UNIVERSITY PARK - Philipsburg-Osceola pitcher Chelsea Rex hadn't pitched in practice or in the six weekend traveling games she was a part of since leading the Lady Mounties to the PIAA Class AA title on June 17.
The third pitcher for District 6 against District 4 on Saturday, she didn't appear to have any rust.
Rex struck out five, walked one and didn't give up a hit in three innings to finish off a 3-1 nine-inning win over District 4 in the first game of the Pennsylvania Softball Coaches Association Hall of Fame Classic at Nittany Lion Softball Park's Beard Field. The North beat the South, 7-5, in the second game.
For Rex, Saturday was a lot different than the last time she was at Beard Field. Instead of nearly 1,400 fans watching, there was about 300, and there was far less pressure on her, and everybody else for that matter.
"It was kind of weird to go back out there and not have as many fans watching," Rex said. "It was kind of quiet out here compared to being here last time. But it was nice to come out here and play with different girls. We played against Central Cambria in the district finals, and it was kind of different to be on the same side as them."
"It felt good to be out with all the different athletes," said Central Cambria graduate Taylor Swatsworth, who was one of six Lady Devils to play in the two games. "It was nice to be on the same team for once. It was a lot of fun."
District 6 starting pitcher Brooke Morningstar got a cushion right off the bat as the host team scored three runs in the first inning off of Robin Klingerman.
After Taylor Parsons singled and stole second, Swatsworth ripped a double to right-center field for the first run. Kelly Chambers chased her home with a one-out double to left field, and Central Cambria's Kiersten Lorditch scored her with a single to right.
"I wasn't expecting us to come out and bang, bang, bang, hit after hit," Swatsworth said.
"We came out on fire," Lorditch said. "I didn't expect us to do that, but I thought we did pretty well."
District 6, coached by Central Cambria's retiring Pat Stock, had other chances later, including a bases-loaded situation in the fifth, but it couldn't score. No matter, the District 6 pitchers had it under control. Morningstar, Alexandra Stathes and Rex combined for 11 strikeouts and allowed only five hits.
By the time Rex was done, she was a little tired. Her traveling team started playing the first of three games at 8 a.m.
"It's been a long day," Rex said. "But I don't mind being out on the softball field."
In the seven-inning nightcap, Central Cambria's Kacey Haluska punctuated a South four-run fifth inning with a two-run home run over the left field fence that hit the base of the scoreboard. Raychel DeArmitt later added a two-run double.
"[P-O coach] Jim Gonder was saying that was the first high school home run he's seen hit here," Stock said. "With Kacey, that really doesn't surprise me. Every once in awhile, she absolutely crushes one."
"That it was at Penn State is awesome," Haluska said. "Taylor Swatsworth called it. She called that I would have a nice hit and making it on base because I didn't do good in my first at-bat."
But the hitting star was P-O's Amanda Arnold, who went 3-for-4 with two triples and three RBIs for the North. Normally a first baseman, she started at second, where she made a nice stop also.
Arnold's second triple was part of a four-run seventh inning. Claysburg-Kimmel's Kaylee Harten, who had two hits and two RBIs and Samantha Barnes also had run-scoring hits in the inning. Bellwood-Antis' speedy Ashley Hamer had two infield hits for the South.
Between games, Stock was inducted into the district Hall of Fame, as were former CC players Jamie Dixon and K.J. Getz, Philipsburg-Osceola players Alyssa English and Becky McCamley and Tyrone player Hilary McNelis, whose name wasn't on the press release that was emailed to the media this week.
"Today was just an enjoyable day," Stock said. "I really had fun today. It's a nice way to go out. I went around to each of my kids and asked 'Did you have fun today?' They said 'Oh yeah.' "
District 4 (1): Cummings ss 101, Hare ss 200, A. Miller 300, Bauder c 302, Martz 3b 200, Diltz cf 200, Tiburg cf 100, M. Miller cf 100, Benjamin 2b 301, Blair 2b 100, Haldeman 1b 300, Smith 1b 100, Kocher lf 300, Dewalt rf 200, Dock rf 100, Klingerman p 211, Sharp p 100. Totals: 32-1-5.
District 6 (3): Parsons 2b 411, Swatsworth 3b 411, Wilson ss 301, Chambers 1b 211, Eden 1b 201, James c 201, Glunt c 201, Lorditch lf-rf-cf 401, Bowes lf 200, Nolan rf 201, Harpster cf 300, Morningstar p 101, Stathes p 100, Rex p 201. Totals: 35-3-11.
SCORE BY INNINGS
District 4001 000 000-1 5 2
District 6300 000 000-3 11 0
Errors-Benjamin 2. 2B-Klingerman; Swatsworth, Chambers, James. RBIS-Swatsworth, Chambers, Lorditch. LOB-District 4 6, District 6 9. SB-Bauder; Parsons.
District 4: Klingerman (L)-5 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO; Sharp-3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO.
District 6: Morningstar-3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO; Stathes-3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO; Rex (W)-3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO.