As the Bellefonte softball team gathered for its post-game talk with the coaching staff after Friday’s 9-1 win over Bald Eagle Area, an occasional burst of laughter could be heard from the group at the Milesburg Little League Complex.
It was a stark contrast from the gathering after Wednesday’s 7-6 loss to Philipsburg-Osceola, when more than one Lady Raider left the field in tears.
“We have a 24-hour rule,” said winning pitcher Tara Baney, who threw a four-hitter, struck out eight, didn’t walk a batter and chipped in with three hits. “Everyone used those 24 hours. Then we came here ready to go hard and make plays. We had two tough games earlier this week with Central and Philipsburg-Osceola so we wanted to come out swinging today. We knew this would be tough and we didn’t want to leave anything behind.”
Actually, they left 10 runners behind on the bases. Not that it mattered as they struck early against Zoey Surovec and just kept the pedal to the floorboard against the Lady Eagles, who committed seven errors behind Surovec and reliever Moreta Dyke.
Trouble started early for BEA as Baney lifted a popup behind the pitching circle that was surrounded by four BEA players and fell in for a lead-off single to start the game. Lexi Wetzler, who also had a three-hit game, followed with a double to put runners at second and third. An error on Rianna Trexler’s grounder allowed both runners to score.
Bellefonte blew the game open with six runs in the third as BEA committed four more errors. Emily Pugh had a two-run single in the outburst, Wetzler had a two-run double to the base of the fence in center field and Trexler had a sacrifice fly..
“We just got our butts kicked,” BEA coach Don Lucas said. “We didn’t play defense and they played well in all three phases of the game. They got great pitching, they played good defense and they hit the ball well. We had a couple of innings where we gave them five or six outs and you can’t win when you do that. And once they got rolling we couldn’t stop them.”
Bellefonte’s final run came in the fifth when Baney led off with a double and Lissi Pryzbys singled her home.
BEA, which didn’t have a base runner until Tobi Yarrison singled to start the third inning, got its lone run in the fourth on a double by Kayleigh Kinley and a single by Caitlyn Close.
Tara (Baney’s) ERA is around 1. So if she gives up one run and we score two we feel good.
Bellefonte softball coach Fred Caldwell
“Tara’s ERA is around 1,” Bellefonte coach Fred Caldwell said. “So if she gives up one run and we score two we feel good. I thought we played well tonight. Those last two games got us fired up for this one. Some of those (BEA) errors were on hard shots that were difficult to field. We’ve been playing with different lineups for a while, tweaking it a little, but I was happy with it tonight.”