BEA advances in playoffs with 2-1 extra-innings win versus Penn Cambria
By KENNY VARNER
For The Express
MILESBURG – Call her the King of Clutch.
Bald Eagle’s Maegan King was cool under pressure as she roped a 2-out bases- loaded RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning to lead her team to the next round of the District 6 playoffs with a 2-1, eight-inning victory over Penn Cambria Monday night at the Eagles’ home field.
The win brings on a third meeting with Mountain League foe Philipsburg-Osceola, who topped a very feisty Mount Union team, 6-5.
“They (Penn Cambria) are a very strong team. We scouted them recently and we really didn’t expect to see what we saw tonight. It took us a little while to adjust to her (Panthers Pitcher Casey Reese). We hit the ball hard just right at people,” said Bald Eagle coach Don Lucas. “You that just happens. It’s part of the game. But when they walk to batters to get to you that’s a great call on their part but a little disrespectful to her (King) as a hitter. Then she comes up with a clutch hit. That’s what has been happening all year. And we found a way. For a young team you just don’t know what you’ll get, but these girls they play so much older than they really are.”
Bald Eagle was led by King as she went 2-for-3 with the game-winning RBI.
Penn Cambria was led by Lora Davis who also went 2-for-3 with a run.
Picking up the win on the mound was Maddie Peters who went the distance, posting nine strikeouts, three hits and the only run scored against her was unearned.
Reese took the hard-luck loss as she also went the full eight innings, allowing four hits and two runs, with one strike out.
In the first, the Panthers picked up the early lead, 1-0.
With one out, Davis grounded a single into left field and moved up to second as no one was covering the base. She advanced to third on a wild pitch.
She scored when a pick off attempt at third was overthrown into left, allowing her to go home to go up 1-0.
Bald Eagle rallied back in the bottom of the inning, putting the bases loaded but the Panthers got the outs they needed to keep any runs to cross.
Both defenses took over for the next three and a half innings.
But in the bottom of the fourth, the Bald Eagle offense was able to manufacture a run to tie the game at one.
Peters helped her own cause as she recorded Bald Eagle’s first hit of the game. She was replaced by courtesy runner Madison Fisher.
King posted her first hit, laying down a picture-perfect bunt, allowing her to reach on the infield single and Fisher to move up to second.
Both moved up a base when teammate Autumn Tobias laid down a sacrifice bunt.
Fisher then scored as teammate Madison Perry bounced into a fielder’s choice that allowed her teammate to score.
That would be the last run the game would see until the bottom of the eighth.
Peters had her A-game going on the mound, allowing just one hit the rest of the way.
“She did a great job. For a sophomore she is the glue that holds us together. If you don’t have someone in the circle you’re not going to win a lot of games,” Lucas said of his pitcher.
After holding the Panthers at bay in the eighth, the Eagles would find the run they needed to end the game.
Leadoff hitter MaKena Baney smoked a one-out single to left. She was replaced on the base path by Maddisen Hilgar.
She stole second on the first pitch to Mara Hockenberry. Hockenberry bounced into a fielder’s choice allowing Hilgar to move up to third.
With two outs, Penn Cambria put both Maralee Caldana and Peters to load the bases and bring King up.
King did not disappoint as she blasted a shot into centerfield to score Hilgar and send all the Bald Eagles’ fans home happy.
With the win, the Mounties come calling in the second round of the playoffs as the game will once again be in the Eagles’ backyard on Thursday at 4 p.m.
Bald Eagle Area 2, Penn Cambria 1 (8 innings)
PC 100 000 00 – 1 3 0
BEA 000 100 01 – 2 4 1
Multiple hitters: Penn Cambria – Lora Davis 2-for-3 run . Bald Eagle Area – Megan King 2-for-3 RBI.