CLARION – The first round of the District 9 Class “A” softball playoffs opened Monday with the quarterfinals.
For the Clarion Lady Bobcats it is time to move on to the semi’s after a tight 3-2 victory over the Curwensville Lady Tide.
The contest, played at Paul Weaver Park in Clarion, had sophomore outfielder Maya Thornton of the Lady Bobcats become the hero with a sixth inning solo home run to dead centerfield which was the game winner.
After the defeat Lady Tide head coach Allen Leigey spoke of the tough loss, saying, “It is always tough to lose the last game of the season. I thought going in that we had a great chance to win and move on to the semifinals.”
Curwensville scored the first runs of the game, two tallies in the fourth, after three innings of three and out.
Kaylee Harnett picked up Curwensville’s first hit, a single, to start the top of the fourth inning and moved on over to second base after Rylee Young laid down a well executed sacrifice bunt.
After a strike out for the inning’s second out, catcher Haley McGarry drew a walk giving the Lady Tide runners on the corners.
An infield single by Emily Miller scored Harnett from third for the game’s first run, which was then followed by an RBI single to right field for Teghan Jacobson that brought McGarry home, giving the Lady Tide a 2-0 edge.
Clarion picked up its first run in the bottom of the fifth when Kenna Over came home on a fielder’s choice to third base by Johnna Rapp.
After five complete innings Curwensville still hung to the lead, 2-1.
The Lady Tide were set down in order in both the fifth and sixth innings by sophomore hurler Sadie Rudesyle who struck out 10 Curwensville batters on the sunny afternoon, while giving up five singles and two bases on balls.
The damage to Curwensville came in the bottom of the sixth when Clarion pushed across two runs that decided the outcome.
Lady Bobcat Cora Zerfoss led off with a single to centerfield and what followed was a bit bizarre.
Next up was Alexis Constantino, the third baseman for Clarion, who put down a bunt that was cleanly fielded by Lady Tide third baseman Hannah Dixon who promptly threw out Constantino.
Meanwhile, Zerfoss had other ideas. Like score on the play. And she did.
Zerfoss got a great jump on the bunt and motored to second base. The only problem for Curwensville was that Zerfoss kept motoring and pushed on to third base as no one was there to cover the bag.
However, the Clarion first baseman just kept on trucking around third and scored when home plate was also open.
In fairness to the Lady Tide, first baseman Kayli Sedgwick caught the ball for the out from Dixon, but as her glove touched the ground, after the out was called, the ball came out and rolled about two feet from Sedgwick who quickly recovered and threw home. But home plate was not defended and Zerfoss scored the tying run.
Next up for Clarion was Thornton, who wasted no time and smacked the game winning home run to dead center on the first pitch from Young making the score, after six, 3-2 in favor of the Lady Bobcats.
The Lady Tide attempted a seventh inning rally only to come up short on aggressive base running.
Miller opened the inning drawing a walk and then was pinch run for by freshman Keisha Maines.
Jacobson then stroked a single up the middle, and Maines, who rounded second base, got caught for an out in a rundown trying to reach third.
Kayli Sedgwick would single later in the inning with two outs but the Curwensville rally came up short on this day.
Leigey added, “We battled until the end, that’s all you can ask for.” And then one final comment for his senior pitcher Young, “Rylee (Young) kept us in every game this season, giving us a chance to win just about every time.”
The Lady Tide, who ended the year at 11-10, opened the season in late March with a 3-1 win over Clarion.
Curwensville says good-bye to six seniors playing their final game: Rylee Young, Kayli Sedgwick, Emily Miller, Haley McGarry, Teghan Jacobson and Madison Bumbarger.
Leigey saved his last comments for his seniors, “You always feel sad for the seniors when the season is over, and this group was just great to be around. I just wish we would have won so we could have another practice tomorrow. That’s how much fun these girls were.”
Clarion, now 14-7, will play Coudersport on Wednesday in the semifinals. Coudersport, the two seed, beat Elk County Catholic, also on Monday, 6-5.
In the other quarterfinal games, number one seed DuBois Central Catholic won 13-0 over Cameron County in five innings and will face AC Valley, a 7-5 winner over Smethport.
Sites for the semifinals have yet to be determined.
CURWENSVILLE – 2
Kaylee Harnett ss 3110, Rylee Young p 3000, Hannah Dixon 3b 3000, Haley McGarry c 2100, Emily Miller dp 2011, Keisha Maines pr 0000, Teghan Jacobson 2b 3021, Camryn Richards rf 3000, Kayli Sedgwick 1b 3010, Kelsi Bumbarger pr 0000, Madison Bumbarger cf 3000, Keisha Maines flex/lf 0000, TOTALS – 25 2 5 2
CLARION – 3
Kenna Over ss 3100, Anna Reed 2b 3020, Johnna Rapp c 3000, Sadie Rudesyle p 3001, Cora Zerfoss 3120, Alexis Constantino 3b 3010, Maya Thornton lf 3111, Sydney Kiser cf 2000, Carly Best 3010, Liz Saver flex/rf 0000, TOTALS – 26 3 7 2
SCORE BY INNINGS R H E
CURWENSVILLE 000 200 0 2 5 1
CLARION 000 012 x 3 7 0
ERRORS – Dixon. LOB – CURWENSVILLE – 4 CLARION – 6. 2B – Reed 2. HR – Thornton(6th, Solo). SB – Zerfoss, Constantino, Kiser. SAC – Young, Rapp, Constantino. SF – Rapp.
CURWENSVILLE – Young 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
CLARION – Rudesyle 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 10 K
WP – Rudesyle LP – Young (11-10)
UMPIRES: Ron Walter, Jim Pullman, Coleen Shannon
Final Lady Tide Scoreboard:
|3/24||CLARION||3 – 1||1 – 0|
|4/04||JOHNSONBURG||ppd.||1 – 0|
|4/05||JOHNSONBURG||3 – 2||2 – 0|
|4/06||@ Elk County Catholic||10 – 6||3 – 0|
|4/09||@ Moshannon Valley||ppd.||3 – 0|
|4/11||GLENDALE||ppd.||3 – 0|
|4/13||@ Purchase Line||2 – 4||3 – 1|
|4/14||KANE||10 – 0||4 – 1|
|4/18||@ Harmony||4 – 1||5 – 1|
|4/19||GLENDALE||0 – 5||5 – 2|
|4/21||BROCKWAY||1 – 5||5 – 3|
|4/25||PURCHASE LINE||11 – 1||6 – 3|
|4/27||@ Johnsonburg||2 – 7||6 – 4|
|4/29||@ DuBois Central Catholic||ppd.||6 – 4|
|5/02||ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC||ppd.||6 – 4|
|5/04||@ Sheffield||5 – 0||7 – 4|
|5/04||@ Sheffield||12 – 0||8 – 4|
|5/05||CLEARFIELD||1 – 3||8 – 5|
|5/07||@ DuBois Central Catholic||0 – 10||8 – 6|
|5/09||@ West Branch||1 – 2||8 – 7|
|5/10||@ Kane||15 – 0||9 – 7|
|5/12||DUBOIS CENTRAL CATH.||0 – 4||9 – 8|
|5/16||@ Moshannon Valley||0 – 1||9 – 9|
|5/17||@ Brockway||7 – 2||10 – 9|
|5/19||ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC||4 – 0||11 – 9|
|5/23||D9 A Playoffs|
|5/23||@ Clarion||2 – 3||11 – 10|