DuBOIS - For five innings it looked like all the pieces were falling into place for the Altoona Area High School softball team to pull off an upset victory over DuBois, a team that had already beaten the Lady Mountain Lions three times this season.
However, in the sixth inning, the Lady Lions discovered that someone had shipped the puzzle without the final piece as DuBois plated four runs to complete a 5-4 come-from-behind win in the semifinals of the District 6-9 Class AAAA playoffs Wednesday.
Up to that point, nearly everything had gone Altoona's way as it led throughout the game scoring single runs in the first, third, fourth and sixth innings to open up a 4-1 lead.
"We did what we needed to do," Altoona coach Christie Klausman said. "The game plan was to get some runs early. That's where we kind of faltered against DuBois in the first three games, so we definitely put ourselves in the best position to win the game, but then we had that sixth inning."
Altoona was just five outs from the win when the Lady Beavers finally got to starter Kristie Mulhollem.
Mulhollem, who allowed 13 hits in the game, got the first out of the sixth before DuBois had four straight hits, including a pair of doubles. The final two-bagger chased Mulhollem from the mound in favor of reliever Kirsten Kerr.
Kerr got the first batter she faced, Morgan Hanna, on a bang-bang play at first that allowed courtesy runner Katy LaBue to try to move up. First baseman Didi Rizzo tried to cut LaBue down at third, but her throw was in the dirt and LaBue scored to break the tie as the ball trickled into foul territory.
Altoona had a chance to knot things up in the seventh, but despite allowing a two-out walk to Rizzo, DuBois pitcher Carly Wallock had enough left to get the final out of the game.
Summer Feathers and Rizzo played a role in all four of the Lady Lions' runs.
Rizzo, who had two hits, started things in the first when she singled and took second on an error before scoring on an RBI single by Amanda Parrish to make it 1-0.
Bailey Sinai made it 2-0 in the third when she reached on an error and later scored on a single by Rizzo.
DuBois got one back in the bottom of the inning before Feathers, who finished with three hits, singled and scored on a hit by Kayla Montgomery in the fourth for a 3-1 Altoona advantage.
Altoona then scored its final run in the sixth when Mulhollem reached on an error, and courtesy runner Haley Weaver came home on an RBI single by Feathers.
"We knew coming into this game that DuBois was a good team," Klausman said. "We tried to prepare as best we could for them, but some hits you just can't stop."
Altoona (4): Sinai ss 410, Kudlawiec c 200, Rizzo 3b-1b 412, Parrish 1b 301, Kerr p 000, Mulhollem p-3b 300, Weaver cr 010, Feathers rf 313, Berry 2b 200, Montgomery lf 301, Bumbarger cf 300. Totals: 27-4-7.
DuBois (5): Torretti cf 411, Wallock p 411, Obremski c 404, LaBue cr 010, Hanna 2b 411, Wilcox ss 401, Marchiori 1b 301, Stuart dh 301, Vizza lf 000, Kirk 3b 302, Henry pr 000, Sayers rf 211. Totals: 31-5-13.
Score By Innings
Altoona101 101 0 - 4 7 2
DuBois001 004 x - 5 13 3
LOB-Altoona 5, DuBois 9. DP-DuBois 1. SAC-Kudlawiec, Berry, Sayers. 2B-Torretti, Obremski, Wilcox. RBI-Rizzo, Parrish, Feathers, Montgomery, Torretti, Wallock, Obremski, Marchiori.
Altoona: Mulhollem (LP)-5.1 IP, 13 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO; Kerr-2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO.
DuBois: Wallock (WP)-7 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO.