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Merilli silences Lady Blue Devil bats for BG

Miranda Merilli allowed only two balls to leave the infield while giving up four hits and barely missed throwing a shutout in Bishop Guilfoyle\’s 6-1 victory over Bellwood-Antis Tuesday afternoon.
Trailing 6-0 in the final inning, Tamara Askey reached on an error, moved to third on two wild pitches, and scored on Danielle Riley\’s two-out RBI infield single to spoil Merilli\’s shutout bid.
The rest of the game, however, belonged to Merilli, who along with going the distance on the mound, also doubled and singled. She retired the side in order three times, but her best work came in the third inning.
Jenna Brown, one of five starting Lady Blue Devil freshmen, drew a walk to lead off and stole second. Bishop Guilfoyle catcher Chelsea Caracciolo\’s throw trickled into the outfield and allowed Brown to reach third with no outs.
Bellwood-Antis Manager Alex Sitman called for the bunt with each of his next three batters, but none could lie down a successful sacrifice against Merilli, who struck out the side.
“We just tried to manufacture a run there by getting them to throw the ball around,” Sitman said. “When you have a pitcher of that caliber, you have to make them think about coming off the mound. You can\’t just leave them throw what they want.”
While the Lady Blue Devils suffered their second straight setback to begin the season, there were many signs of improvement from their opening game, a 15-2 loss to Tyrone.
Shannon Hite smacked a one-out double for the Lady Marauders in the second inning and went to third on an error, but Bellwood-Antis pitcher Emily Derr struck out Jaci Hall and got Tiffany Seasoltz on a ground out to end the threat.
After retiring the first two batters in the third inning, Derr hit Kiley Dick with a pitch. An error and three straight walks followed, driving in two runs to make the score 4-0, but any further damage was halted by pitching coach Allison Stodart.
Noticing a mistake with Derr\’s timing, Stodart shouted, “go” each time Derr released the ball, and Derr recorded a strike on each of her next three pitches for an inning ending strikeout.
“She was trying to aim the ball a little more than she was in the first couple innings,” Stodart said. “We have been working since the beginning of the summer on keeping her arm speed fast, because she has very good arm speed, and we just make sure she\’s pushing herself on every pitch so that nothing changes.”
Derr recorded six strikeouts in the game while allowing only three earned runs and garnered the praise of her manager.
“Emily just needs experience; she\’s going to get stronger and faster and more confident,” Sitman said. “Today you saw her hit some corners and throw some off speed stuff that caught them off guard, and she came a long way from the Tyrone game.”
The Lady Blue Devils go on the road for the first time this season when they travel to Claysburg-Kimmel Thursday. The first pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.
Bishop Guilfoyle 6 Bellwood-Antis 1
BISHOP GUILFOYLE – Seasoltz, ss, 4-1-1; Filler, lf, 5-1-3; Caracciolo, c, 3-0-0; Dick, 1b, 3-1-1; O\’Conner, 3b, 4-2-1; Merilli, p, 3-0-2; Horell rf, 2-0-1; S. Hite, 2b, 3-0-1; Hall dh, 3-0-0; Kuny, cf, 0-0-0; E. Hite, ph, 1-0-0; Slates, cr, 0-1-0; Lingenfelter, rf, 0-0-0; Wills, cr-ph, 0-0-0. TOTALS 31-6-10.
BELLWOOD-ANTIS – Weyandt, cf, 3-0-0; Baldauf, ss, 3-0-0; Putt, dh, 3-0-0; Pfahler, 2b, 3-0-0; Askey, c, 3-1-1; Derr, p, 3-0-1; Riley, lf, 3-0-2; Brown, 3b, 2-0-0; Snyder, rf, 2-0-0; Hamer, 1b, 0-0-0. TOTALS 25-1-4.
Bishop Guilfoyle 202 010 1 6-10-2
Bellwood-Antis 000 000 1 1- 4-4
3B: Horell.
2B: Merilli, S. Hite, Askey.
RBI: Horell 2, Caracciolo, Dick, Merilli, Riley.
BB: Derr 6, Merilli 1.
SO: Derr 6, Merilli 6.
WP: Merilli LP: Derr.