CALIFORNIA – After scoring 11 runs in a first-round victory over Freeport, members of the Waynesburg softball team had to figure they would be in for a tougher test against a strong pitcher in Lauren McMillen, who allowed only four hits in a 3-0 victory over Laurel in the first round.
The Keystone Oaks freshman was even better this time around.
McMillen took a no-hitter into the seventh inning to lead Keystone Oaks to a 6-0 victory over Waynesburg Monday in a WPIAL Class AA quarterfinal game at California University’s Lilley Field.
“She stayed low and we couldn’t get ahold of anything,” said Raiders coach Jim Armstrong. “She did a good job.”
Waynesburg’s struggled to find any openings in McMillen’s pitching. Not only did the Raiders (13-9) not have a base runner until a two-out walk in the fourth inning, Waynesburg didn’t hit the ball out of the infield until the fifth on a shallow flyout to right field.
The Raiders finally broke through in the final inning with a pair of singles, but McMillen retired the next three batters, two on strikeouts, to end the rally. McMillen finished with 10 strikeouts.
In contrast to Waynesburg’s struggles, Keystone Oaks (13-4) pounced early and continued to add on.
A first inning double by Eryn Caragein scored Meghan Staab, who led off with a single. A passed ball in the second inning contributed to the Golden Eagles’ second run when Laura Poliziani’s single plated courtesy runner Mariah Agurs.
Keystone Oaks tacked on two more runs in the third inning on RBI singles by Candace Drzik and Katie Lehman. The Golden Eagles scored in every inning but the fifth. Six different players had at least two hits, and eight batters reached base safely for Keystone Oaks.
“They’re a good hitting team,” Armstrong said. “We kept the ball down, but they were still picking them off. They’re a nice team.”
Caragein’s second double scored Bri Fischer in the fourth inning, and her third double resulted in the Golden Eagles’ final run when Caragein scored on Drzik’s single in the sixth.
“You have to keep adding on,” said Keystone Oaks coach Mark Kaminski. “I tell them they’ve got to play every inning like it’s 0-0. Every time we add a run, if they want to play small ball, it takes them out of it and makes them try to hit the ball. With Lauren pitching and if she’s hitting her spots like she was, that falls into our hands.”
The Raiders, who won the Section 2-AA championship, had won five straight games and seven of their last eight.
“We had an awesome season. The girls played well together,” said Armstrong. “We got into the second round of the playoffs. I’ll miss the seniors that I started with here.”