BELLWOOD - Bellwood-Antis pitcher Taylor Payne was admittedly nervous before her team's District 6 Class A quarterfinal game against Penns Manor.
Turns out it should have been the sixth-seeded Comets who should have been nervous.
Payne overcame some first-inning control problems to strike out 12 , walk one and toss a two-hitter while going 3-for-4 with two doubles and a triple. Meghan McCaulley helped her out by knocking in three runs in the third-seeded Lady Blue Devils' 10-0, six-inning win on Monday.
"I knew what I could do, and I think I pitched all right," Payne said. "My curveball was all right, but they really didn't hit my fastball that hard. I was pretty happy about that. I worked on [a riseball] over the weekend a lot, it worked a couple of times."
"Their pitcher threw the ball nice," PM coach Mark McClain said. "She's probably the first pitcher we've seen that has control of a riser. It was a little different for us, and she deserved to win."
B-A advanced to the semifinals, where it will play at second-seeded Conemaugh Valley at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
The Lady Devils gave their pitcher plenty of cushion with a four-run second inning. Payne started it with her first double, and McCaulley continued it with a two-run double to right field. Anna Wolfe, who had two hits, knocked in McCaulley with a single to center.
"After we scored the first run, I got a lot comfortable," Taylor Payne said. "I knew that my team had my back, and I love when we hit hard. We never stop once we start."
"We took the pressure off," B-A coach Jim Payne said. "We play really well with the lead."
McCaulley's third RBI came in the third when she singled to right with two outs to plate Kelsey Shawley with the second run of the inning for a 6-0 lead.
"She's been doing it all year-long," Coach Payne said. "She's a solid senior for us, and she's worked her way into the position. I'm very proud of Meghan."
Run-scoring hits by Shawley, Payne and Emily Nagle preceded Payne's third hit. With one out in the sixth, she laced a Megan McCunn offering down the right-field line. The ball hit the chalk on the right-field line, and Payne motored to third for a triple. Her courtesy runner, Scarlett Kirkpatrick, scored the 10th run on a fielder's choice.
"The one over there," Payne said gesturing to the right-field line, "I was like 'I'm just going to make the best out of this, and I'm going to run as hard as I can.' I was thinking triple all the way."
B-A (18-3) will now get ready for Conemaugh Valley, which got a bye in the quarterfinals.
"I'm pretty excited," Coach Payne said. "It's a new team for us that we'll have to get through. I think if we can play our game, I think we'll have some good luck."
PENNS MANOR (0): Templeton ss 300, Tomayko cf 201, Marshall c 200, Mash 1b 201, McCunn p 200, Stupic 2b 200, Laney rf 200, Drannak 3b 200, Jenkins lf 100. Totals - 18-0-2.
BELLWOOD-ANTIS (10): Wolfe 2b 402, Nagle cf 411, Finn c 401, Davensizer cr 010, Shawley 1b 321, Payne p 413, Kirkpatrick cr 010, Snyder ss 210, Fraser dp 321, McCaulley lf 312, Decker 3b 300, Morgan rf 000. Totals - 30-10-11.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Penns Manor000 000 X- 0 2 3
Bellwood-Antis042 211 X-10 11 0
E-McCunn, Tomayko, Jenkins. 2B-Payne 2, McCaulley. 3B-Payne. RBI-McCaulley 3, Wolfe, Nagle, Shawley, Payne, Snyder. SF-Snyder. HBP-Tomayko. LOB-Penns Manor 2, Bellwood-Antis 7. DP-Bellwood-Antis.
Penns Manor: McCunn-5IP, 11 H, 10 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 0 SO.
Bellwood-Antis: Payne-6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12 SO.
Records: Penns Manor (9-11); Bellwood-Antis (18-3).