CLEARFIELD – The Lady Bison fell to Bellefonte in a pitcher’s duel for the ages, 2-1, as the two hurlers combined for 33 strikeouts on the day.
Junior Emma Hipps from Clearfield was coming off of a 19 strikeout game against Tyrone and was able to strikeout 17 more batters in Tuesday’s narrow defeat. Hipps now has 316 career strikeouts in 28 appearances on the bump. The offense she faced game from Bellefonte came in with a lot of confidence and have proven to be one of the more high powered offenses in the Mountain League, but Clearfield’s ace kept them guessing and once again dominated in the circle.
“Emma (Hipps) really kept them in check and shut down a very good offensive team,” said Clearfield Head Coach Derek Danver. “They have scored double digits runs in all of their games so far this season except for one against Bald Eagle, so that is an impressive start from her once again.”
For Bellefonte, Lexi Rogers was able to strikeout 16 batters of her own and kept the Lady Bison off balance all game. “We failed to execute offensively in this one, but I think we are very close,” Danver said. “If we can execute a couple more plays offensively we are going to give ourselves a great opportunity to win every game.”
Despite collecting more hits than Bellefonte, the difference in this one was the extra base hits from the Lady Raiders that would account for both of their runs in the ball game.
Senior Lily Gardner from Bellefonte was able to lead off the game with a double and would come around thanks to some sharp baserunning with two outs later in the inning. Her heads up play helped Bellefonte get the early 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Lady Bison would plate one to knot the score at one apiece. With two outs in the fifth Hipps and Olivia Bender were able to walk to put runners on first and second with two down. Sophomore Alaina Fedder was hit by a Rogers offering which loaded the bases for Cleafield. Alexis Benton was then also hit by a pitch and got credited for the RBI as Hipps scored to tie the game.
Unfortunately, the Lady Bison would only muster that one run and would strand the bases loaded heading into the sixth inning.
Bellefonte wasted little time regaining the lead as Tori Reichert belted a home run to left field to lift the Lady Raiders to a 2-1 advantage. It was a lead they would not relinquish as they would go on to win by the same final score.
Hits from Clearfield came from freshman Ruby Singleton who has done a fine job setting the table for Clearfield since moving into the lead-off spot. Singleton was able to connect on two base knocks in the game. Junior first-base Lauren Ressler continues to swing a hot bat as she also singled in this one. Bender who hit out of the cleanup spot for the Lady Bison accounted for the other base-hit on the evening for Clearfield.
“We have to get the bat on the ball and execute our plays on offense later this week. It just comes down to timely hitting from us and hitting with runners in scoring position,” added Danver.
Clearfield (3-2) will have a busy weekend with three games scheduled to round out the week. First, the Lady Bison will square off against Huntingdon in a home game on Friday, April 16 set for 4:30 p.m. On Saturday, April 17, the Lady Bison will be entering the Portage Softball Tournament and will take on Portage for their second game in as many days. The Saturday contest is slated to begin at 11:00 a,m.
Bellefonte – 2
Lily Gardner 3110, Tori Reichert 2111, Lexi Rogers 3000, Hanna Lauck 3000, Sara DeHaas 2000, Makenna Port 2000, Sienna Barnhart 3000, Addy Manning 2000, Kierra Narehood 1000, Haylie Rimmey, Maria Cotter 0000 TOTALS 24 2 2 1.
2B: Lily Gardner
HR: Tori Reichert
TB: Tori Reichert 4, Lily Gardner 2
RBI: Tori Reichert
HBP: Makenna Port
SB: Makenna Port, Sara DeHaas, Lily Gardner
Team LOB: 4
Clearfield – 1
Ruby Singleton (RF) 4020, Lauren Ressler (1B) 4010, Emma Hipps (P) 3100, Olivia Bender (C) 3010, Alaina Fedder (SS) 1000, Alexis Benton (CF) 2001, Alexis Bumbarger (3B) 3000, Morgan Cheek (LF) 3000, Kylee Hertlein (2B) 3000, Anna Twigg (PR) 0000 TOTALS 26 1 4 1.
TB: Lauren Ressler, Olivia Bender, Ruby Singleton 2
RBI: Alexis Benton
HBP: Alexis Benton, Alaina Fedder
SB: Emma Hipps
Team LOB: 9
Clearfield – Emma Hipps 7 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 17 K.
Bellefonte – Lexi Rogers 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 16 K.
W – Lexi Rogers (4-1). L – Emma Hipps (3-2).