High School Sports

Kam Harris’ no-hitter leads Philipsburg-Osceola softball to district semifinals

psheehan@centredaily.com

Kam Harris had no idea what she was doing as Monday’s District 6 Class 3A quarterfinal game moved along — and that wasn’t a bad thing.

Pitchers aren’t supposed to know they’re throwing a no-hitter.

Harris didn’t find out she tossed a no-no until her Philipsburg-Osceola teammates told her after the No. 2-seed Lady Mounties blanked No. 7-seed West Shamokin 10-0 in six innings. Harris and the Lady Mounties face Penn Cambria on Thursday with a trip to the district championship on the line.

“I wasn’t aware (of the no-hitter), I was just focusing on coming out on top,” said Harris, who faced the minimum 18 batters. She was working on a perfect game until an error in the fifth inning put a runner aboard, who was picked off at first by catcher Kylie Thal.

Harris struck out 10 batters, including six in a row in the second and third innings. A big reason for that was Harris’ curveball, the sophomore’s go-to pitch.

“It was really working today,” she said. “I use it as much as possible.”

West Shamokin coach Lisa Hileman said her team had not seen a pitcher like Harris during its season in the Heritage Conference.

“She’s the best we’ve seen. She was dynamite,” Hileman said. “The girls were coming back to the dugout saying the drop and the screwball were coming toward them on the outside of the plate.”

Thal heard it all from her position behind the plate.

“Their coaches were mad,” she said. “They said the girls were watching too many pitches, that they had to swing the bat. But Kam was hitting the corners. Everything she threw was working, the curve, the screwball and her fastball had a lot of movement. It was awesome.”

Harris certainly dominated in the circle — and the Lady Mounties’ offense had little trouble offering support.

P-O started fast as Hannah Thompson drew a one-out walk in the first, and Madison Lucas homered to right-center off Ashtin Kirkwood. In the third, the Lady Mounties put together a two-out rally when Harris was hit by a pitch and Jayde Burge, Thal and Sadie Granville strung together consecutive singles to move the P-O lead to 5-0.

The Lady Mounties added a pair of runs in the fourth on back-to-back doubles by Lucas and Harris and a single by Burge. Thompson doubled with one out in the sixth inning and scored on a single by Lucas. Then Harris launched a two-run homer over the fence in right to end it.

Now, P-O is set to face No. 3-seeded Penn Cambria, who defeated Bald Eagle Area 4-2 on Monday. Like West Shamokin, Penn Cambria is an unknown quantity for the Lady Mounties.

“We didn’t know much about this team today,” Lady Mounties coach Jim Gonder said. “And we’re going to see another team like that Thursday.”

Thankfully for Gonder’s team, it did just fine facing an unfamiliar opponent Monday. He’ll be hoping for the same in the district semifinals.

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