After allowing a leadoff single, Bald Eagle Area pitcher Makennah Dyke didn’t allow another against Penns Valley.
Dyke pitched a one-hitter to lead the Lady Eagles to a 10-0 win over the Lady Rams in six innings Wednesday at Milesburg. Bald Eagle Area coach Curt Heverly called Dyke crafty after watching her mix pitches and change speeds to keep Penns Valley off balance from start to finish.
“Everything was working,” Dyke said.
That was true of Bald Eagle Area’s performance as a team, too. Dyke’s dominant outing was bolstered by defense and a 16-hit offensive outburst. Dyke walked one and struck out three to help Bald Eagle Area (5-0) remain unbeaten.
Marissa Tobias went 3-for-3 and scored three runs, and Morgan Nyman finished 3-for-3 to go with two runs and two RBIs to lead the offensive attack. Megan Peters, Morgan Peters and Sidney Shultz each drove in two runs as well.
Heverly is in his first season since coaching the program a decade ago. Heverly said he felt he left the job “unfinished” the first time around and jumped at the chance to try again. He sees a talented team with the potential to challenge for the district title. That all-around ability was on display Wednesday.
“We had great pitching today,” Heverly said. “We’ve had it all five games. And we hit the ball, came out and got five runs in the first inning and hit the ball pretty well. And then we kind of hung in there and got a run – pecked a run here, pecked a run there, but offensively, we hit in some clutch situations.”
Penns Valley, meanwhile, is still trying to put it together. Ashley Struble had the lone hit for the Lady Rams (0-3). Penns Valley pitcher Harley Hess struck out seven and walked two, but the Lady Rams’ offensive struggles and defensive issues were too much to overcome once again.
“We’re still suffering with some growing pains,” Penns Valley coach Don Lucas said.
Struble opened the game with a single.
But Dyke settled in and didn’t allow another baserunner until giving up a walk in the top of the fifth inning.
“She kept the ball down, and we kept hitting it into the ground,” Lucas said. “She did a great job.”
By the fifth, the Lady Eagles owned a commanding 9-0 lead.
Bald Eagle Area broke through for five runs in the bottom of the first.
Dallas Dillon singled to get it started. After a single by Tobias and a passed ball, Morgan Peters grounded out to drive in the first run.
Haley Giedroc followed with an RBI double, and Nyman drilled an RBI single. Shultz capped the inning with a two-run single.
“This is what we wanted to have happen,” Heverly said. “We didn’t know if it would, but they’ve really played well for us. Today was just playing a solid game defensively, pitching, hitting.”
The defense and hitting made life easy for Dyke.
She trusted her teammates to make the plays, and they continued to add to the early lead, pushing it to 6-0 after two innings and 9-0 after four.
“It relieves a lot of pressure on me,” Dyke said.
And Dyke was nearly perfect pitching relaxed.
Her performance in the circle was the highlight to keep Bald Eagle Area perfect. But her three-strikeout, one-hitter also highlighted the sharp play of the defense.
That formula led to a fifth-straight win to start the season.
“When you pitch a one-hitter and don’t have any errors and hold ‘em to zero,” Heverly said, “that’s what I’m after, so solid pitching, solid defense, that’ll win you a lot of games.”
Heverly is looking forward to seeing his team continue to develop throughout the season. And he’s also eager for the Lady Eagles’ matchup with Philipsburg-Osceola on Friday.
“That’ll be the test,” Heverly said.