Lady Bison Face Tough Challenge in 9-AAA Semifinal

HYDE — The Clearfield Area High School softball team must perform a complete 180 turnaround from its regular season finale to have a chance of knocking off No. 2 seed Punxsutawney in the District 9 Class AAA semifinal Wednesday.

The No. 3-seeded Lady Bison not only are coming off a disappointing 7-6 loss to a two-win Bradford team Friday but also are running into a perennially tough opponent that has surged down the stretch.

Coach Bob Lewis’ Lady Bison will take a 7-13 record to Harry Noerr Field for the 3:30 p.m. game that is a rematch of their May 1 contest which the Lady Chucks won 8-1.

The Lady Chucks’ only loss since then was 5-1 to Mountain League champion and No. 2 District 6 Class AA seed Philipsburg-Osceola on May 11. One of their five victories was 9-1 over No. 1 seed St. Marys on May 7.

Punxsy (11-8) has two young pitchers with sparkling earned run averages.

Sophomore Alli Ishman, who hurled a five-hitter against Clearfield, is 6-2 with a 1.85 ERA, and freshman Kylee Lingenfelter is 3-4 with a 2.04 ERA.

Ishman has 41 strikeouts and just 10 walks in 53 innings while Lingenfelter has 59 strikeouts and 16 walks in 48 innings.

The Lady Chucks, who finished 4-6 in the Central Penn League, have a .273 batting average.

Their top hitters are sophomore outfielder Morgan Adamson at .393 in 13 games, senior outfielder Anna Horner at .385, senior third baseman Ivy Phillips at .383 and senior catcher Lexi Cielo at .323.

Phillips leads the team in hits (23), runs (19) and stolen bases (15).

Senior shortstop Nicole DiPietro is hitting .250 but has a team-high 11 runs batted in and is second in runs scored with 13.

Last year, DiPietro was the No. 1 pitcher for the Lady Chucks and the winner in their 3-2 squeaker over Clearfield in the district semifinals.

Junior Raeleigh Redden has been the workhorse in the circle for the Lady Bison with 17 starts and 12 complete games in 19 appearances.

She has worked 105 innings with a 4.20 ERA, 89 strikeouts and 44 walks.

Clearfield’s batting average has improved to .244 after being .209 halfway through the season.

Because of the various lineups Lewis has used, only four players have more than 40 at bats.

Freshman Erica Hanes has 15 hits, a team-high 10 RBIs and a .283 average with starts at second base, left field and center field as well as the designated player.

Junior center fielder and backup pitcher Karlie Lewis is hitting .259, freshman shortstop Brooke Cline is right behind at .258 while leading the team hits (17), runs scored (19) and stolen bases (13), and junior third baseman Sierra Jones is batting .245

Four Lady Bison are over .300, but none has reached 30 at-bats.

Freshman Makayla Ross is at .375 with all of her hits in the last three games, followed by sophomore Brittani Priester at .345, junior Devynn Ireland at .333 and freshman Abby Fedder at .310.

Priester and Ireland, who missed the first month of the season due to an injury, have seen action at first base or as designated players. Ross and Fedder are infielders, with the latter also making three starts in left field as well as one start in the circle.

Junior Victoria Ireland (.245) has made most of the starts at first base, while freshman Aspen Bishop (.282) and senior Macala Leigey (.200) have been regulars in left field and right field, respectively.

Punxsy has the edge against common opponents, having beaten Bradford 15-0 and 17-0 in Mercy Rule games as well as Hollidaysburg 9-3 and 2-1

Clearfield lost to Hollidaysburg 8-2 last week as well as to Philipsburg-Osceola 5-2 and 15-0.

The Lady Chucks split with Altoona, winning 7-4 to atone for an earlier 1-0 loss, while the Lady Bison were edged 9-8 in nine innings by the Lady Lions last week.

Both teams were defeated by District 6 Class AA No. 3 seed Bald Eagle Area, the Lady Bison by 10-0 and 13-3 scores in Mountain League games and the Lady Chucks by 3-2 on April 20.

Wednesday’s winner will take on St. Marys in the championship next Tuesday at a site and time to be announced.

Lady Bison Scoreboard:

Date Opponent Score Record
3/24 @ Central 8 – 6 1 – 0
3/27 HUNTINGDON ppd. 1 – 0
3/30 @ Bellefonte 2 – 11 1 – 1
4/01 @ Huntingdon 9 – 2 2 – 1
4/02 @ Tyrone 11 – 6 3 – 1
4/06 @ Bald Eagle Area 0 – 10 3 – 2
4/10 @ Penns Valley ppd. 3 – 2
4/13 PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA 2 – 5 3 – 3
4/14 @ Penns Valley 2 – 7 3 – 4
4/16 CENTRAL 0 – 5 3 – 5
4/20 CURWENSVILLE ppd. 3 – 5
4/21 HUNTINGDON 6 – 10 3 – 6
4/23 BELLEFONTE ppd. 3 – 6
4/24 BELLEFONTE 10 – 7 4 – 6
4/27 TYRONE 12 – 2 5 – 6
4/30 BALD EAGLE AREA 3 – 13 5 – 7
5/01 @ Punxsutawney 1 – 8 5 – 8
5/04 @ Glendale 11 – 5 6 – 8
5/05 PENNS VALLEY 0 – 7 6 – 9
5/08 @ Philipsburg-Osceola 0 – 15 6 – 10
5/11 HOLLIDAYSBURG 2 – 8 6 – 11
5/12 @ Altoona 8-9, 8 inn. 6 – 12
5/13 CURWENSVILLE 16 – 8 7 – 12
5/14 BRADFORD 6 – 7 7 – 13
5/20 District 9 AAA Playoffs
5/20 @ Punxsutawney
Hard-Hitting Owls Swoop Past Bison 13-6 in 9-AAA Semi
Lady Tide Open District 9 Softball Playoffs as 5th Seed

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