HYDE – Mandy Rowles of Clearfield pretty much took matters into her own hands in a duel of two streaking scholastic softball teams Thursday afternoon at the Bison Sports Complex.
The junior right-hander pitched a four-hitter with 12 strikeouts and belted two home runs to account for four runs as the Lady Bisons (7-2) tumbled Elk County Catholic 7-2 for their seventh win in a row.
The loss was the first in six games for the Lady Crusaders (8-2).
Two Lady Bison individual hitting streaks also were on the line, and Alanna Luzier and Rowles didn\’t take long to keep them going at seven games.
After ECC scored a run on Kayla Leuschel\’s infield single and Mary Kate Minnick\’s solid double to left field, Luzier led off the bottom of the first inning with a wicked liner past Lady Crusader third baseman Brittany Buchheit, Megan Butler dropped a hit near the right field line and Rowles walloped a home run to left center for the only runs she would need.
It was a monster blast, landing far beyond the fence.
Clearfield coach Bob Dixon couldn\’t recall seeing very many homers carry that far.
\”That was quite a blow,\” he said. \”Sam Morgan and Lindsey Rowles hit a couple of shots here, but that definitely was one of the longest.\”
Mandy linked herself with sister Lindsey again in the fifth inning when she clouted a high fly to right center for her seventh home run of the year. They now share the Lady Bison single season record dating back to 1991.
Rowles and Luzier, who singled again in the second inning for an RBI and belted a sacrifice fly in the sixth for Clearfield\’s final run, have been raining base hits on the opposition at a torrid clip.
They had one hit apiece in the Lady Bisons\’ first two games, losses to DuBois and Punxsutawney.
Since then, Rowles is 13-for-20, a .750 pace, and Luzier is 13-for-22, a .591 average.
For the season, Rowles is hitting .538 with 21 RBIs and 14 runs scored and Luzier is at .519 with 11 RBIs and 11 runs.
\”They\’re doing a heck of a job,\” Dixon said. \”They are hitting the ball really hard.
\”I was figuring out the averages this morning, and (Megan) Butler, (Ashley) Lias and (Alyssa) Anderson also were over .400.
\”And the bottom of the order did a pretty good job tonight.\”
The Lady Bisons got two hits, two walks and three runs from the 7-8-9 spots in the lineup, including a stolen base and a run by pinch-runner Carrie Harbold in the sixth inning.
\”We seemed to lose some momentum, some focus, (so we) tried to pick the team up,\” Dixon said. \”We try to be aggressive, try to keep playing some small ball.\”
Clearfield executed a double steal for a run in the second frame, with Luzier drawing the throw to second and Sarah Kovalick scoring.
With the aid of a double play in the fifth inning, Rowles faced only 15 batters after Loren Olewnik reached third on the lone Lady Bison error in the third. She scored on Leuschel\’s groundout.
Rowles threw out three Lady Crusaders on ground balls and speared a liner for another out in addition to the dozen Ks.
\”Mandy threw a pretty good game,\” Dixon said. \”I don\’t think she threw as hard as she has been in the past.\”
Rowles did baffle at least three Lady Crusaders with a knuckle-change on third strikes.
\”We\’ve been working on that,\” Dixon said. \”It doesn\’t quite knuckle enough, but the change of speeds is deadly. She did a real nice job with that.
\”It was a good win. They\’re a quality opponent. They’re always well-coached. Coach (Joe) Coruso does a really nice job with them. I respect the work he does. That\’s a good bunch of girls over there.
\”It’s good to play teams like this. With the tournament coming up this weekend, that’s a good way to prepare.\”
Clearfield will take on Northern Cambria (10-2) in the first game of the Philipsburg-Osceola Tournament Saturday at 10 a.m. The Lady Mounties meet Hollidaysburg in the other morning tilt. The championship and consolation games will follow.
ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC — 2
Loren Olewnik c 4100, Kayla Leuschel cf 3111, Mary Kate Minnick rf 3011, Brittany Buchheit 3b 3000, Kathleen Caruso ss 2000, Lauren Evers p 2000, Sandy Levenduski ph 1000, Katherine Porter 1b 2000, Sammi Schlimm ph 1000, Kelsey Schwabenbauer 2b 3010, Anna Hawkins lf 2010. TOTALS: 25 2 4 2.
CLEARFIELD — 7
Alanna Luzier 2b 2122, Megan Bugler 3b 4110, Ashley Lias ss 3000, Mandy Rowles p 3224, Julie Colesar 1b 3000, Alyssa Anderson cf 3000, Courtney Morgan lf 0000, Suzie Colesar rf 2010, Carrie Harbold pr 0100, Kenzie McGovern c 2110, Sarah Kovalick lf-cf 3100. TOTALS: 25 7 7 6.
Score by Innings
Elk County Catholic 101 000 0 – 2 4 1
Clearfield 320 011 x – 7 7 1
Errors – Schwabenbauer; S. Colesar. PB – Olewnik 1. DP – Clearfield 1 (Luzier, J. Colesar and Butler). LOB – Elk County Catholic 4. 2B – Minnick. HR – Rowles 2 (7). SF – Luzier. SB – Hawkins; Luzier 2; Harbold, McGovern, Kovalick.
Elk County Catholic – Evers 6 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 5 K.
Clearfield – Rowles 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 12 K.
WP – Rowles 1.
W – Rowles (7-2). L – Evers (5-2).
Umpires – Sam Bevak (home); Jeff Aveni (bases).