Haley Giedroc and McKenzie Proctor didn’t necessarily plan to hit home runs over the exact same stretch of fencing at Penns Valley High School on Friday.
They did have the same intent when they stepped into the batters box, however.
Giedroc and Proctor homered three batters apart in the third inning — each long ball good for a pair of runs — to lead Bald Eagle Area to a 6-3 win over Penns Valley.
Marissa Tobias and Logan Fischer added RBIs for the Lady Eagles (9-3). Makennah Dyke pitched a complete game and gave up three runs on four hits with two strikeouts.
“We were smashing it around and played good ‘D’ and Makennah kept the ball down,” Bald Eagle Area coach Curt Heverly said. “They have some hitters. That team over there, they’ve improved 100 percent since we’ve seen them. It wasn’t an easy game for us, we had to stay right after them.”
Proctor couldn’t have picked a better time to launch her first home run. The Bald Eagle Area junior stepped to the plate and sent the fourth Harley Hess pitch she saw on a line over the left field fence — nearly to the spot where Giedroc hit hers a few moments prior.
Proctor’s homer, the go-ahead hit for the Eagles, was enough to keep the Rams at bay.
“I was just looking for a good pitch,” Proctor said. “Usually down the middle is what I’m looking for. It felt really good to get that.”
The Lady Eagles also left the Lady Rams’ diamond feeling pretty good about their defensive efforts, too.
Bald Eagle Area was errorless on the afternoon, a fact pointed out by Heverly just days after the Lady Eagles were a mess on that end committing seven errors in a 10-0 loss to Jersey Shore on Monday. Not only did Bald Eagle Area clean up its defensive fundamentals, it put some shine on a few plays.
Lady Eagles outfielders combined to gobble up four outs with center fielder Megan Peters and right fielder Fischer contributing two highlight-worthy catches in the middle innings.
Peters made a sliding catch on a shallow fly ball from Cassidy Brown to get the first out in the botttom of the third and Fischer made the defensive play of the game in the bottom of the fourth with Penns Valley threatening. After Courtney Ironside led off the fourth with a solo home run to left field, Tangie Lyons drew a walk and Elizabeth Brooks reached on a fielder’s choice with one out. Mikenna Lyons peppered a ball to deep right field where Fischer laid out to make the catch.
“They made some great defensive plays in the field, which I thought was the tale of the game because, their right fielder, if she doesn’t make that catch we’re going to score some runs,” Penns Valley coach Don Lucas said.
Pitching in relief of starter Hess, Emma Kubalak retired the next three batters she faced in the top of the fifth to set her offense up down by three. Ashley Struble responded by doubling off Dyke with one out. She scored to cut the BEA lead in half when Nicole Harbaugh doubled to left field.
But the Lady Eagles added to their lead in the sixth. No. 9 hitter Olivia Andrews doubled to start the inning and then came home when Tobias drilled a fly ball that fell in for a double with two outs three batters later. Tobias took third on a passed ball and raced home on a single by Fischer moments later. Fischer’s RBI capped BEA’s scoring.
Despite a scoreless bottom half of the sixth, Penns Valley (3-9) wasn’t done.
Struble belted her sixth home run of the season with two outs before Megan Houser flew out on a sharp angle near the BEA dugout along the first base line to end the game.
“It looked a lot better today defensively,” Heverly said. “We played really well on defense and then our hitting, our top five are pretty tough. They’re coming on.”