Unbeaten Central Trims Clearfield 6-1 in Softball

HYDE — Count the Clearfield Area High School Lady Bison among the Mountain League teams that are glad Kylie Gunnett will be a June graduate at Central.

The Lady Dragon right-hander pitched a four-hitter with seven strikeouts at the Bison Sports Complex Thursday afternoon for her fifth win over the Lady Bison in three years.

The 6-1 victory has Central sitting atop the ML at 7-0.

Gunnett, who walked two, has an earned run averaging hovering around 1.00 and owns nine of the undefeated Lady Dragons’ 10 victories. She wasn’t in the circle when they defeated the Lady Bison 11-1 at Martinsburg on April 10.

Gunnett also paced Central’s 11-hit attack with three singles, scored what proved to be the winning run and drove in a run.

Clearfield coach Bob Lewis conceded Gunnett rates among the league’s elite pitchers but was quick to point out Central is an experienced and balanced team with seven starters that enjoyed a run to the PIAA Class AA semifinals and finished 19-7 last season.

“She has a whole pile of offense to support her, and that helps,” he said. “They’re very good.”

Clearfield (3-5, 1-5 ML) avoided a shutout on Rachel Hoffman’s first-inning home run to dead center, with Cassidi Barnes knocking down the fence trying to make a play on the high drive.

Janelle Wallace had two of the Lady Bison’s hits, an encouraging sign for the offense.

“It’s a confidence issue with her, and those two hits certainly help,” Lewis said. “We’ve been trying to tell her to shorten up her swing and put the ball in play.

“The thing is, we grew today because we put the ball in play a lot more. We’re still striking out, but not nearly as much as we have been.”

Small ball enabled Central to go up 2-0 in the first inning.

Marissa Snyder walked and circled the sacks on a sacrifice bunt, Gunnett’s infield hit and Taylor McKnight’s groundout. Ashley Smith looped a single over short for the second run.

After Hoffman stranded two runners in the second with a strikeout and a fly ball, the Lady Dragons struck for a pair of two-out runs in the third when Taylor Garman and Lauren Aiello sandwiched doubles around a single by Kassidy Snyder.

Gunnett’s sharp single past second base after Marissa Snyder beat out a grounder to deep short and stole second made it 5-1 in the fourth and prompted Lewis to summon Heather Picard from left field to relieve Hoffman.

Picard relied on her defense to set down the first eight batters she faced before surrendering two hits and an unearned run in the seventh.

“I think she wanted to be part of changing things and getting things turned around,” Lewis said. “She got beat up a little bit when we went down there, but the score was not indicative of how she pitched. They had a lot of bloop singles.

“Today, there weren’t nearly as many, and we defended better, too.

“The defense has been solid all year, and they continue to get better and better. They really worked hard against a very aggressive, good-hitting team today.”

The Lady Bison will play a make-up game with Penns Valley at Spring Mills Monday and travel to Huntingdon for a doubleheader Tuesday.

See photos of the game here: http://www.ladybisonsports.org/lbsSBall041813.html

Mountain League standings – Central 7-0, Philipsburg-Osceola 6-0, Bald Eagle Area 4-2, Bellefonte 3-2, Penns Valley 2-4, Clearfield 1-6, Tyrone 1-6, Huntingdon 0-5.

CENTRAL — 5

Marissa Snyder 2b 3220, Janine Snyder lf 3000, Kylie Gunnett p 4131, Taylor McKnight ss 4001, Taylor Garman c 3120, Kassidy Snyder 1b 4111, Lauren Aiello rf 3011, Cassidi Barnes cf 3010.  TOTALS: 31  6  11  5.

CLEARFIELD — 1

Macala Leigey rf 3000, Megan Vanderburgh ss 3000, Rachel Hoffman p-cf 3111, Devynn Ireland c 3000, Janelle Wallace dp 3020, Lucy Kovalick 3b 3000, Victoria Ireland 1b 1000, Lauren Butler 2b 3010, Mikayla Ebeling cf-lf 3000, Heather Picard lf-p (flex) 0000.  TOTALS: 25  1  4  1.

Score by Innings

Central        303 200 2 – 6  11  0
Clearfield     100 000 0 – 1   4  1
E – Ebeling. PB – D. Ireland. LOB – Central 7; Clearfield 5. 2B – M. Snyder, Garman, Aiello. HR – Hoffman (1). Sac – J. Snyder. SB – M. Snyder, Smith 2, Garman, K. Snyder.

Pitching

Central – Gunnett 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K.
Clearfield – Hoffman 3-1/3 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 K; Picard 3-2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K.
WP – Hoffman 2.
W – Gunnett (9-0). L – Hoffman (1-3).
Umpires – Colleen Shannon (plate) and Steve Basile (bases).

Lady Bison Scoreboard:

Date Opponent Score Record
3/26 CENTRAL ppd.  0 – 0
3/28 HUNTINGDON ppd.  0 – 0
4/01 @ Central ppd.  0 – 0
4/03 @ Bald Eagle Area ppd.  0 – 0
4/04 @ Bald Eagle Area 0 – 1 0 – 1
4/05 @ Bellefonte 4 – 5 0 – 2
4/08 BRADFORD 10 – 0 1 – 2
4/09 TYRONE 4 – 1 2 – 2
4/10 @ Central 1 – 11 2 – 3
4/12 @ Penns Valley ppd.  2 – 3
4/15 @ Philipsburg-Osceola 0 – 9 2 – 4
4/16 @ Brookville 8 – 4 3 – 4
4/18 CENTRAL 1 – 6 3 – 5
4/22 @ Penns Valley    
4/23 @ Huntingdon (DH)    
4/26 BALD EAGLE AREA    
4/29 BELLEFONTE    
5/01 @ Punxsutawney    
5/02 @ Tyrone    
5/06 PENNS VALLEY    
5/07 ST. MARYS    
5/09 PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA    
5/14 @ Altoona    
5/16 HOLLIDAYSBURG    
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