One inning lifts Huskies into semis

EBENSBURG — Three pitches made all the difference in Thursday’s District 6 Class 1A quarterfinal softball game at Ebensburg’s First Energy Field.

Third-seeded Bishop Carroll rapped three hits off Moshannon Valley’s Sidney Lewis on three consecutive pitches in the third inning that helped the Lady Huskies put four runs on the board.

That’s all they got off Lewis, and that’s all they needed in a 4-1 victory over the Damsels.

“We’ve been a good hitting team all season, so it’s just a matter of time,” Bishop Carroll Jamie Boyles said. “If the pitcher gets us in the first inning, normally they don’t get us in the second or third. Generally, when we take our foot off the gas is when we get in trouble.”

With one out and Alivia Borlie on first after reaching on a fielder’s choice, Marlee Howard ripped a hard single into center field and Emma Simmons followed with a double over Damsel centerfielder Elmira Ecklund’s head. Borlie scored on the two-bagger.

Carly Clark drove the very next pitch off the wall in left and cleared the bases with a 2-run triple.

Adison Divido’s groundout plated Clark to give the Lady Huskies a 4-1 advantage after three.

“One bad inning, and we just couldn’t get one big hit,” Mo Valley coach Gary Godin said. “One big hit would have made a big difference.”

The Damsels struck first, putting an unearned run on the board in the top of the first.

Madi O’Donnell singled when her hard liner went off the shin of a lunging Clark at shortstop. Ecklund followed with a bunt single to put the Damsels in business.

But Lady Huskie pitcher Simmons struck out the next batter and the got Lewis to hit a fly ball to center where it was misplayed, allowing O’Donnell to score.

With runners on second and third and just one out, Simmons got out of the jam with a groundout and flyout.

Simmons also worked out of a second and third situation in the third with a groundout which was the start of a string of eight consecutive batters retired for the Bishop Carroll hurler.

“We didn’t know a whole lot about (Mo Valley),” Boyles said. “We knew they had good pitching and we knew they hit the ball well. So our plan coming in with Emma was to keep the ball away from them, move the ball around so that they never really saw a pitch twice.”

Simmons kept the Damsels off balance all game long, allowing just four hits — two to Lewis — while walking just one batter and striking out eight.

“Emma settled down,” Boyles said. “She was nervous coming into the game. But once she settles down, nothing but good usually happens.”

Lewis also settled in after the four-run third.

She allowed only two singles and hit a batter over her final three innings of work to keep the Damsels within striking distance.

“What can you say? She did a nice job,” Godin said. “The whole team did. We have nothing to be ashamed about.”

With the win win, Bishop Carrol advances to the D-6 Class 1A semifinals and a date with defending district champ and top seed Glendale. That contest is slated for May 24.

“Going in with a win always helps,” Boyles said. “The kids are ready. They’ve been wanting this for a long time. Emma’s been throwing for us for four years now. This next round is the game we go knocked out last year, so we want to be there this year.”

Moshannon Valley (1): O’Donnell rf 411, Ecklund cf 401, Merritt 1b 300, Lewis p 3020 Kitko ss 300, Blake c 200, Wible cr 000, McCoy 3b 300, Anderson 2b 300, Bubb lf 200, Dotts ph 100. Totals: 28-1-4.

Bishop Carroll (4): Borlie 2b 310, Howard lf 212, Simmons p 311, Clark ss 311, Divido c 300, L. Golden 3b 301, A. Golden rf 301, Beck 1b 301, McAndrew cf 301. Totals: 26-4-8.

SCORE BY INNINGS

Moshannon Valley 100 000 0–1 4 0

Bishop Carroll 004 000 X–4 8 4

E–McAndrew 2, Borlie, Clark. LOB–Moshannon Valley 7, Bishop Carroll 5. 2B–Simmons. 3B–Clark. RBI–Simmons, Clark 2, Divido.

Pitching

Moshannon Valley: Lewis (LP)–7 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO.

Bishop Carroll: Simmons (WP)–7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO.

HBP–By Lewis (Howard).

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