HYDE — A letdown is not unusual immediately after a big win like the Clearfield Area High School softball team recorded against defending District 9 Class AAA champion Punxsutawney Wednesday.
The Lady Bison, however, rode the momentum of that 3-0 shutout to a 7-5 Mountain League victory over Penns Valley at the Bison Sports Complex Thursday afternoon.
Senior pitcher Raeleigh Redden went the distance again, keeping the Lady Rams in check until they made it very interesting in the seventh inning.
Redden got two quick outs after Dayna Brown blooped a single behind first base, but she then issued two walks around an run-scoring infield single by Cassidy Stover, filling the bases and bringing the tying run to the plate.
A wild pitch made it 7-4, and Harley Hess followed with what probably would have been another infield hit.
But, when Lady Bison third baseman Sierra Jones corralled the grounder near the bag, she found Abby Thom bearing down on her. The ensuing rundown turned into the game-ending out with second baseman Alana Kochan making the tag after Stover crossed the plate for Penns Valley‘s final run.
“That shows the caliber of team Penns Valley is, because they’re not gonna quit,” Clearfield coach Bob Lewis said. “They’re gonna continue to fight.
“We were expecting a battle. We knew they can compete with anybody. Their record is deceiving. They defeated Central last week.”
Redden wound up with a five-hitter highlighted by nine strikeouts. She walked three batters.
Back-to-back complete games factored into her last-inning struggles, according to Lewis.
“She started to wear down,” he said. “She looked a little bit tuckered out at the end.
“But she was solid throughout. She located really well again and kept them off balance.”
The Lady Rams (1-6, 1-4 ML) got to Redden for their other three hits in the second inning to grab the early lead.
Brown earned the runs batted in when Lady Bison left fielder Aspen Bishop was unable to make a shoestring catch on her line drive. Hess and Caroline Collison, aboard via hard-hit singles, scored for the visitors.
Hess chalked up four of her six strikeouts in the first two frames, but the Lady Bison broke through in the third with Kohan’s speed triggering a four-run rally.
The sophomore beat out a swinging bunt to the right side and circled the sacks when the Lady Rams misplayed Brooke Cline’s grounder and Sierra Jones’ sacrifice bunt.
Bishop followed with the key blow, lashing an opposite-field triple to right to put Clearfield ahead 3-2. She then scored on Abby Fedder’s groundout.
“I think we forced them into some things that might be out of their character a little bit,” Lewis said. “Fundamentally, we executed the way we’re supposed to. I was really pleased with that. And we ran the bases really hard as well.”
The Lady Bison chased Hess in the fifth when they padded their lead to 7-2.
With one out, Jones ripped a single through the middle and Bishop lashed a single to right center. Fedder reached on a fielder’s choice, Redden drew an RBI walk and Karlie Lewis looped an RBI hit over short, prompting a pitching change for the Lady Rams.
Reliever Emma Kubalak hit Erica Hanes, forcing in Clearfield’s final run.
Jones and Bishop each had two of the Lady Bison’s six hits off Hess, who walked two.
“We’re starting to see the ball well, and the kids are making better contact than we did in the first couple games,“ Lewis said. “They kept battling up there. They had really good at-bats as far as making (Hess) throw pitches. I think she might have gotten a little tired at the end as well.”
The Lady Bison will try to level their record at 3-3 Monday when they host Tyrone in one of two makeups that will have them playing four games in five days.
PENNS VALLEY — 5
Mikenna Lyons ss 3100, Cassidy Stover c 4111, Abby Thom 1b 3000, Harley Hess p-dp 4111, Emma Kubalak dp-p 3000, Caroline Collison 3b 3110, Dayna Brown rf 3022, Paige Myers pr 0100, Alicia Houser 2b 3000, Makayla Dreibelbis lf 2000, Paige Kerstetter cf (flex) 0000. TOTALS: 28 5 5 4.
CLEARFIELD — 7
Brooke Cline ss 4100, Sierra Jones 3b 3220, Aspen Bishop lf 3122, Lindsay Hand pr 0100, Abby Fedder dp 3101, Raeleigh Redden p 2001, Karlie Lewis cf 3011, Erica Hanes rf 1001, Makayla Ross 1b 3000, Alana Kochan 2b 3110, Myra Kavelak (flex) c 0000. TOTALS: 25 7 6 6.
Score by Innings
Penns Valley 020 000 3 – 5 5 3
Clearfield 004 020 x – 7 6 2
E – Hess 2, Houser; Cline, Jones. DP – Penns Valley 1 (Collison and Stover). LOB – Penns Valley 5; Clearfield 4. 2B – Brown. 3B – Bishop. SB – Collison; Hand. CS – Hanes (by Stover).
Penns Valley – Hess 4-1/3 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K; Kubalak 1-2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K.
Clearfield – Redden 7 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 9 K.
HB – Kubalak 1 (Hanes). WP – Hess 1; Redden 3
W – Redden (2-3). L – Hess.
Umpires – Rob Murphy (plate) and Doug Metheney (bases).
Lady Bison Scoreboard:
|3/29||CENTRAL||0 – 11||0 – 1|
|3/31||@ Huntingdon||3 – 4||0 – 2|
|4/05||@ Bellefonte||0 – 8||0 – 3|
|4/08||TYRONE||ppd.||0 – 3|
|4/11||@ Bald Eagle Area||ppd.||0 – 3|
|4/13||PUNXSUTAWNEY||3 – 0||1 – 3|
|4/14||PENNS VALLEY||7 – 5||2 – 3|
|4/20||@ Bald Eagle Area|
|5/06||BALD EAGLE AREA|
|5/09||@ Penns Valley|