LOCK HAVEN Making some memories.
Thats what Bald Eagle Areas Chelsey Poorman said playing in the annual Pennsylvania Softball Coaches Association All-Star game is all about.
Forget all of the statistics and who won.
It was a lot of fun, said Poorman after she and her District 6 teammates won 4-2 over District 4 at Lock Haven University on a hot Thursday evening. You get to meet new people and form new friendships. It was fun. I had never talked to some of the girls I talked to today so that was pretty cool. You just like become one. All of the people youve never cheered for before, you get to cheer for them.
Bellefontes Hannah Cooper, who has battled against Poorman and BEA for years, agreed.
I was relaxed and having a lot of fun, just goofing around with these girls I just met, said Cooper, who had two hits, got the pitching victory and earned her teams MVP honor for the first half of the 10-inning game. I made a lot of new friends today. It was a lot of fun.
The contest featured a new format for the annual event. The game was split into two five-inning segments allowing coaches to evenly share the playing time. District 6 splits its 18 players into two separate teams, with each playing five innings.
Centre Countys eight participants made significant impacts in each half of the game.
In the opening five innings, area players drove each run as District 6 took a 3-2 lead.
After Mifflin Countys Brandi Sherwood hit a one-out single in the first inning, Centre County hitters followed suit. Bellefontes Jess Gmerek lined a single to center and Cooper followed with an RBI double to deep center. Penns Valleys Clarissa Keller then stroked an RBI single to left to give District 6 a 2-0 lead.
District 4 squared the contest on a two-run single by Williamsports Brooke Pompeo in the second, but District 6 took the lead for good in the fifth.
Gmerek smacked a one-out single and raced to third on Coopers single to left. Keller followed with an RBI groundout.
Cooper had three scoreless innings to close out her five-inning stretch. Cooper, an all-state catcher who was pressed into pitching for the Lady Red Raiders this season, struck out four in her final appearance in the circle.
That was my last game pitching, said Cooper, who is headed to Central Connecticut State. I will be catching in the summer. Its a good feeling. (Pitching) was a lot of fun. I was impressed with how I did and I met my goals. My Bellefonte teammates and my teammates this game had my back.
The one-run lead would prove plenty for Clays-burg- Kimmels Ronette Claar, the District 6 MVP of the second five innings. Claar, who will pitch at Mercyhurst College, didnt allow a hit. She struck out nine, including eight of the first 10 batters she faced.
My thumb is extremely sore, said BEAs Emilie Peters, who caught Claar. Shes really good.
Poorman scored the only run in the final five innings. She walked, moved to second on a groundout and raced home on a bloop single by Central Cambrias Aimee Espe.
Peters, who will attend Mount Aloysius College with an eye on a nursing degree, was the hitting star over the final five innings. Peters, who will not play in college, got two of her teams three hits.
The local players also flashed some leather. Bellefontes Jillian Musser made a fine running catch in left-center field in the opening half. In the second five innings, right fielder Poorman threw out a runner at second base after an overthrow to first. Third baseman Chrissy Tressler (Bellefonte) and shortstop Carrie Barnyak (BEA) also played flawless defense.
Its not something you forget, Musser said of the contest. Its always nice to be recognized. Being with your teammates, its always nice to have one more game.
As many new friends that were made, Poorman said it was nice to get one more opportunity to play with teammates Barnyak and Peters.
Its going to be weird not playing with them, said Poorman, who hopes to walk-on at Lycoming College where she may have an opportunity to play with her older sister Janelle. Ive played with them as long as I can remember. Its going to be different.
Hall of Famer
Former Bald Eagle Area standout Lauryn Weaver a true class act was one of four players who were inducted into the District 6 Hall of Fame on Thursday night.
Weaver, a power-hitting catcher, helped the Lady Eagles win the 2005 PIAA Class AA championship. She hit .400, smacked 10 home runs and drove in 77 runs during her career at BEA.
Weaver went on to a stellar career at Pitt-Bradford, earning numerous Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference all-league and all-academic honors. She batted .400 for her career and set school records in home runs (25), RBIs (110) and total bases (287).
Weaver, a 2011 college graduate, served as an assistant coach at West Branch this past season and is painting while she tries to land a job in her field. She majored in health and physical education at Pitt-Bradford.
Musser, Bellefontes center fielder, will join the flock of local players headed to Penn State- Altoona.
Former teammates Brittany Smith and Christina Stathes are standouts for the Lady Lions as are former BEA stars Kelly Chambers and Lily Glunt. All-star teammate Keller and BEAs Cassondra Ross are also headed to PSU-Altoona, led by former Bellefonte assistant coach Fred Caldwell.
Centre County softball man, its awesome, Musser said. Im very excited. It will be exciting to go it with a lot of those girls.
Musser was a three-sport athlete at Bellefonte, who finds it hard to think of playing just one sport. Not going to play soccer and basketball is going to be a little weird, she said. Im probably going to have to get on some club teams.
PSU-Altoona went 33-12 last season, setting a school mark for wins. The Lady Lions narrowly missed the NCAA Tournament, falling 5-4 to PSUBehrend in extra innings.
Its cool to go somewhere where theyre all meshing and doing well, Musser said. Theyre hitting hard and beating good teams.
Walt Moody can be reached at 231-4630. Follow him on Twitter @wmoodycdt