BELLEFONTE - The Lady Raiders of Bellefonte have a fitting motto for the 2012 season.
Don't talk about it, be about it.
Simply put, the Lady Raiders were all about it yesterday in their 14-1 victory over Mountain League rival Philipsburg-Osceola at O'Leary Field.
Believe me when I say all about it.
"We are really happy with today's performance," Bellefonte coach Gregg Kohlhepp said. "After the last game with P-O (a 2-1 loss) we worked hard to be a better team than 10 days ago. We came out and played our style of ball today. I am really impressed with the team's approach to the game."
The Lady Raiders executed in all facets of the five-inning game.
From the dish, Bellefonte racked up an impressive 13 hits against a great pitching team - including ten from the top five of the order.
"P-O is a quality team," Kohlhepp said. "The girls believed in themselves and were able to do the job. We were able to get some big hits. When the top of the order gets on and the bats come alive, it takes a lot of pressure off in the field."
Vanessa Cooper continued to shine from the four-spot in the Lady Raider lineup, going 2-for-3 and plating home five RBI.
"This was a nice redemption game for us," the sophomore said. "P-O is a great test and we wanted it. This is Bellefonte Softball, we are ready to play."
On the mound, Hannah Cooper held the Lady Mounties to just one hit - a triple to the second batter of the game - and issued only one walk in five strong innings of work.
"I didn't realize it (the one-hitter) until the end of the game," Hannah Cooper said. "They were hitting the ball well and my defense played amazing today. It was nice to get Erica (DeVinney) back in the field. She was confident, making plays and throwing out runners. I need her in the field, it is great to have her back."
Great indeed, as DeVinney sparked an error-free game from the Bellefonte defense. Her role was reduced to basically a designated hitter role due to injury nearly two weeks ago and she reappeared in the lineup for Bellefonte on Saturday against Hempfield.
"It felt good," DeVinney said of getting back on the field. "It was important to be a part of this team and have it rolling on the field. I knew everyone had my back and it made it a lot easier along the way back."
While the game started in P-O's favor - as it scored its lone run in the top of the first - Bellefonte was quick to answer with a handful of runs in the bottom of the first.
"I was feeling good," P-O coach Jim Gonder said. "We hit the ball well early and got an early lead, but the bear got us today. Bottom line is Bellefonte played well and we made mistakes. They beat us. It was a perfect storm."
The storm started brewing in the bottom of the first as Hannah Cooper, Jillian Musser, Jess Gmerek, Vanessa Cooper and DeVinney peppered Lady Mountie starting pitcher Kate Burge for five straight opening hits and opened a 5-1 lead for Bellefonte.
The hit parade continued in the bottom of the second as Bellefonte picked up three more runs on four hits.
Burge - arguably the best pitcher in the Mountain League - couldn't find a groove against the dangerous bats of Bellefonte. She lasted two innings, surrendering eight runs on 10 hits.
"I don't think she threw a bad game, they just hit the ball well," Gonder said. "Give Bellefonte credit. They took advantage of everything we gave them. We still have some things to do to get better."
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Hannah Cooper impressed from the mound, fanning two and issuing only one walk in the game.
The final runs of the game came in the fourth, as Bellefonte earned six runs, on three hits, two walks, a hit batter and got the help of two fielding errors from P-O to seal the game.
"We are thrilled," Kohlhepp said. "We had a tough schedule over the last ten days and worked through it nicely. Our approach has been a solid team effort from top-to-bottom."
Mountain League Softball
BELLEFONTE 14, PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA 1 5 INNINGS
P 100 00 - 1 1 2
B 530 6X - 14 13 0
P: Kate Burge, Morgan Williamson (3) and Carly Gonder. B: Hannah Cooper and Vanessa Cooper. WP - H. Cooper. LP - Burge. 3B: P, Abby Showers. 2B: B, H. Cooper, Jillian Musser, Erica DeVinney. MH: B, H. Cooper, Musser, Jess Gmerek, V. Cooper, DeVinney. Records: P 9-4, B 12-4.