Central Mountain Drops Lady Bisons Below .500 Again
HYDE – Clearing the .500 hurdle has become very exasperating for the Clearfield Area High School softball team.
On Tuesday, the Lady Bisons self-destructed on their third attempt in 12 days to claim a win that would give them a winning record.
Five errors made all but one of Central Mountain’s runs unearned in the Lady Wildcats’ 9-3 victory at the Bison Sports Complex.
“You can’t give teams more outs,” coach Bob Dixon said after his Lady Bisons slipped to 9-10. “You’ve gotta field the ball.
“I’ve always preached defense, defense, defense, and for some reason, we just aren’t executing.
“Another thing I say, we always want to play our best ball at the end of the year, and we got hot there for a bit. But I don’t know whether our heads are not in it, or other things are on their minds.
“Tonight, we were having a tough time making routine plays.”
Two miscues on ground balls were converted into a 2-1 lead for the Lady Wildcats in the second inning via Rachael Shady’s squeeze bunt and Sara Stringfellow’s single into left field.
After the Lady Bisons tied it up in the bottom of the frame when Tristan Lewis and Becca Byerly walked ahead of Andrea Butler’s looping single over short, they gave up three unearned tallies in the third inning.
Catcher Lucy Kovalick threw out Jessica Strouse at third base on a delayed steal attempt after she led off with a double, but the Lady Wildcats put the pressure on losing hurler Heather Picard with singles by Jordan Kaler and Kayla Glossner. Then, misplays on back-to-back grounders by Brittany Koch and Johnna Garbrick put the visitors in front to stay, and walks to Shady and Stringfellow pushed across two more runs.
“We should have been out of that inning without a run,” Dixon said.
Central Mountain (9-10) got its lone earned run in the fifth when Koch doubled and Sara Stringfellow, the No. 9 batter, came through with a two-out single for her third RBI.
Strouse’s third hit and a walk had the Lady Wildcats in business again in the sixth. Strouse scored on a Clearfield error and Kaler touched the plate on Koch’s groundout. Garbrick then singled across the final run.
Left fielder Tristan Lewis gave Clearfield (8-9) the early momentum with a spectacular catch to end the top of the first inning. The senior raced back to the fence in left center and leaped to take a two-run homer away from Kaler.
“She made a heck of a play on that one,” Dixon said. “She’s a really good defensive outfielder. She gets a decent jump on the ball. She has a good glove. And she has a good, strong arm.”
The Lady Bisons then grabbed a short-lived lead on B.J. Bowman’s ringing double off the left field fence that drove in Melinda Owens, who had walked.
However, they couldn’t keep the Lady Wildcats in check and couldn’t break through against Shady and reliever and winner Whitney Peters after Bowman smashed her fifth home run of the season over the left center fence in the third inning.
Peters replaced Shady in the circle with the tying runs aboard and one out in the fourth and escaped when Owens’ line drive went right at first baseman Morgan Kunes for an inning-ending double play.
The Wildcat junior walked two and hit two over the last three innings but allowed only one hit, an infield single by Bowman with one out in the seventh.
She didn’t surrender a run only because of an incredible grab by Garbrick on Kovalick’s blast to straightaway center that surely would have driven in Bowman. Garbrick sprinted toward the fence and, with her back to the infield, robbed Kovalick of extra bases with an over-the-shoulder catch.
Picard, forced to throw far more pitches than she should have because of Clearfield’s misplays, suffered her third loss in which she has allowed just one earned run. She struck out six, walked four and gave up 10 hits.
“I thought she had more pop on her ball than I’ve seen all year,” Dixon said. “I think that’s why they may have hit her a little harder, because maybe she was too strong where she was missing over the plate.”
Bowman accounted for three of Clearfield’s six hits.
The Lady Bisons will bring down the curtain on the regular season Friday when Punxsutawney, which will be the No. 1 seed for the District 9 Class AAA Playoffs, visits the Bison Sports Complex.
See photos of the game here: http://www.ladybisonsports.org/lbsSBall051512.html
CENTRAL MOUNTAIN — 9
Moriah Lindsey rf 4000, Ashley Seyler ph 0000, Morgan Kunes 1b 5010, Jessica Strouse 2b 5130, Jordan Kaler dp 3210, Kayla Glossner 3b 4310, Brittany Koch ss 3211, Johnna Garbrick cf 4111, Rachael Shady p 0002, Whitney Peters p 2000, Sara Stringfellow lf 3023, Paige Dickey c (flex) 0000. TOTALS: 33 9 10 7.
CLEARFIELD — 3
Andrea Butler ss 2011, Melinda Owens 2b 3110, Rachel Hoffman dp 4000, B.J. Bowman cf 4132, Lucy Kovalick c 3000, Heather Picard p 3000, Mikayla Ebeling rf 2000, Robyn McBride rf 1000, Tristan Lewis lf 2110, Becca Byerly 1b 2000, Megan Vanderburgh 3b (flex) 0000. TOTALS: 26 3 6 3.
Score by Innings
Central Mountain 023 013 0 – 9 10 0
Clearfield 111 000 0 – 3 6 5
Errors – Butler, Kovalick, McBride, Vanderburgh 2. DP – Central Mountain 1 (Strouse unassisted). LOB – Central Mountain 9; Clearfield 10. 2B – Strouse, Koch; Bowman. HR - Bowman (5). Sac – Koch, Shady. SB – Garbrick, Shady, Stringfellow. CS – Strouse (by Kovalick), Garbrick (by Kovalick).
Central Mountain – Shady 3-1/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 5 K; Peters 3-2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K.
Clearfield – Picard 7 IP, 10 H, 9 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 6 K.
HB – Peters 2 (Butler, Picard).
W – Peters. L – Picard (3-7).
Umpires – Mark Gormont (plate) and J.R. Rosselli (bases).
Lady Bison Scoreboard:
|3/26||@ Bellefonte||1 – 11||0 – 1|
|3/28||MIFFLIN COUNTY||0 – 10||0 – 2|
|3/30||@ Penns Valley||0 – 1||0 – 3|
|4/04||@ Huntingdon||9 – 1||1 – 3|
|4/09||@ Central||3 – 9||1 – 4|
|4/11||TYRONE||7 – 1||2 – 4|
|4/13||PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA||1 – 11||2 – 5|
|4/16||@ Central Mountain||1 – 3||2 – 6|
|4/20||BALD EAGLE AREA||8 – 0||3 – 6|
|4/23||@ Juniata||ppd.||3 – 6|
|4/25||HUNTINGDON||8 – 7, 8 inn.||4 – 6|
|4/26||@ Juniata||12 – 3||5 – 6|
|4/27||CENTRAL||3 – 10||5 – 7|
|5/01||@ Bradford||10 – 0||6 – 7|
|5/02||@ Tyrone||13 – 3||7 – 7|
|5/04||@ Philipsburg-Osceola||0 – 5||7 – 8|
|5/07||CENTRAL MOUNTAIN||ppd.||7 – 8|
|5/08||@ Hollidaysburg||ppd.||7 – 8|
|5/09||@ Hollidaysburg||4 – 0||8 – 8|
|5/10||ALTOONA||3 – 5||8 – 9|
|5/14||BROOKVILLE||3 – 0||9 – 9|
|5/15||CENTRAL MOUNTAIN||3 – 9||9 – 10|
|TBA||District 9 Playoffs|