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BEA gets past Bellefonte in softball

BEA infielders gather at the circle. TIM WEIGHT/For the Express

Bald Eagle Area and Bellefonte softball added another chapter to its extensive rivalry Monday as the game came down to the final out.

BEA managed to leave Bellefonte with a 1-0 victory over its rival in a display of two dominant pitchers. Madison Peters–who earned the victory for the Eagles–tossed seven complete innings, struck out 10 and pitched a shutout. As for Bellefonte’s Lexi Rogers, her performance was just as effective. Rogers–Bellefonte’s ace–struck out 10 as well as she went seven complete and surrendered the lone run of the game.

The coveted run that decided the outcome of the game came in the fourth inning when BEA’s Meghan King lofted a ball into the outfield. King’s double managed to shatter the 0-0 tie after her teammate Kaitlyn Smitchko touched home as she was able to get on prior due to a HBP.

Eagles coach Don Lucas knew Monday’s game against Bellefonte would be a battle. After Monday’s contest, five of the last seven meetings between the Raiders and Eagles have been decided by one run.

“I think anytime you play game against a team like Bellefonte–they’re so good–it’s going to come down to the team that makes the fewer mistakes. Today it was us, it was a nice win to get the season started,” Lucas said.

Peters was solid from the first pitch to the last against Bellefonte. After BEA pushed a run across in the top half of the fourth, it was on Peters to keep the lead. She did just that. The senior preserved the Eagles lead by collecting her sixth strikeout in the bottom of the fourth as the Raiders left a runner stranded on base.

Lucas said the familiarity Peters has with the program has helped her confidence in the circle.

“She pitched outstanding. She’s been with me now for four years, I expect her to pitch well and she doesn’t disappoint us,” Lucas said.

Familiarity with the program and experience are two things Lucas believes will help the Eagles out this year as they look to make a run at another district title. It’s a roster packed with five seniors and one that is full of talent.

“It’s a veteran team but we will from game-to-game. It’s our first game so we’re a work in progress even though we have a veteran pitching staff,” Lucas said. “We had a year off, and we have to try to work through that. Games like this one prepare us for the end of the year, we appreciate the opportunity to get out on the field.”

As for Bellefonte, it had its chances to tie the game at one. The Raiders left a total of six runners on base as they could not push a runner across the plate. Two of the dreaded six stranded were left on in the game’s final frame. Bellefonte had runners on second and third as committed its final out to end the game.

One thing the Raiders did not do is quit. Bellefonte battled as it trailed by one for its final four at bats of the game.

“That’s what we talked about in the post game. It’s heart. We showed a lot of guts and courage late. We just can’t strikeout 10 times,” Raiders coach Travis Foster said. “We had multiple situations to advance runners throughout the game and we couldn’t execute. We have to execute before we get to that spot.”

The lone run surrounded by Rogers and Bellefonte came after a controversial call awarded a BEA player first base. Foster said Rogers’ ability to shake off the run and focus was a representation of the team’s philosophy that is preached.

“Lexi did great, she absolutely was phenomenal today. I thought Lexi competed extremely well, she showed a lot of toughness.” We talk a lot about controlling our responses. No matter what happens, how are we going to respond when the outcome we want, we don’t get. Tomorrow is an opportunity to get better,” Foster said.

Bald Eagle Area 1, Bellefonte 0

BEA 0 0 0 1 0 0 0–1 4 0

Bellefonte 0 0 0 0 0 0 0–0 3 0

W: Madison Peters L: Lexi Rogers

BEA

Makena Baney 0-3, Mara Hockenberry 0-3; Ava Stere 2-3; Madison Peters 1-3; Kaitlyn Smitchko 0-2; Meghan King 1-2, RBI; Maddie Perry 0-2; Autumn Tobias 0-2; Kylie Swartz 0-2; Hailey Bucha 0-1.

Bellefonte

Madison Melius 0-3; Maddie Tice 1-3; Lexi Rogers 0-3; Hanna Lauck 0-1; Sara DeHaas 0-3; Makenna Port 0-3; Tori Reichert 1-3; Addy Manning 0-2; Lily Gardner 1-2; Kierra Narehood 1-1.

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