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P-O softball, BEA and Bellefonte baseball advance in PIAAs

by on June 07, 2018 9:10 AM

UNIVERSITY PARK — The guess here is that after a second-straight loss to South Park in the PIAA AAA softball tournament in 2017, Philipsburg-Osceola was hoping to get another shot at the Eagles somewhere down the line.

That wish has come true.

Both P-O and South Park won in the first round of this year’s tournament, and the two teams will meet in the state quarterfinals today with the site and time to be announced. It will, without question, be one of the marquee matchups in PIAA softball this season.

In the AAAA softball bracket, the Bellefonte Lady Raiders ran into some quality pitching, timely small ball and a whole bunch of bad luck in their 4-0 first-round loss to Belle Vernon, now 22-3, June 4 in Peters Township.

The Leopards’ Bailey Parshall pitched a complete-game shutout and struck out 10 to lead her team into the quarterfinals. She was helped along with three bunt singles, one of which plated two runs, and a line-drive, bases-loaded double play off the bat of Bellefonte’s Maddie Tice that helped squash a potential big inning.

Belle Vernon added an insurance run in the top of the seventh to make it 4-0, and Parshall finished the game out 1-2-3 to take the win.
The loss put an end to another highly successful Lady Red Raider season and put the team’s final record at 15-4.

In baseball playoffs, Bald Eagle Area kept its late-season run on track with a AAA first-round 15-6 victory over Moniteau in nine innings. The Eagles came back from a five-run deficit to tie the game and then scored nine runs in the top of the ninth inning to take the victory.

The Bellefonte baseball team had to wait a day because of bad field conditions to take on East Pennsboro in the AAAA first round. Then, rain and lightning caused the game to be moved from Philipsburg to DuBois after it had already started.

In the end, it didn’t matter where the teams finally landed, as Bellefonte cruised to a 15-4, five-inning victory. The Raiders will now take on Meadville, the runner-up in District 10, Thursday, June 7, at Showers Field in DuBois.

 In Single-A action, St. Joseph’s Academy lost to Southern Fulton, 3-0, in a first-round game played at Everett on June 4. With the loss, the SJCA season ended with a final record of 11-4.


AAA SOFTBALL

7-2 South Park (17-2) vs. 6-1 Philipsburg-Osceola (22-1)
Thursday, June 7, St. Francis University, 4:30 p.m.,

It must have seemed like an absolute rout for the Lady Mounties to win by six runs over Delone Catholic after three straight one-run wins in the District 6 playoffs.

Kylie Thal had three hits for P-O and Kam Harris threw a three-hit complete game with eight strikeouts and no walks. Delone’s only run came after a triple by pitcher Maggie Rickrode to lead off the fourth inning and a subsequent sacrifice fly.

That made the score 2-1, but the Mounties countered with two runs on a Thal double in the bottom of the fourth, and then moved away with three more in the sixth. The final score was 7-1.

The win brings up South Park in the quarterfinals at a place and time yet to be determined.

South Park is, if anything, more impressive than it was in either of the past two years. The Eagles had a team batting average of .447 for the year, stole 49 bases and hit 30 home runs. They scored a total of 235 runs and, in addition to the home runs, have 67 other extra-base hits. Add a team ERA of 3.12 and a fielding percentage of .933, and the numbers point to a balanced and dangerous team.

Not perfect, though, as the Eagles’ 12-1, five-inning loss to Southmoreland in the WPIAL final indicates. As good as she is, sophomore pitcher Jess Dean (17-1, 3.21 ERA) has been known to walk hitters (45), which could be a problem against a team that hits as well as P-O.

For their part, the Lady Mounties have to try to keep the Eagles in the park and off the board. P-O is a team built to succeed in any kind of game, but it would probably not be to its advantage to get into a hit-fest with this team.

The winner will advance to the semifinals against either Hickory or Southmoreland on Monday, June 11.

AAA BASEBALL

7-1 Brownsville vs. 6-2 Bald Eagle Area
Thursday, June 7, Slippery Rock University, 4 p.m.

Down by five runs early, Bald Eagle Area crept back against District 9 champion Moniteau, forced the game into extra innings and then romped to a 15-6 win after a nine-run outburst in the ninth inning.

Matt Reese had four hits and six RBIs for the Bald Eagles, including a ninth-inning triple, as BEA scored the two tying runs with two outs in the last inning on a two-RBI single by Hunter Brooks.

BEA now will take on WPIAL champion Brownsville in the quarterfinals Thursday, June 7.

The Falcons are 17-2 after beating Valley, Riverside and Avonworth in the District 7 tournament and then Mercyhurst Prep, 3-2, in the PIAA AAA first round.

This team has not lost since a 5-4 setback to Mount Pleasant on April 23, and has since won 12 straight games.

Brownsville had a team batting average of .333 this season, but the Falcons hit only two home runs to go along with 37 other extra-base hits. However, they had 56 stolen bases in 58 attempts and a team ERA of just 2.23. They gave up just 37 earned runs all year and didn’t allow an opponent to hit a home run. Teams hit just .195 against them.

Senior pitcher Dylan Brosky led the Falcons in appearances (11), ERA (1.25) and strikeouts (100), while Colton Dellarose, Preston Frost and DJ Zimcosky all batted over .400 for the season.

BEA has won six of its last seven games to move to a record of 14-10. The Eagles’ last loss was in the District 6 final to Huntingdon, 11-1, but the victory over Moniteau proved they belong and have to be dealt with.

The Eagles have scored 159 runs and hit .346 this season, so they can keep up offensively with Brownsville. Pitching and defense will likely be the big factors in this game.

The winner will advance to the semifinals against either 7-3 South Side or 6-1 Huntingdon.

AAAA BASEBALL

6-1 Bellefonte vs. 10-2 Meadville

Thursday, June 7, DuBois Showers Field, 4 p.m.

Bellefonte fell behind early against East Pennsboro on June 5, but the Raiders tied the game at 4-4 and then went ahead after a three-run double by Robert Marsh. From there, Bellefonte never looked back and scored eight unanswered runs to complete the 15-4 romp.

Senior Adam Armstrong pitched a complete game, giving up four runs, seven hits and striking out three. Armstrong threw blanks after the second inning, and he was helped by CJ Lauck’s three hits and five RBIs and Marsh’s double and three RBIs.

Meadville comes into the quarterfinals with a record of 14-5 after a 2-1, eighth-inning victory over WPIAL champion South Fayette. The Bulldogs were outhit in the game 9 to 5, but they tied it a 1-1 in the top of the seventh inning and then won it with a run in the eighth.

Meadville began this season with just a 4-4 record early, but the Bulldogs went on a tear after losing to Grove City on April 27. They did not lose again until Grove City got them again in the District 10 finals, 4-2, May 28.

Not an overly offensive team (.309 average, 113 runs), the Bulldogs relied on their pitching. They had five different pitchers with at least one win, and were led by junior Nick Frantz. Frantz went 5-0 this year in 13 appearances with 32 strikeouts, just seven walks and an ERA of 1.12.

Because he pitched just two innings against South Fayette, Frantz likely will be available to throw against Bellefonte.

For Bellefonte in this game, the plan will be to keep on hitting. The Raiders bats have been hot — they went into double figures three out of their last six games — and they will need to put up runs against the solid pitching of Meadville.

The winner will advance to the semifinals against 7-2 Ringgold or 7-3 Hopewell.    



Pat Rothdeutsch covers Penn State football for The Centre County Gazette. Email him at sports@centrecountygazette.com
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