This time five runs were enough.
When the Bald Eagle Area and Bellefonte softball teams met on April 19 in Milesburg, BEA established a 5-1 lead only to see the Lady Raiders come back to knot the score and then win with a run in the ninth inning.
Tuesday at O’Leary Fields in Bellefonte, the Lady Eagles again took a 5-1 lead, thanks to two-run doubles by Brooke Woodward and Sidney Shultz and a solo homer by Morgan Peters, and that was enough for them to post a 5-2 victory over the Lady Raiders.
Woodward, who had spent some time on the junior varsity earlier in the year rehabbing from an ankle injury, gave BEA the lead in the fifth when she laced a bases-loaded double to the fence in left-center to score Megan Kresovich and Morgan Nyman, who had reached on a single and an error, respectively. Shultz followed with a double to right-center that rolled up the hill, scoring Dallis Dillen, who had walked, and Woodward.
“We came through when we needed to,” said Shultz, who had three hits off Bellefonte’s Tara Baney. “I wasn’t looking for any certain pitch (on her double), just whatever was there to hit. It felt good to beat them. I’m ready to win. This is my senior year.”
BEA coach Don Lucas, whose team lost 6-5 in the first meeting with Bellefonte, was happy with his big hitters in the third and fourth spots.
“When we moved Brooke down to JVs early in the year she hit the heck out of the ball down there,” he said. “And when we brought her up she was aggressive at the plate. I feel really good with her up there. And Sidney has just been solid for us all year.”
But in the early part of the game it was Baney who was solid, handcuffing the BEA batters after she was staked to a 1-0 lead in the second. Samantha Gates opened the inning with a single that got past the right fielder and rolled to the fence, putting Gates on third. Rachel Bernier drove her in with a solid single and took second on an error. But the BEA defense rose up to kill the rally as Woodward threw out a runner at the plate and catcher Nyman threw out Bernier at third on a fielder’s choice.
After leaving runners at second and third in both the first and fourth innings, BEA got to Baney in the fifth before Alexis Wetzler got a run back in the bottom of the fifth when she tripled to right and scored on a single by Ang Capparelle. Wetzler finished the day with three hits including a double and triple.
BEA got that run back in the top of the sixth when Morgan Peters unloaded a bomb to dead center on a 1-0 pitch to start the inning.
“The home run was big time,” Lucas said. “That put us up one more run. You always worry about Bellefonte because they are capable of coming back.”
But BEA freshman pitcher Zoe Surovec shut the Lady Riaders down in order in the seventh to seal the win. She finished the day with six strikeouts, no walks and allowed seven hits.
“She pitched a great game,” Lucas said. “She got a lot of ground balls (six) and popups (five).”
Baney gave up eight hits while striking out eight and walking four.
“She’s a heck of a competitor,” Lucas added. “The first couple of innings she sawed us off quite a bit. Then we were able to get some key hits off her. We got hits from the people we need to get them from.”
“This was a typical BEA-Bellefonte softball game,” said Lady Raider coach Fred Caldwell. “They hit the ball hard and they hit it when they needed to. They got some big hits.
“I thought Tara did a great job as she has done all season. Early on she didn’t get some calls inside but she adjusted and did a great job. But BEA adjusted the second and third times through the order.”
BEA closes out its regular season Friday when it travels to meet Central. An Eagle win gives them a share of the Mountain League title with Philipsburg-Osceola.
Bellefonte is at home Friday with State College and finishes with Tyrone and Clearfield on the road next week.
The District 6 Class A and AA pairings will be announced over the weekend, with some opening games next Thursday, while the Class AAA and AAAA draw will come out next week.