Softballl: BEA advances to title game after 8-4 win over Philipsburg-Osceola
By KENNY VARNER
For The Express
MILESBURG – Nothing was going to get in their way to the title game, not even the defending state champions.
Standing one game away from the District 6 title tilt, the Bald Eagle softball team came back from a 3-2 bottom of the third deficit against Philipsburg-Osceola to rally for six runs en route to an 8-4 victory.
Comebacks and late wins are nothing new to the young Eagle team, as it battled for clutch wins against Penns Valley, Bellefonte and recently Penn Cambria to earn its way to the second round.
“This was a complete-team win. We got those couple home runs early and then they came back. We’ve done this all year. We’ve been liked knocked in the mouth and knocked down but we don’t stay down,” Bald Eagle coach Don Lucas said. “It’s unique for the girls the age that they are. They just absolutely came to win.”
On the mound, Madison Peters started out strong early, tossing a no-hitter through three innings.
She went the distance, allowing four runs on five hits and striking out four.
Taking the loss for Philipsburg-Osceola was Kameron Harris, who came in to replace starting hurler Kylie Adams.
Leading the offensive punch was Maegan King who went 2-for-3, run, and 3 RBIs. She highlighted her night with a home run to left centerfield.
Teammate Mara Hockenberry also went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
Maralee Caldana also lit the Mounties pitcher for a solo shot as well.
The Mounties had one player finish with multiple hits and that was Jordan McDonald who went 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs.
Philipsburg-Osceola also went yard as Rachel Simpson blasted a shot off Peters for the round tripper.
Bald Eagle started the scoring off in the bottom of the second as King took a blast to left center and watched it leave the yard. It was a hit that she originally thought would be a harmless pop up.
“Honestly, when I hit it I thought it was a pop up to left field and then I saw it go over the fence,” King said. “It feels so great to get this win. I am proud of every single one of us.”
Both teams continued to cruise right along until the fourth when the long ball once again came front and center for the Eagles.
Caldana hit the ball into almost the exact spot as King as she rounded the bases to give her team the 2-0 advantage.
However, they aren’t the defending state champions for nothing as the Mounties rallied back in the sixth to momentarily take the momentum.
Landan Cutler opened the sixth with a double to left.She moved to third on a blooper by Kendra Karns that was just out of reach of a diving Autumn Tobias.
The play allowed Karns to move up a base during the look back at third.
With runners in scoring position, McDonald blasted a 2-run double to centerfield, tying it at two.
McDonald would later score in controversial style as she was on third after Hannah Minerchick was hit by a pitch. Both moved up on a double steal, all with no outs.
Harris blasted a lazer to centerfielder Hockenberry and she alertly threw to second and then the Eagles went to third as neither runner appeared to tag up.
However, after an umpire deliberation and a delay of over five minutes, McDonald was said to have tug up and her run was counted, giving the Mounties the 3-2 advantage going into the Eagles’ last two at-bats.
“In the top of the sixth, we had a 3-2 lead and going into the bottom of the inning we had our ace who was fresh. We were trying to keep her fresh until the end of the game,” Philipsburg-Osceola coach Jim Gonder said. “Hats off to their hitters. Their top two got on base and put the pressure on our defense and you knew they were trying to score a run and they did.”
Not only did they score one but the Eagles managed to heat up at the plate, posting six in the inning.
Makena Baney got things started with a sizzling shot down the third base line.
Hockenberry put the tying and go-ahead runners in scoring position as she roped a double.
The Mounties walked Caldana to load the bases for Peters.
Peters showed much patience at the plate as she walked to score Baney, tying it at three.
King, once again, was cool under pressure as she blasted a 2-run double to put her team up for good at 5-3, scoring Hockenberry and Caldana.
But the Eagles weren’t done yet.
Pinch runner Madison Fisher, who replaced Peters on the base path, moved up to third and then scored on an RBI bunt single by Tobias. Tobias during the play at the plate moved to second on the play as King reached third and scored on a sacrifice fly by Madison Perry, upping it to 7-3.
Tobias later scored to put the Eagles in strong position going into the Mounties’ last at bats.
With the exception of the Simpson home run, Peters and company were able to hold on and pick up the hard-earned victory.
Bald Eagle will now head to the D6 title tilt at St. Francis May 28.
Bald Eagle Area 8, Philipsburg-Osceola 4
PO 000 003 1 – 4 5 1
BEA 010 106 x – 8 9 0
Multiple hitters: PO – Jordan McDonald 2-for-3 2RBIs. BEA – Maegan King 2-for-3, run, 3 RBIs, Mara Hockenberry 2-for-3 run.
HR: PO – Rachel Simpson. BEA – Maegan King, Maralee Caldana .
2B: PO -Landan Culter, BEA – Mara Hockenberry, King, Kayleigh Kinley.