BEA softball advances to state semifinals
Bald Eagle Area will have to wait another day to find out whether it’s playing for a state title.
Monday’s PIAA softball semifinal game was postponed due to the weather, and the Lady Eagles will now take on Clearfield at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Mount Aloysius. The game was originally slated to take place 5 p.m. Monday but was called off before 9:30 a.m. on game day due to forecasted rain.
The winner of Tuesday’s contest will advance to the Class 3A state championship, which will still take place at 1:30 p.m. Friday at Penn State’s Beard Field. The loser’s season is over.
Bald Eagle Area matches up well with Clearfield, having beaten the Lady Bison twice already this season — 17-2 on March 26 and 9-0 on April 18. But Clearfield isn’t the same team it was back then.
Three of its key players are freshmen, including pitcher Emma Hipps, who is batting .427 this season and boasts a 1.62 ERA. Since May, Clearfield is 8-2 and the Lady Bison are allowing just 1.9 runs per game.
BEA has been consistently elite all season, dropping just three games by a combined four runs. The team is strong from top to bottom, with solid pitching (Madison Peters, 1.56 ERA) and hot bats (Mara Hockenberry, .440 BA), and its athleticism is a perfect fit for Don Lucas’ “small ball” philosophy.
Tuesday’s game is sure to be an interesting one and, with just three seniors combined between the two teams, odds are it won’t be the last time either one is in the state tournament.