Springfield (D) reaches state softball title game

Kaity Baumann's job for the Springfield (Delco) softball team is to hit the ball.

A senior, Baumann is the designated player and No. 5 hitter for the District 1 runner-up.

On Monday at Messiah College, Baumann went 1 for 2 with an RBI double, also reaching base on a walk. Tara Matteo pinch-ran for Baumann and scored the decisive run in the sixth inning as the Cougars defeated Greensburg-Salem, 3-2, in the semifinals of the PIAA Class AAA state tournament.

The victory over the District 7 third-place team gave the Cougars (22-4) a berth in the championship game Friday against Bethlehem Catholic at Penn State.

"It is incredible," Baumann said. "It is always your goal to get [to the state championship], but there's such a slight chance."

Baumann jump-started the Springfield offense in the fourth inning with a two-out double. She got the Cougars going again in the sixth when she walked to lead off the inning. Two batters later, Nikki DePietro stepped to the plate and made contact, sending the ball to the right side.

As she saw the rightfielder run in to try to make a play on the drive, DePietro said she had one thought: "Don't catch it, don't catch it."

The rightfielder did not, and the Cougars took the lead for the first time on DePietro's single as Matteo crossed home plate.

"Coming back in a game is nothing new for this team," Cougars coach Todd Odgers said. "It is just amazing the way that they persevere. There is never a quit, they stay on it, they stay on it, they don't get rattled."

Though the teams for Friday's clash are set, the time is not. The game was scheduled for 5:30 p.m., but there is a possibility that the time will change so it doesn't conflict with Springfield's graduation.

The time of the first pitch doesn't matter to the Cougars.

"We are all confident," DePietro said. "We know we can do it."

Springfield (D) 000 111 0 - 3 6 2

Greensburg-Sal. 002 000 0 - 2 4 0

WP: Courtney Scarpato.

LP: Melissa Wagner.

2B: S-Taylor Winkelman, Kaity Baumann.