DUBOIS – The Lady Bison were down, but they were never out. Down 3-2 in the opening round matchup of the class AAAA playoffs, the home team on the scoreboard clutched up and kept their season alive in walk-off fashion with a 4-3 win over Franklin in a game played at Heindl Field in DuBois.
A one-out triple off the bat of Alaina Fedder set up the Lady Bison with a runner just 60 feet away and with two cracks to drive her in. Interestingly enough, pinch runner Paige Houser didn’t need anyone to drive her in as she scored on a wild pitch to help Clearfield come away with the victory.
The win came in rather small ball fashion, as the Lady Bison manufactured runs in a multitude of ways. They got out to a hot start 2-0 before falling behind in the middle innings.
“They battled and nobody was being selfish,” said Lady Bison Head Coach Derek Danver of his team Monday night. “Everyone was going to the plate and was doing what was best for the team. Some of the times, that was to lay a bunt down and they did what they needed to do.”
Emma Hipps, out of the leadoff spot, hustled to first on a dropped third strike to get on base to begin the bottom of the first. She then stole second and scored on an RBI single from Ruby Singleton, her program record setting 39th hit of the season, as the Lady Bison were in business 1-0 with no outs. After the first out, Olivia Bender connected for one of her three hits in the game as the catcher went 3-4 at the dish to lead the Clearfield offense in the win.
“She was on and she hit a few balls hard,” said Danver of the hot hitting Bender. “It was good to see her at the plate, see the ball and hit the ball well.”
With runners at the corners, courtesy runner Houser moved up to second on a stolen base to put try some pressure on the visitors with two in scoring position and just one out. On the play, a throwing error allowed Singleton to score from third to put the pressure on Franklin with an early 2-0 lead.
The Lady Knights responded, scoring the next three runs in the game. They got one run back in the top of the second inning as pitcher Trinity Edge started the inning with a single. After an out, Gabriella Laderer belted a single that allowed Edge to move to third. With runners at the corners and just one out, Franklin was in business. Catcher Kristen Hicks did her job as she put the ball in play and Clearfield could not come up with it. The miscue allowed Edge to scored and shrink the Clearfield advantage to just 2-1.
After a scoreless third, Franklin took the lead 3-2 in the top of the fourth. A Hipps offering hit Hicks to open the inning. After two strikeouts, Franklin kept the inning alive with a bunt single by Sydni Hoobler. Running on contact, Hicks and Hoobler were driven in on a two-out double from Brandy Atwell in which the Lady Knights took the narrow lead.
While it was a lead, it was not safe as Clearfield kept fighting and eventually knotted the score at 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning. After singles from Ressler and Bender to begin the half-inning, Fedder got the job done with a sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position with just one out.
Alexis Bumbarger did the same as Edge mishandled her squeeze attempt, allowing Ressler to score and tie the game at three all. Kylee Hertlein bunted for the third straight time, but this time, a different result saw pinch runner Houser thrown out on the fielders’ choice at the plate. With one more out to give, the Lady Bison still threatened, but narrowly missed out on another run as they tagged Bumbarger out at the plate as she tried to score on a passed ball. Still, Clearfield tied the game and had some at-bats left to get the lead back.
Hipps struck out the side in the top of the sixth, keeping the momentum in the Lady Bison’s favor. Hipps finished the game with 13 strikeouts and picked up win number 18 for the season.
“She started the game on fire, but then they started hitting her a little in the middle of the game. She kept her composure and shut them down again at the end. In the top of the seventh, they had the top of the order up. She was able to get out of it in just three pitches, which set us up to win the ball game in the bottom of the seventh.”
Again, Clearfield would threaten in the bottom of the sixth. Similar to the fifth, they had another play at the plate and another runner thrown out at home. After Edge’s pitches hit Benton and Hipps to see them get on base, they both moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Singleton hit a ball on the ground and Benton made a beeline for the plate, but the Lady Knights tagged her out on the fielder’s choice to keep the game tied at 3-3. Hipps was just 60 feet away with two outs, but Franklin got out of this jam to keep the game at 3-3. Still, Clearfield seemed to remain calm as they retired the Franklin offense on just three pitches to send it to the bottom of the seventh.
To begin the bottom of the seventh, Franklin started the inning strong by getting Bender out for the only time in the game. However, this set up Fedder for the one-out triple down the right field line and Houser, the pinch runner, to score on the wild pitch to win the game for the District 9 champion Lady Bison.
“That hit showed why she’s (Fedder) someone you want up when things are on the line. She’s the one who hit the walk off home run against Bald Eagle, and then she came up huge today with the one out triple to get a runner on third with less than two outs and then we were able to get that run across on the passed ball.”
Clearfield will be back in action on Thursday, June 9 against District 3’s Hamburg. The time and location of the quarterfinal showdown will get announced on Tuesday, June 7.
“It’s nice we can get right back at it after a couple of days. That layoff we had (between district and states) was tough. We just have to get back to practice, fine tune our swings, fine tune our defense, and get ready for the game on Thursday.”
FRANKLIN – 3
Sydni Hoobler (SS) 4110, Brandy Atwell (2B) 4022, Rilee Hanna (LF) 4000, Trinity Edge (P) 2110, Abigail Boland (3B) 3000, Gabriella. Laderer (CF) 3010, Kirsten Hicks (C) 2100, Gabriella Wimer (1B) 3000, Autumn Fitzgerald (RF) 3000. TOTALS 28 3 5 2.
2B: Brandy Atwell
TB: Sydni Hoobler, Brandy Atwell 3, Trinity Edge, Gabriella Laderer
RBI: Brandy Atwell 2
ROE: Rilee Hanna, Kirsten Hicks
HBP: Kirsten Hicks
E: Sydni Hoobler, Trinity Edge 2, Kirsten Hicks
CLEARFIELD – 4
Emma Hipps (P) 3100, Ruby Singleton (CF) 4111, Lauren Ressler (1B) 4110, Olivia Bender (C) 4030, Alaina Fedder (SS) 3010, Paige Houser (PR) 0100, Alexis Bumbarger (3B) 2011, Kylee Hertlein (2B) 3010, Alexis Benton (RF) 1000, Alexis Cole (DP) 3000, Anna Twigg (LF) 0000. TOTALS 27 4 8 2.
3B: Alaina Fedder
TB: Olivia Bender 3, Alexis Bumbarger, Alaina Fedder 3, Kylee Hertlein, Lauren Ressler, Ruby Singleton
RBI: Alexis Bumbarger, Ruby Singleton
SAC: Alexis Benton, Alexis Bumbarger, Alaina Fedder
ROE: Alexis Bumbarger, Kylee Hertlein, Emma Hipps
FC: Kylee Hertlein, Ruby Singleton
HBP: Alexis Benton, Emma Hipps
SB: Paige Houser, Emma Hipps
CS: Alexis Bumbarger
E: Alexis Bumbarger, Kylee Hertlein
Score by Inning
Franklin 0 1 0 2 0 0 0.
Clearfield 2 0 0 0 1 0 1.
Emma Hipps 7 IP 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 13 K.
Trinity Edge 6.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 K.
W – Emma Hipps (18-2). L – Trinity Edge.