a run.
On Wednesday, Pittston Area scored five runs in the to win the championship. Borthwick hit a two-run single in that inning.
Pittston Area trailed 3-2 when the fifth inning started, but Lieback’s single scored Gorge and tied the game. Borthwick followed with the go-ahead hit, and Jaden Zawierucha added another two-run hit later in the frame.
Coach Giordina said he got 18 putouts from his infield in the championship game.
“The consistency of our defense has been the key so far this season,” he said. “When you play that kind of defense at this level, good things will happen.”
Borthwick was the beneficiary of that consistent defense.
“She’s a consistent pitcher and she usually gives up a lot of ground balls,” Giordina said. “She’s a timely hitter as well.”
District 31 9-10
Greater Wyoming Area’s run at a District 31 9-10 softball championship came to an end on Friday, July 17.
The locals had to beat Back Mountain twice to win the title. On Thursday, July 16, Greater Wyoming Area took down Back Mountain, 8-1. Anna Wisnewski struck out 11 batters and had two hits at the plate. Toni Minichello was 3-for-3 with a triple. Kayla Leo added a double, while Alyssa Gustitus had a single.
On Friday, Greater Wyoming Area fell, 4-2. Victoria Spaciano threw a complete game and allowed just three hits to Greater Wyoming Area.
Minichello drove in a run for the locals. Wisnewski took the tough-luck loss for Greater Wyoming Area. She allowed just six hits.
To get to the finals, GWA took down Northwest, 7-4, on Wednesday, July 15. Wisnewski struck out 12 batters on the mound while Minichello had a double and a single. Morgan Janeski also had two hits at the plate for GWA.
Greater Wyoming Area opened the tournament with a 23-1 win over West Side on Saturday, July 11. In the second round, GWA fell to Back Mountain, 4-3. Anna Wisnewski struck out eight batters in the loss.
District 16 9-10
Following a rout of Plains on Monday, Pittston Area’s run to a District 16 9-10 softball title came to a halt against Nanticoke on Wednesday, July 15.
Nanticoke pitcher Elizabeth Mendryzci threw a no-hitter and struck out seven in the 11-1 win.
Allison Guygosh had a double and three RBI, Tiffany Brogan hit two singles and drove in two runs, Kaitlyn Smith hit two singles and Sophia Lukowski also hit a single for Nanticoke.
Pittston Area reached the finals with a 13-3 win over Plains on Monday. In that game, Ava Serino had seven strikeouts to earn the win and Gianna Adams got the save with three strikeouts to end the game.
Sophia Quaglia tripled and Serino had an RBI in the fourth inning to finish the game. Bella Giardina scored three runs and Sage Weidlich scored two.
Pittston Area fell to Nanticoke, 5-0, to open the tournament on Saturday, July 11.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick