HYDE — In a game of firsts for several Clearfield Area High School softball players, Emma Hipps racked up 16 strikeouts in pitching the Lady Bison to a 9-1 non-league victory over Curwensville at the Bison Sports Complex Tuesday afternoon.
Coming off a rocky debut against Bald Eagle Area, the freshman right-hander was in command throughout even though allowing six hits and one walk and hitting one batter.
She was able to reach back for a little extra when necessary in her first complete game, ending five innings with strikeouts that stranded seven Lady Tide runners.
“She bounced back from the first game and went out there and threw an awesome game,” Clearfield coach Derek Danver said. “We were really making her mix up her pitches, maybe even more than she liked, just to get her used to that in a game situation, and she did a great job.”
Curwensville coach Allan Leigey was equally impressed with Hipps’ performance.
“You’ve just gotta give it to her,” he said. “She was throwing BBs, and she was mowing us down.”
Jump-starting Hipps’ first win was junior Kyra Mollura with the first home run of her career, a blast to left center field in the second inning that proved to be the game-winning hit with Lauren Ressler scoring ahead of her.
“That was huge,” said Danver, who noted Mollura told him that was the first time she ever hit a ball over the fence. “That got us rolling.”
“I wasn’t expecting that from that part of the order,” Leigey said. “I thought we were through the tough part and figured we were good. But she crushed it.”
Ressler, another freshman, was aboard with her first varsity hit, a liner to left, and she singled in her next two at-bats, too.
“She’s a good hitter, and she’s a hard worker,” Danver said. “I expect her to have more games like this one.”
Also recording their first varsity safeties were junior Alyssa Twigg and freshmen Olivia Bender and Alexis Benton.
The Lady Bison (1-1) expanded their lead to 6-0 in the third inning, two runs scoring when Mollura’s grounder was misplayed, one on a wild pitch and the fourth on Morgan Cheek’s bunt.
The teams matched singletons in the fourth frame, Curwensville breaking through against Hipps on Ariel Zattoni’s single to center that plated Bella Giuffre and Clearfield on consecutive singles by Bender, Ressler and Twigg, who was inserted as a pinch-hitter after pitching in the junior varsity game and logged her first RBI.
Twigg and Hipps had two hits apiece for the Lady Bison, who tacked on two unearned runs in the sixth inning with Hipps crossing the plate on a wild pitch after Karly Rumsky had scored on a groundout by Ressler.
Clearfield wound up with nine hits off Joslynne Freyer and Logan Sheeder, who worked only the fourth inning before the Lady Tide starter returned to the circle.
Freyer surrendered eight runs, but only three were earned. She struck out four and walked three.
Freyer also had two hits for the Lady Tide, who slipped to 1-2.
Leigey expressed disappointment that his team couldn’t make more contact against Hipps.
“We’ve been fighting that,” he said. “I thought coming into the season we’d be a little better at this point than we are, but we’re not really hitting the ball against anybody. I’m hoping when we get a few more at-bats, maybe we will.”
Danver was happy to see the Lady Bison bounce back from their opening loss.
“I think we had a better attitude,” he said. “We got a lead and we kind of stayed up in the dugout, didn’t get down on ourselves.
“I talked about how were they going to react to the last one, and they showed up and practiced hard. This is a deserved win for them.”
Clearfield will welcome Tyrone, which is off to a 3-0 start, to the BSC for a Mountain League game on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
Curwensville’s next outing will be its Moshannon Valley League and home opener against West Branch at Riverside Field Friday at 4:15.
CURWENSVILLE — 1
Logan Sheeder 2b-p-2b 4000, Abby Pentz ss 4010, Bailey Bloom c 3000, Joslynne Freyer p-2b-p 3020, Kelsi Bumbarger pr 0000, Lauren Tozer 1b 3000, Bella Giuffre 3b 3110, Ally Hess dp 3010, Taylor Luzier cf 2000, Ariel Zattoni lf 3011, Alex Zattoni rf (flex) 0000. TOTALS: 28 1 6 1.
CLEARFIELD — 9
Kylee Hertlein 2b 3000, Karly Rumsky cf 3100, Emma Hipps p 4220, Olivia Bender c 4210, Lauren Ressler 1b 4231, Casey English 3b 2000, Alyssa Twigg ph-3b 2021, Kyra Mollura ss 4213, Morgan Cheek rf 2001, Alexis Benton lf 3010. TOTALS: 31 9 10 6.
Score by Innings
Curwensville 000 100 0 – 1 6 4
Clearfield 024 102 x – 9 10 2
E – Pentz, Freyer, Giuffre 2; Mollura, Benton. LOB – Curwensville 8; Clearfield 8. HR – Mollura (1). Sac – Cheek. SB – Pentz.
Curwensville – Freyer 5 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K; Sheeder 1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K.
Clearfield – Hipps 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 16 K.
HB – Hipps 1 (). WP – Freyer 2.
W – Hipps (1-1). L – Freyer (1-2).
Umpires – Colleen Shannon (plate) and Bill Bacharach (bases).