The spring season in the state of Pennsylvania is short enough, starting near
the end of March and ending the first week of May.
This year, though, Mother Nature has spoiled some of the good, early-season
match-ups. It has also caused scheduling difficulties for others.
Case-in-point, Bald Eagle Area baseball.
The Eagles, the defending District 6 AA champs, played a slew of games
Five, to be exact.
And it was like running through the gauntlet of the Mountain League’s Allegheny
It started with a loss to Bellefonte on Monday. It concluded with a sweep by
Indian Valley on Friday. Sandwiched in between was a 10-2 loss to undefeated
“There’s no doubt it’s been a tough week for us,” BEA manager Jim Gardner said.
“But I still believe that we’ll be OK. We played the best teams in our league
in what seemed like back-to-back games. We still believe in these kids.”
It also deprived District 4 of one of its premier softball match-ups in AAA.
Rain washed away the first scheduled meeting of Milton and Jersey Shore.
Milton, a perfect 7-0, still hasn’t allowed a run this season, while the Bulldogs are looking to redeem a loss in last year’s championship game. The two teams are scheduled to play Thursday.
And what is going to seem like deja vu, District 6’s Bellefonte and Central
Mountain softball teams will play on back-to-back days this week. The first
game will be at Lock Haven’s Peddie Park on Wednesday, followed by a trip to
O’Leary Fields on Thursday.
Loyalsock programs still strong
When Hughesville ended Loyalsock softball’s long win streak earlier this
season, it raised some eyebrows around the Heartland Conference.
Some were wondering if the Lancers could bounce back and defend their
state AA championship.
Don’t worry, Loyalsock fans. Everything is back to normal.
The Lancers have outscored opponents to the tune of 82-12 and have
defeated some quality district foes en route to a 9-1 record.
“They turned it into a positive that night. There was a lot of anger in their
eyes that night and I'm not taking anything away from Hughesville because they
did what they had to do and played a very good game," Loyalsock coach Mark
Maddy told the Williamsport Sun-Gazette. "But the bottom line is it
focused our kids that they had to work for it. They realized it wasn't going to
be given to them."
The school’s baseball program, also a state champ last year, hasn’t skipped a
beat thus far.
The team is 10-0 this season, which included a recent victory over Jersey Shore
and one of the district’s best pitchers in Kyle Miller and a win over
previously unbeaten Southern Columbia.
"It's a lot different than last year. You have to be focused every game
from inning one through seven," Loyalsock coach Casey Waller told the
Williamsport newspaper. "We knew we were going to have our hands full
(last week) and that our pitchers were going to have to step up. Justin
(Cozza), Gabe (Noyalis), Shane (Carey) and Colin (Kelly) have given us solid
innings. These guys are hungry and are ready for it."
Lady Rams hot in District 6
There are your usual suspects in District 6 AA softball.
Philipsburg-Osceola is undefeated. Reigning district champ Bald Eagle Area has
only one loss. Of course, rain washed away their first meeting.
But don’t look past Spring Mills as the Penns Valley Lady Rams are starting to
stamp their names as a serious contender.
Rachel Myers tossed a complete-game six-hitter and drove in the game-winning
run in a 2-1 victory over previously-unbeaten Central Mountain.
"At the top of your lineup, that's where you want to get your runs. If you
are sitting at seven, eight, nine, you want to produce there, too. If you can't
produce all the way through the lineup, then you want to do it at the
top," PV head coach Don Lucas said. "Katie Deardorff has great speed.
If she hits the ball and it bounces twice, chances are she will get on base.
It's a matter then of moving her up. We are pretty much a short ball team. That
time, we didn't get the bunt. But Alicia Leitch came up with the clutch hit
with two strikes."
State College rolling in AAAA
The hot-hitting State College Little Lions are rolling.
The team racked up six extra-base hits and tallied 11 runs against Williamsport
in an 11-7 Central Penn League victory.
“That was probably as well as we’ve hit the ball all year,” Little Lions coach
Bill Tussey said to the Centre Daily Times. “We started hitting a little bit,
quite honestly, at St. Marys (on Monday). We’ve always felt we could hit and
that it wasn’t going to be an issue. Today they carried through what they
started at St. Marys.”
Will Pryor was the leader in this game. He was 3-for-3 at the plate with two
doubles, a triple and three RBI. He was also the winning pitcher.
State's only loss of the season came to Hollidaysburg.
Tom Fox is Sports Editor at The Lock Haven (Pa.) Express and covers Central and
Northeastern Pennsylvania for MaxPreps. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.