The fourth matchup between the Bald Eagle Area and Philipsburg-Osceola softball teams is going back to possibly the only venue in central Pennsylvania that can hold the crowd: Penn State’s Nittany Lion Softball Park.
The two Centre County rivals will meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the PIAA Class AA semifinals at Beard Field.
And thanks to the PIAA keeping a level playing field for possible BEA and P-O opponents, fans will get a preview of the Class AA title game. Central Columbia and Susquenita, the two semifinalists from the Eastern side of the bracket, will play at 3 p.m. at Beard Field.
Bald Eagle Area (21-4) and Philipsburg-Osceola (21-5) have played three one-run games this season. They split in the regular season before the Lady Eagles rallied to win the District 6 crown 5-4 in extra innings before an estimated crowd of 1,100 at Penn State.
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Expect even more fans this time.
BEA advanced to the semifinals with a 4-1 win over District 10 champion Wilmington on Thursday. The Lady Eagles pounded out 12 hits and rode the right arm of Makennah Dyke, who tossed a four-hitter. Dyke has allowed just two runs and seven hits in two PIAA playoff starts.
Philipsburg-Osceola advanced in an entirely different fashion. The Lady Mounties belted 11 hits as they rallied from a three-run deficit to top District 7 champion Beaver 9-6. Kenzie Burge and Haley Frank had four hits apiece as the Lady Mounties knocked off their second consecutive unbeaten team in the PIAAs. The Lady Mounties have scored 28 runs in two PIAA contests.
The winner will already know who its opponent will be in the PIAA championship.
Central Columbia (22-2), the District 4 champion, advanced to its third PIAA semifinal berth in six seasons with a 4-2 triumph over Delone Catholic. Central Columbia broke a 2-2 tie with two runs in the fifth and won behind Paige Siequist’s five-hitter.
Susquenita (23-3), the District 3 champion, cruised to a 6-1 win over Pen Argyl behind Rachel Sterner’s three-hit, nine-strikeout performance. Susquenita has outscored its two PIAA foes 16-2.