Michele Moeller was like every other 40-hour employee who longed to clock out a week-and-a-half ago. It was a tough time to be on the job.
Mired in a three-game losing streak in Class 6A Section 1, the Canon-McMillan High School softball team went from vying for a section title to playing for its playoff lives as the scheduled flipped to the second half.
“The season is not over; we have to keep playing,” Moeller, the Big Macs coach, said after a 7-5 loss to Peters Township April 12.
Canon-McMillan opened that week with an 18-17 nine-inning loss to Bethel Park, which was for first place in the section. The Big Macs then lost 11-7 to Baldwin two days before finishing the week with the two-run loss to Peters Township.
“Our focus is we have to try and get in the playoffs,” Moeller said after the Peters Township game. “That’s the goal at this point. It has to be the focus. The section is gone.”
But the Big Macs have found their footing with two demonstrative wins this past week, 10-3 over Mt. Lebanon and 11-3 over Upper St. Clair, to put them back in the thick of things at third place.
Canon-McMillan (6-3, 7-4) is one game behind second-place Baldwin and three behind undefeated section leader Bethel Park. C-M’s next two section games – both this week – are against Brashear and Allderdice, who have only combined for one win.
It might be difficult to surpass Bethel Park, but quickly recovering from that rough week has the Big Macs in the playoff picture.
Trinity continues to roll: Being atop the Class 5A Section 3 standings is not making Trinity grip the bats too tight.
The Hillers just continue to hit, and hit, and hit some more.
In 11 games this season, Trinity (6-1, 9-2) has scored double-digit run totals nine times, including all four games that make up this winning streak.
The only two losses for the Hillers this season – Dixie Hollins, a high school in Florida, and Montour – were each by one run.
They are averaging 12 runs per game.
Trinity has a big week ahead of it. The Hillers play West Allegheny today, Canon-McMillan in a non-section game Wednesday and a rematch with Montour next Monday. The latter two games are at home.
Fight to the finish: Two neighboring schools, one final spot.
That looks like how Class 2A Section 1 is shaping up.
The third and fourth playoff spots in the section will have to be earned down the stretch between Burgettstown and Fort Cherry. Our Lady of Sacred Heart also is involved in the fight for the final two spots after losing to the Blue Devils yesterday.
Fort Cherry (3-4, 3-4), which currently sits in fifth place, is in search of its first playoff appearance since 2011. The Rangers advanced to the title game and lost to Chartiers-Houston in the WPIAL Class A Championship that season.
Burgettstown (5-3, 6-7) ended a four-game losing streak by winning its last three games. The Blue Devils are currently in third place.
The two play one another April 29. Fort Cherry won the first game in early April, 9-3.
Mikes might make it messy: If Chartiers-Houston and Frazier each win out, they will share the Class 2A Section 3 title.
With how Carmichaels is playing, that could be a big if.
The Mikes are on a five-game winning streak and have not allowed a run in any of them, outscoring teams in those games, 63-0.
Carmichaels (6-2, 9-3) not only has a chance at determining a section champion between Frazier and Chartiers-Houston but could work its way into consideration with wins over both.
The Mikes play Frazier today and Chartiers-Houston April 29. Both are home games for Carmichaels.