UNIVERSITY PARK - Big Spring's Calli Pastor didn't have the day she was hoping for from the batter's box.
Late in a 0-0 ball game against Bellefonte, the senior Bulldog pitcher struck out and walked over to her coach.
"She said she wasn't helping the team with her bat," Big Spring coach Steve Calaman said. "I told her she didn't have to, just keep throwing the way she had been from the circle."
Bellefonte’s Chrissy Tressler laids a bunt down against Big?Spring yesterday in the opening round of the PIAA?Class AAA Softball Championship.
So she did just that, finishing off a complete-game gem against Bellefonte in the opening round of the PIAA Class AAA tournament yesterday at Beard Field at University Park.
Pastor shutdown the Lady Raiders' potent batting order, holding them to just two hits in Big Spring's 1-0 victory.
"I just wanted to pitch a good game," Pastor said. "I didn't do anything with my bat, but my team helped me out there. I just focused on my pitches."
Taylor Mansfield in particular picked Pastor up at the plate in the top of the seventh.
With two outs and a runner on second - by way of an error - Mansfield roped a pitch from Bellefonte's Hannah Cooper down the left field line, scoring Morgan Paynter for the lone run of the game.
"I have had different players step up at various times," Calaman said. "Today it was Mansfield. We worked hard to put forth our best performance today. It was a pitcher's duel the entire way. A lot of things seem to be going our way. You have to have a good ball team and have a little bit of luck."
Bellefonte was unable to figure Pastor out from the circle - as she rang up 10 strikeouts while issuing two walks.
"She threw well," Bellefonte coach Gregg Kohlhepp said. "She moved the ball around nicely. We hit some balls off the handle and off the end of the bat that didn't go where we wanted them to. Give Pastor credit, she is a heck of a pitcher."
For as impressive as Pastor was, Bellefonte's Cooper matched her inning-for-inning.
The senior Lady Raider surrendered only two hits - one in the first and Mansfield's RBI single in the seventh - while striking out five and walking one.
"Hannah was fantastic for us," Kohlhepp said. "It wasn't only the way she threw, but her composure. It is tough to step in the circle. She has been in big games before, but never in the circle. She handled it well. She threw her pitches and they were just one run better than us today."
Indeed, Cooper did all she could from the circle, keeping the Lady Bulldogs in check for nearly all the game.
Bellefonte had their chances early on.
In the second, after a lead-off single by Erica DeVinney, Bellefonte advanced her to third but couldn't get the run across.
In the fifth, after a two-out single by senior Amber Watson and an error that placed Kellie Giles on first - Stevie Confer (courtesy running for Watson) was caught stealing home on a wild pitch.
"You have to take your chances," Kohlhepp said. "We tried a suicide squeeze early on (in the second) to get something across and take some momentum. In the fifth, had that ball bounced differently, we would have grabbed a lead and the game would have been a lot different."
While Bellefonte couldn't get the offense started, they battled in the field, supporting Cooper and keeping the Lady Bulldogs from mounting any offense of their own.
"Overall, we are proud of these girls," Kohlhepp said. "It is emotional. We love working with this group of girls. They embody everything Bellefonte Softball is about. They work so hard and are dedicated to the program. Not a lot of teams get to be here. We talked about holding onto these memories. Being here, with this team, is something they will carry with them for a long time."
Big Spring will face Ft. LeBoeuf in the quarterfinals of the state tournament.
"We came here to play and put on a show," Pastor said. "I felt that both teams were ready to go. Give Bellefonte credit, they played an amazing game. I wasn't expecting to come in and throw a two-hitter. This is our first time being here (state tournament) and it feels good. I am glad our team came through today."
PIAA Class AAA Softball Championships
BIG SPRING 1, BELLEFONTE 0
BS 000 000 1 - 1 2 1
BE 000 000 0 - 0 2 0
BS: Calli Pastor and Ashley Baker. BE: Hannah Cooper and Vanessa Cooper. WP - Pastor. LP - H. Cooper.