Yough’s softball team made history Thursday in the PIAA Class AAA championship softball game, but it took until the last minute to do it.
The Lady Cougars were deadlocked with Lampeter-Strasburg heading into the top of the seventh inning before a pair of doubles by Olivia Miller and Cassidy Pearce put one run on the board, and that’s all they would need to put the first PIAA championship trophy of any type in the school’s trophy case.
“That was our goal from the beginning of the season — to win a state championship,” said winning coach Dutch Harvey.
But it took them time to get their offense untracked against Jordan Weaver, who retired the first 13 batters she faced.
At the same time, the Lady Pioneers threatened in the second and third innings, leaving runners at third both times.
Harvey attributed some of his team’s early jitters to the big-game atmosphere.
“I told the girls to expect to make one or two errors,” he said. “It’s the state championship and they were all amped up. But I told them that what it would come down to was who made the big play.”
That turned out to be Pearce.
In the fourth, she made the play of the game when she made a diving catch in front of the fence in left field with one out to choke off a rally.
“She’s been playing for me since she was 5 years old,” Harvey said. “And she loves to play the outfield. The difference between a good outfielder and a great outfielder is that you have to love to play the outfield and you have to love to play the outfield to make a play like that.”
“The whole game my mentality was that I had to be at my best on every play,” said Pearce. “I’ve been playing this game since I was 5 and this was definitely my very last game so I was like, ‘Go big or go home.’ They are the best team we faced this year. They played a fantastic game.”