The Penns Valley softball team had something going.
A single and a pair of walks set the Lady Rams up with bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning, but a strikeout ousted the chance.
Turns out, it would be the only scoring opportunity Penns Valley had all game.
Save for a last-inning single, it was the only time the Lady Rams would have runners on base.
That’s how good Bald Eagle Area hurlers Sidney Shultz and Zoey Surovec were.
The pitching duo combined for a two-hit shutout on Friday, driving the Lady Eagles to an 8-0 victory over their Mountain League counterparts.
The win was a direct result from Shultz and Surovec’s dominance in the circle.
Shultz was the starting pitcher, allowing one hit and striking out three Lady Rams over three innings of work. Surovec closed it out, tossing four innings of one-hit ball while recording seven strikeouts.
In total, Shultz and Surovec retired 18 of Penns Valley’s last 19 batters.
BEA coach Don Lucas said he wanted to use both pitchers, and was pleased with how Shultz and Surovec, a freshman, did their jobs.
“She came in and did exactly what she needed to do,” Lucas said of Surovec. “You’re always concerned about those growing pains.”
There was certainly none of that.
Before Surovec capped the game with a strikeout, Bald Eagle Area’s bats did some work.
The Lady Eagles rattled off 13 hits in the ballgame, including four extra-base hits (three doubles, one triple).
Olivia Andrews finished a home run away from the cycle, tallying three hits (single, double, triple) with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Shultz, Dallas Dillon, Madison Ripka and Mackenzie McCloskey had two hits each, as well.
“That’s a pretty good day,” Lucas said.
For Penns Valley, though, it was not.
Outside of Caroline Collison’s seventh-inning single, Abby Thom’s liner into right field was the only source of offense for the Lady Rams.
Penns Valley coach Tessa Deardorff was disappointed with her team’s inability to capitalize on a bases-loaded chance in the first inning, but gave credit to the BEA pitchers.
“They deflated a little bit,” Deardorff said. “Then once a team comes up on you 8-0, it’s hard to come back from that.”
Deardorff is hoping her squad can rebound at Bellefonte on Monday.
Meanwhile, Bald Eagle Area finished off a four-game week, tallying wins against Clearfield and Hollidaysburg to go along with Friday’s triumph, setting the team up for a showdown Monday against Philipsburg-Osceola.
Lucas said his team was worn out, but lauded their resolve.
“This was a great way to end the week,” the coach noted.
‘Strike Out Sarcoma’
Prior to the game, both teams honored Centre Hall resident and cancer fighter TJ Coursen, who was diagnosed with sarcoma in 2002 and has had 60 tumors removed from his body since then.
Players, coaches and fans wore “Strike Out Sarcoma” T-shirts to go along with a fundraiser supporting immunotherapy research to help find a cure for the cancer.
Coursen’s daughter is on Penns Valley’s junior high softball team, so the cause hits home for the program.
“Two of our juniors came up to me a couple months ago, just as the season was getting started. They had the idea for the game,” Deardorff said. “I know the Coursen family very well, and I thought it was a great idea to do something in honor of them.”