Mohawk softball team rallies for win

May 15—In a back-and-forth battle, the sixth inning opened things up for the Mohawk High softball team on Tuesday.

The fourth-seeded Lady Warriors plated five runs in the bottom of the sixth with two outs to rally for an 8-5 win over 13th-seeded Waynesburg Central in the first round of the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs at Montour High School.

"We had four passed balls score runs. That hurt us and put us behind the eight-ball and we had to just keep fighting," Mohawk coach Hank Pezzuolo said on the win. "We had that big inning that we needed and they never quit."

The Lady Warriors will face 12th-seeded Freeport on Thursday at a time and site to be determined.

"I know that group over there," Pezzuolo said of Freeport. "I know the pitcher. She throws it very well. We're going to have to play a lot better than we did today and we expect to. We're going to give it everything we've got."

Mohawk's Reagan Magno started things off in the circle. Magno pitched 3 2/3 innings and gave up two hits, three runs — all earned — and pitched five walks and five strikeouts.

Pezzuolo said there were a "little bit of nerves," when it came to Magno in the circle, adding, "Reagan, like I've said, has been our go-to. I think she had some nerves today and it wasn't her best. But, that's why we have 15 (wins) on the team."

Waynesburg Central's first two runs came from wild pitches in the top of the second inning. Magno, not to be deterred in the circle, plated a run for Mohawk (15-5) in the bottom of the second to respond and trail the Lady Raiders, 2-1.

"It was a spark we needed," Pezzuolo said on Magno's RBI. "We kept chipping and chipping. We couldn't get that big hit when we had runners in scoring position. Reagan coming up to do that was a big hit for us."

In the bottom of the third inning, Mohawk's Alivia Hare plated a run to tie the game at two and Aricka Young grounded out to give her team its first lead of the game.

"Just keep fighting," Pezzuolo said. "We just never quit."

Another wild pitch from Magno brought home Waynesburg Central's BayLi Barclay to knot the game at three. After the Lady Raiders (7-12) tied it up, Gianna Pezzuolo stepped into the circle for Mohawk.

"Honestly, I had confidence in having Gi Pezzuolo coming in to throw," Coach Pezzuolo said. "She's a freshman, she spins the ball and she did really well for us. She locked it down."

Gianna Pezzuolo (1-0) threw 3 1/3 innings and relinquished five hits, two runs — all earned — and had one walk and five strikeouts.

Waynesburg Central plated its final two runs of the game in the top of the fifth after its pitcher, Gina Tedrow, hit a double to bring home a runner, which was then followed up by Ellie Makel getting to home plate on a dropped third strike.

Coach Pezzuolo said it wasn't a "pleasant talk," coming off of the field after the top of the sixth.

"We got at them a little bit and they responded," Coach Pezzuolo said. "It was big hits in timely situations. I just can't say enough about our fight back."

In the bottom of the sixth with two outs, the bats came alive with Mohawk's Mylie Pistorius plating the first run to trail the Lady Raiders, 5-4. Mohawk's Addy Moskal hit a triple to plate two more runs and take a 6-5 lead.

"When I was up, I wasn't nervous but I was because I just had to clear my mind and not worry about everything," Moskal said. "There's a lot of pressure on that at-bat to get us ahead...We always do good with two outs. We always battle and always cheer, which just helps everybody stay up and nobody gets down. We always pick each other up."

Moskal followed her triple up by scoring on a wild pitch to make Mohawk's lead 7-5. Mohawk's Maya McGreal singled on a ground ball to bring home the final run of the game.

In the top of the seventh inning, it was a 1-2-3 inning to seal the deal.

"It feels great that we have a freshman in Gianna Pezzuolo that comes in and shuts the door," Coach Pezzuolo said. "The kid is just incredible. She's all around the plate, doesn't throw very hard but the ball is spinning all over the place. I couldn't be more proud of her."