The extra work on hitting the Bald Eagle Area softball team did the past couple of practices paid dividends for the Lady Eagles Tuesday when they took down defending District 6 Class AA champion Central 10-6.
The Lady Eagles had eight hits off three Central pitchers as they jumped out to a 10-2 lead before the Lady Dragons threw up four runs in the last inning.
Leading the BEA attack were Olivia Andrews, who had two hits, including a two-run homer, and Morgan Peters, who had a three-run double in the first inning that helped the Lady Eagles get out to a 6-1 lead.
“We hit the ball well,” said BEA coach Don Lucas. “We worked hard on hitting the last couple of practices and it showed tonight. We’re fortunate to have Taylor Parsons as our hitting instructor.”
Central got to BEA starter Zoe Surovec for a run in the first when Ashley Negley rapped a two-out triple to right-center and scored when a throw to third in an attempt to pick her off went awry.
But BEA countered that with a six-run outburst in the bottom of the inning. Dallis Dillon started it all with a single and stole second. Andrews followed with a bomb to dead center to give the Lady Eagles a 2-1 lead. A single by Sydney Shultz, a fielder’s choice and a pair of walks loaded the bases for Peters, who lofted a fly to deep right that fell behind the fielder and allowed all three BEA runners to score. A single by Mikayla Smith drove in Peters for the sixth run of the inning.
“If we catch that fly ball, we get out of that inning down 2-1,” said Central coach Dale Walters. “That killed us. But we have some growing pains we have to go through. We’re starting six kids who are either freshmen or sophomores. By the end of the year, I think we’ll be pretty good. We’re pretty good now but so is Bald Eagle. I don’t want to take anything away from them. They hit the ball well today.”
Andrews and Peters combined for three hits and five RBIs in the win.
“That’s what they do,” Lucas said. “Liv (Andrews) is a solid hitter and Morgan, that’s what she does (drive in runs). That’s what they’re there for.”
BEA stretched its lead with a run in the third thanks to two Central errors and then tacked on three more runs in the fourth when Dillon and Andrews had singles, Shultz had a sacrifice fly and Madison Ripka had an RBI double. Megan Kresovich added an RBI single for BEA’s final run.
Central fought back in the seventh, taking advantage of a tiring Surovec. After getting an infield out to start the inning, Surovec surrendered three straight singles to load the bases. Olivia Smith cleared them with a shot over the fence in left-center. Central kept the rally going when Jenna Ritchie and Negley poked consecutive singles before a fielder’s choice and a groundout ended the game.
“Zoe threw a lot of pitches,’’ Lucas said. “And it’s tough to put a ninth-grader out there against a team the quality of Central. I think she started to tire. But it was nice to be able to get up by five runs and then give her the ball.
“When you put two teams the quality of these two out there you can expect anything to happen. But we’ve got something going here. We’re pretty happy.”