Monday, June 14, 2021

Lady Raiders continue state title run; PV and BEA fall

LORETTO — And then there was one.

Bellefonte earned a 4-1 win over District 7 third-place team Chartiers Valley in the first round of the PIAA Class 5A state playoffs on June 7 at St. Francis University’s Red Flash Field.

But District 6 runners-up Bald Eagle Area and Penns Valley were eliminated in the first round of the state playoffs. The Lady Rams suffered a 3-2 loss to Brandywine Heights in Class 2A, while the Lady Eagles fell to Mount Pleasant, 4-0, in Class 3A.

The Lady Raiders, who have won five straight District 6 titles, were scheduled to play District 7 champion North Hills, a 6-0 winner over Fox Chapel, on Thursday. The game is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the Red Flash Field.

Here’s a closer look at how the Centre County teams did in the past week:

BELLEFONTE

Madison Melius had the big hit in the state playoff winning, pounding a threerun home run in Bellefonte’s four-run first inning. Lexi Rogers drove in Tori Reichert with a hit for the first run.

Chartiers Valley’s Zoe Mangan drove in Chartiers Valley’s only run with a double in the fourth inning.

Rogers struck out six and gave up seven hits. She also wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning.

The Lady Raiders (19-2) won with only four hits.

Bellefonte battled through three rain delays to beat DuBois, 8-1, in a state tournament playin game last Thursday.

Rogers tossed a four-hitter, struck out five and walked one. Batting third in the lineup, she went 2-for-2, doubled, walked twice and drove in a run. Melius scored three runs.

The Lady Raiders, who scored two runs in the second and the fifth before scoring four in the sixth, only had five hits, but they worked 11 walks off of three Du-Bois pitchers.

“I thought for the three rain delays, we played pretty well,” Bellefonte coach Travis Foster said.

“I thought we kept focus and composure during the down times. We missed some opportunities to score early that we’ll need to take advantage of as we move forward, but given the circumstances, I thought we were all right.”

BALD EAGLE AREA

Bald Eagle Area (17-4) couldn’t get anything going offensively against Mount Pleasant at Peterswood Park in Washington County.

The Lady Eagles’ best chance came with runners on the corners in the third inning, but a line drive resulted in a double play.

Mount Pleasant scored two in the second, one in the third and another in the fourth. There was a lightning delay in the fifth inning.

Bald Eagle Area was seeking its eighth District 6 title in its 16th title game against Cambria Heights, which was making its first appearance in the district championship.

In the end, though, Cambria Heights earned a 3-2 win on Wednesday at SFU.

Peters retired the first 10 Lady Highlanders and was given a 2-0 lead in the third thanks to an RBI double by Madison Eckley and a sacrifice fly by Mara Hockenberry.

Heights’ Madison Bender hit a two-run double in the fourth. Catcher Ari Westrick drove in pitcher Paige Jones with a single in the top of the seventh. Peters struck out six, walked one and gave up eight hits.

The Eagles managed only five hits off of the left-handed Jones, who struck out seven and walked none.

“I was neither surprised nor shocked,” BEA coach Don Lucas said. “Cambria Heights has a very good team. After scouting them, we knew they were solid through their first five hitters.

“Their pitcher is a lefty, which we had not seen all season. She had a good curve, and we needed to stay disciplined and not swing at her up pitch, which we didn’t. Saying all of that, it was a great game that they got the key hit when they needed It, and we fell a tad short.”

Cambria Heights won its firstround state playoff game, 8-1, over Bermudian Springs.

PENNS VALLEY

Penns Valley (14-8) held a 2-1 lead over Brandywine Heights, a traditional state power, in the third thanks to an Avery Dinges RBI single and an error that scored Dinges.

The game was tied, 2-2, in the sixth, when Brandywine scored a run on a squeeze bunt.

Penns Valley pitcher Kendra Bumgardner struck out seven in the loss.

In a game filled with 17 runs, 29 hits and six errors, second-seeded Mount Union outlasted fifth-seeded Penns Valley, 9-8, in nine innings last Thursday at Red Flash Field to deny the Lady Rams their first district title since 2002.

Penns Valley pounded out 16 hits in the loss, including four hits and two RBIs by Avery Dinges. Jordan Anderson delivered three hits, while Bumgardner, Ellie Coursen and Avelyn Ven Heyst had hits each. Van Heyst doubled and drove in two runs, while Scotty Dinges also doubled.

PV took an 8-7 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning, but Mount Union’s Kaitlin Arnold hit a home run to tie the game. The Lady Trojans worked out of a bases loaded situation in the top of the nine and got the game-winning hit by Kendra Gardner with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth.

“It was definitely a tough loss,” Penns Valley coach Tessa Deardorff said after the District 6 finals loss.

“Our team fought and played hard through nine innings, and unfortunately Mount Union got the hit when they needed to. But I’m still so proud of this team for not giving up and fighting through inning after inning.”

Mount Union rolled to a 12-3 win over Wyalusing in the first round of the state playoffs.