DUBOIS – The Clearfield Lady Bison are back-to-back District 9 class AAAA champions after coming away victorious in a 3-1 pitchers duel between two of the best arms in the area in a game held at Heindl Field in DuBois on Thursday afternoon.
Though they were the number two seed coming in and St. Marys held the number one overall seed, the Lady Bison came ready to play and showed that they were in fact the better team.
Clearfield’s Emma Hipps and St. Marys ace Kendall Young were able to combine for 23 strikeouts in the game which further solidifies each of these young women as two of the best pitchers in the area.
The first three innings featured no hits, nor baserunners for that matter, from either side, but the two seeded Lady Bison were able to break through in the top of the fourth inning as Hipps reached on an error. She was then plated on a two out RBI double from catcher Olivia Bender which gave Clearfield the narrow 1-0 lead.
The Lady Dutch threatened in the bottom of the fourth as shortstop Olivia Eckels was able to rope a double to right which would be one of two hits for St. Marys in this one. The one out double from Eckels was not enough to lead to runs as Hipps worked out of trouble to help Clearfield keep hold of the narrow lead.
After a scoreless fifth from both sides, the Lady Bison were able to add to their lead as Hipps helped her own cause with an inside-the-park home run, her ninth home run of the year. The home run also scored Ruby Singleton who singled in the previous at-bat and Clearfield now led 3-0 after five and a half innings. This home run from Hipps moves her into sole possession of the program record for most home runs in a single season in program history.
A strong inning from Hipps in the bottom of the sixth helped Clearfield keep hold of a 3-0 advantage and she hoped to do the same to close out the ball game. However, Brianna Grotzinger had other plans as she led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a big fly to left to shrink the lead to 3-1.
As she has done so well this season, the junior ace from Clearfield remained poised and struck out two of the final three batters she faced to help the Lady Bison win their second consecutive District 9 class AAAA title.
Clearfield managed to out-hit their counterparts by a five-to-two advantage with Bender leading the way with a two-for-three day with a double and an RBI. Hipps also collected a strong overall game on the offensive side, going one-for-three with a home run, two RBI’s, and two runs scored.
Lead-off batter Singleton also played a pivotal role for Clearfield as she was one-for-three herself with a run scored. The other Clearfield base hit in the game came from Alexis Bumbarger who was one-for-three on Thursday evening.
The win for the Lady Bison now makes it seven straight as they prepare for a state playoffs run. The win in the circle from Hipps allows her to improve her record to 12-5 overall.
Clearfield (14-5) will prepare for a matchup with Somerset, the District 5 champion, on Tuesday, June 1. This game will serve as a PIAA sub-regional contest with Clearfield heading back to Heindl Field in DuBois with first pitch slated for noon.
CLEARFIELD – 3
Ruby Singleton (CF) 3110, Emma Hipps (P) 3212, Lauren Ressler (1B) 3000, Olivia Bender (C) 3021, Alaina Fedder (SS) 3000, Alexis Benton (RF) 3000 Alexis Bumbarger (3B) 3010, Morgan Cheek (LF) 3000, Kylee Hertlein (2B) 3000, TOTALS 27 3 5 3.
2B: Olivia Bender
HR: Emma Hipps
TB: Olivia Bender 3, Alexis Bumbarger, Emma Hipps 4, Ruby Singleton
RBI: Olivia Bender, Emma Hipps 2
ROE: Emma Hipps
SB: Alexis Bumbarger
ST. MARYS – 1
Shannon Kiser (DP) 2000, Olivia Eckels (SS) 3010, Kendall Young (P) 3000, Brianna Grotzinger (CF) 3111, Gianna Surra (C) 3000, Ava Buzard (RF) 2000, Danielle Rolley (PH) 1000, Janelle Krug (3B) 2000, Lindsey Reiter (1B) 2000, Jianna Gerg (2B) 2000, Lauren Moster (LF) 0000, TOTALS 23 1 2 1.
2B: Olivia Eckles
HR: Brianna Grotzinger
TB: Olivia Eckles 2, Brianna Grotzinger 4
RBI: Brianna Grotzinger
HBP: Janelle Krug
Score by Inning
Clearfield 0 0 0 1 0 2 0
St. Marys 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
St. Marys Kendall Young 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 12 K.
Clearfield Emma Hipps 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K.
W – Emma Hipps (12-5). L – Kendall Young (0-1).