The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

May 15, 2013

Jon Gerardi's column on high school softball: Lourdes no longer a pushover

Red Raiders earn another district berth

(Continued)

The Red Raiders have four different hitters with an average over .300, including Caity Funk (.359), Peyton Klembara (.397), Long and pitching ace CharLee Rosini (.437).

While Rosini's a threat every time she comes up to bat -- leading Lourdes with 31 hits, nine doubles, four triples and two homers -- it's her arm that has helped Lourdes reach the postseason.

Rosini has a 12-2 mark as a starter this year for Lourdes, striking out 78 batters through 100 innings pitched with an ERA of just 2.17.

In addition, the senior ace has thrown three one-hitters and recorded six shutouts this season.

"Char has been a four-year starter and she's been our horse on the mound. She's carried the ball for us all four years. She's our go-to (player) not only on mound, but at bat as well," Coach Long said. "That kid is a slugger and she's won many games for us over last four years. In the bottom of the seventh when we needed a hit, she comes through more times than not."

Factor in that Klembara is a nice luxury to have as a second pitcher, and it isn't too surprising Lourdes is 14-6 and is playoff-bound for the second time since 1993.

"Peyton is a different style pitcher. She doesn't get used on the mound as often because she's valuable to us at shortstop, but next year Peyton's going to be a senior," coach Long said. "So we tried to get her some games to get her to test the waters and get used to getting the ball next year and carrying us."

Klembara (2-2) threw a 3-inning no-hitter in a 17-0 shutout over Lincoln Leadership Academy earlier this season.

The Red Raiders' six losses this year came to three teams in the Schuylkill League: Minersville, Tri-Valley and Williams Valley. And despite the fact Lourdes hasn't played many schools in the Heartland this season, don't be surprised if Lourdes tries to make some ripples in the Class AA field in districts.

"I sure do (think we can hang with the teams in Class AA). We have the pitching and our team can hit," coach Long said. "I just want us to be competitive and I certainly think we can be competitive."

n Jon Gerardi covers high school softball for The Daily Item. Email comments to jgerardi@dailyitem.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JonGerardi.

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