If common opponents count for anything, then Cranberry should like its chances in today's Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class 2A softball semifinal, which will be held at Slippery Rock University's Softball Complex at 4 p.m.
The Berries (15-5) are in uncharted territory as this is the first season in program history that they were able to reach as far as the quarterfinals, let alone the semis, which is where they find themselves now. And, they find a 19-4 Frazier team waiting for them.
The Commodores are the No. 2 seed out of District 7, and they were dropped into the second spot after losing in the D-7 championship game to none other than Laurel, the team that Cranberry took down by a 7-6 margin in the quarters to advance to the semis.
Frazier lost that game by a 9-3 score before rebounding in the PIAA tournament to take down Marion Center (District 6's top seed) in the opening round in a 9-6 decision and Chartiers Houston (D-7's No. 4 seed) by a 4-3 mark.
In the victory over Chartiers Houston, starting pitcher Logan Hartman allowed three runs on five hits while walking five and striking out three in the complete-game effort. Savannah Berklovich also drove in a pair in the win.
Cranberry, meanwhile, is hitting its stride at just the right time, having won eight games in a row with the last five of those coming in the playoffs. Before taking down Laurel, the Berries upended Freedom 10-1 in the opening round to advance to the quarters.
In the postseason, the Berries are averaging 11 runs per game while batting an eye-popping .404 as a team.
During that stretch, Cranberry has gotten significant contributions from all nine spots in the batting order, starting with leadoff batter Andrea Watson, who is hitting .450 with four RBIs, seven runs and two triples. In the two-hole, Maddie Cornelius checks in at .368 with seven RBIs, seven runs, a triple and two doubles, while batting in the three-spot is Kaylie Bruce (.350, six RBIs, six runs, two doubles).
Hitting cleanup, Rachael McCauley checks in at .381 with four runs, a double and a team-high eight RBIs. Behind her, Malliah Schreck has a playoff-best .550 (11-for-20) average while driving in three, scoring seven and stroking three doubles, setting up Megan Hadden (.350, six RBIs, five runs, two doubles, triple).
The bottom third of the order is made up of Maria Anderson (.313, five RBIs, five runs, two doubles), Emily Duncan (.353, six RBIs, four runs, two doubles) and a combination of Jenna Seigworth (.545, four RBIs, three runs) and Jenna Reynolds (.429, one RBI) before the lineup turns over again.
In the circle, Watson is a perfect 5-0 in the postseason to help put the Berries just one win away from a spot in the state championship game, which will be held at Penn State University's Beard Field on Thursday at 11 a.m.
The winner of the Berries' matchup will take on a team out of District 3, but whether it's No. 1 seed Susquenita or No. 2 seed Brandywine Heights will be determined today at 4 p.m. also.