Five hits, six runs, a pitching change, and all the momentum a team could want.
All before an out was recorded.
The third inning — and the game, for that matter — was kind to Ellwood City softball.
Bald Eagle Area? Not as much.
The Lady Eagles fell to Ellwood City 10-0 in five innings in the first round of the PIAA Class AA playoffs on Monday at North Allegheny High School.
The Lady Wolverines (21-0) move on to face Moniteau in the second round, while the season for BEA (16-6) is over.
“It just didn’t go our way today,” BEA coach Don Lucas said. “We’re sad right now, and rightfully so.”
Ellwood City’s Skyla Greco was the winning pitcher, allowing only two hits and striking out seven in a complete-game effort.
Bald Eagle Area starter Zoey Surovec was tabbed with the loss. She was charged with six earned runs in two full innings of work.
Surovec was replaced by Moreta Dyke, who finished the game.
Ellwood City, which took a 2-0 advantage in the first inning, piled it on in the third inning.
Two singles and a hit batter loaded the bases from the get-go, Surovec surrendered an RBI bloop single to Ariana Garroway, and then the freshman walked Mallory Swogger to plate another.
Lucas made the move for Dyke with bases loaded and no outs.
But BEA’s deficit continued to swell. A run scored on a throwing error, followed by a two-run double from Camille Maine and an RBI two-bagger by Reagan Mittler.
Lady Wolverines coach Gary Rozanski has seen this happen before. His team is undefeated with good reason — entering Monday, it averaged 11.05 runs per game.
He’s been on the right side of the snowball effect more often than not.
“We get one, then another one, and another one,” Rozanski said. “It seems to all go together.”
From BEA’s perspective, it’s nearly impossible to rebound from an 8-0 hole after three innings.
“It’s kind of tough to come back from innings like that,” Lady Eagles senior Morgan Peters said. “But we kept our attitude up, played 110 percent. Today just wasn’t our day.”
Not in the field, and not at the plate, either. BEA’s lone hits came in the top of the second: a double by Peters and an infield single by Megan Kresovich.
Otherwise, Greco held the Lady Eagles in check.
“These big hits overshadow her performance,” Rozanski said of Greco. “She had another good outing.”
The Ellwood City coach is excited his team kept its unblemished season alive.
Meanwhile, BEA left with tears, not smiles.
But both Lucas and Peters are proud of what the Lady Eagles accomplished this season.
Lucas, the longtime coach at Penns Valley, was in his first year at BEA, but there wasn’t a rocky transition. He had the backing of the team, and the help of six graduating seniors.
“They made my transition from Penns Valley to Bald Eagle Area flawless,” Lucas said. “It was effortless. They made me feel at home right away.”
Lucas said the Lady Eagles will be back next year, competing to reach the state tournament yet again.
For those seniors, though, it’s the end of their high school careers.
Peters considers herself fortunate.
“We’ve been blessed with the team and coach we had,” she said. “It’s sad it had to end here, but it’s been a ride.”