HYDE – Mandy Rowles just missed her second no-hitter in three days while Megan Butler, Alanna Luzier and Sarah Kovalick led the hit parade as the Clearfield Area High School softball team stretched its winning streak to five with a 10-0 shutout of Ridgway Friday afternoon at the Bison Sports Complex.
The game ended with no outs in the bottom of the fifth when Butler, who had a career-high three hits, scurried home from third base on a wild pitch to invoke the mercy rule.
\”They played good, solid ball,\” Clearfield coach Bob Dixon said. \”(They) fielded well and hit well. We were aggressive at the plate.
\”We don’t want to peak now, just keep getting better.\”
Rowles, for one, has done that.
The junior right-hander, who aided her own cause with a two-run homer, capped a three-win week with a one-hit gem, striking out four and walking one. The lone hit was No. 9 batter Miki Quattrone\’s hard two-out grounder just under first baseman\’s Julie Colesar\’s glove in the fifth inning.
Rowles had two-hit Brockway Monday and no-hit against Sheffield in a three-inning contest Wednesday. For the week, she whiffed 21 batters and walked two in 15 innings of work in the circle.
\”She pitched a real good ball game tonight,\” Dixon said. \”Her ball’s moving really well. We’re starting to try to throw a knuckleball now. She gets all giddy when we call that. But it works. It’s a real change of pace. She can’t locate it as well as we would like, but she’s getting there. She’s working hard on it.\”
Luzier singled, doubled and drove in two runs, combining with Butler for five hits, three RBIs and five runs scored at the top of the order.
Dixon was happy to see Luzier set the table with the two safeties and a walk.
\”She\’s starting to come around,\” he said \”She’s got good speed, too. She and Butler at the top of the order can move. They hit the ball well and get it down on the ground. That make us a nice one-two punch.\”
Kovalick singled twice for a four-game hitting streak in which she\’s 5-for-10 with four RBIs.
Rowles\’ homer was her third in as many games. She blasted two in the 5-1 win at Curwensville that got the Lady Bisons on track after losses to DuBois and Punxsutawney.
In Clearfield\’s five victories, Rowles is 10-for-15 with eight extra base blows and 15 runs batted in.
\”Mandy’s got a nasty swing,\” Dixon said. \”When she hits the ball, she drives it. She’s strong, just like her sister. That\’s a family trait. You remember Lindsey. She hit some shots, too.\”
Mandy would do very well if she approaches, or betters, Lindsey\’s batting totals. The 2005 grad was the Lady Bisons\’ top hitter three years in a row, including a lofty .597 with seven homers as a senior, and a career average well over .400.
Luzier singled, stole second, advanced to third on Butler\’s bunt and scored on a wild pitch in the first inning.
Clearfield got to loser Emily Mitchell for seven runs in the second inning, highlighted by Rowles\’ homer to left center.
Luzier jerked a double into the left field corner for two RBIs and scored on Butler\’s double to right center. Kovalick also drove in a run for the Lady Bisons, who were aided by two errors, three walks, a wild pitch and a passed ball by Ridgway (1-6).
In the fifth, Luzier walked, Butler singled and Alyssa Anderson drilled a double to left center for an RBI. Then, the ball four pitch to Rowles sailed to the backstop, allowing Butler to score the game-ending 10th run.
To give junior Carrier Harbold her first varsity start, Dixon moved Luzier to shortstop and Ashley Lias to center field.
\”Alanna looked real good in the field,\” Dixon said. \”She covers a lot of ground.\”
He also was anxious to see how Harbold would fare batting from the left side.
\”Normally, she\’s a right-handed hitter,\” Dixon said. \”She\’s so fast, we want to try to make use of her speed, try to get her to slap (the ball). I tell her to put it over to short and third and let them try to throw you out, because she can move.\”
Dixon tested the speed of several other Lady Bisons by flashing the sign to run, and they responded with six steals.
\”We want to be aggressive on the bases,\” he explained. \”We have some team speed this year, so we\’re gonna try to use it. We want to get better at the short game. It\’s something we need to work on to get better.
\”Right now, I have no complaints, as long as we keep improving. When we were 0-2, I was scratching my head. They\’re working hard in practice. They know that we can\’t quit, can\’t level off.\”
The Lady Bisons\’ busiest week of the season begins Tuesday with a trip to Johnsonburg. They will play at home against Elk County Catholic Thursday before taking on Northern Cambria in the first of two games in Saturday\’s Philipsburg-Osceola Mountaineer Tournament.
RIDGWAY — 0
Emily Mitchell p 3000, Bekka Leitzel ss 2000, Brittany Biondi c 1000, Kirstie Shirey 1b 2000, Kelsey Kilhoffer cf 200, Tiffany Krise 2b 2000, Brianna Stenta lf 2000, Chelsea Bryndel 3b 2000, Miki Quattrone rf 2010. TOTALS: 18 0 1 0.
CLEARFIELD — 10
Alanna Luzier ss 3322, Megan Butler 3b 3231, Ashley Lias cf 1100, Alyssa Anderson cf 1111, Mandy Rowles p 1112, Julie Colesar 1b 3010, Suzie Colesar rf 2100, Amber Mahlon rf 0000, Kenzie McGovern c 1100, Sarah Kovalick lf 3021, Carrie Harbold 2b 3100. TOTALS: 21 10 10 7.
Score by Innings
Ridgway 000 00 – 0 1 2
Clearfield 170 02 – 10 10 2
Errors – Leitzel, Biondi; Butler, S. Colesar. PB – Biondi 1; McGovern 1. LOB – Ridgway 4; Clearfield 9. 2B – Luzier, Butler, Anderson. HR – Rowles (5). Sac – Butler. SB – Luzier 2, Butler, McGovern, Kovalick, Harbold.
Ridgway – Mitchell 4+ IP (faced 4 batters in 5th), 10 H, 10 R, 8 ER, 4 BB, 1 K.
Clearfield – Rowles 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K.
HB – Mitchell 1 (Rowles). WP – Mitchell 4.
W – Rowles (5-2). L – Mitchell.
Umpires – Tim Rupp (home); Jim McKee (bases).