C-K takes down DuBois

LORETTO — With her team down 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth and runners on first and third, Claysburg-Kimmel’s Madison Knisely watched as the first pitch to her sailed over the catcher’s head.

As she moved out of out of the batter’s box in case the runner on third tried to score, Knisely stumbled and hurt her knee.

She stayed on the ground for several minutes before being helped to her feet and started hobbling towards the dugout to leave the game.

The junior pitcher stopped halfway there, though, and decided to stay in the game.

“I was trying to get out of the way as quick as possible. The bottom of my leg went one way, and my knee went the other,” Knisely said. “I wanted to do it. I wanted to stay in and hit.”

She drew a four-pitch walk and limped to first base to load the bases with just one out.

“I’m thinking what am I gonna’ do, what changes am I going to have to make, and all of a sudden she stands up and says ‘Coach, I’m ready to go,'” C-K coach Mike Barbarini said.

The Lady Bulldogs rallied for four runs in the inning and went on to a 5-4 win over DuBois Central Catholic in the PIAA 1A quarterfinals Thursday at Saint Francis University.

“They walked her, she came out for a courtesy runner, and we hit the ball from there,” Barbarini said. “That was the definitely the turning point. That whole inning was a turning point when we decided to sit back on the changeup, make their pitcher throw strikes a little more and stay off that high pitch.”

Mikalynn Bauman followed the Knisely walk with a single to left that scored Emily Claar to make it a 3-2 game.

Raelynne Grabill then scored the tying run when she beat the throw home on Harleigh Cavender’s grounder to second, and Claysburg took the lead when Mikenlee Bauman, who was running for Knisely, scored on a wild pitch.

Haileigh Reed capped the rally with an RBI-groundout that scored Mikalynn Bauman.

Knisely’s work was not done, however. She still had to pitch the top of the seventh.

“A little,” Knisely said when asked if there was any doubt she would pitch the seventh, “but I wanted to. I was determined to do it for my team, and we got the win. That’s all that matters.”

She retired the first batter on a deep flyout to center, but then gave up a solo home run to Mia Meholick before retiring the final two batters on hard hit groundballs.

Claysburg moves on to play Williams Valley in the 1A semifinals Monday at a site and time to be determined. The District 11 champs advanced with an identical 5-4 win over Greenwood Thursday.

Central Catholic took advantage of five walks in the first inning to go up 3-0. Freshman pitcher Olivia Bushore threw nine straight balls to start the game and never really recovered.

The Lady Bulldogs escaped when Cavender picked Meholick off third to end the inning.

After Bushore walked the leadoff hitter in the second, Barbarini made the move to Knisely.

“Olivia struggled a little bit in every game, but she came through when she needed to. She struggled from the start (Thursday) and couldn’t get it back,” Barbarini said. “I felt we could score some runs on them, but if we got down any more, it was going to be really tough to comeback.”

After giving up a single to the first batter she faced, Knisely got three straight outs to end the threat and gave up just the one run in the seventh the rest of the way.

“I don’t think it was the mental error of getting picked off third in the first or the very horrendous sixth inning that cost us. It was the fact when we got the 3-0 lead, we didn’t add to it. We were way ahead of the speed of the pitching,” DCC coach George Heigel said. “Their freshman pitcher had trouble throwing strikes, but she threw a little harder than the next girl. That whole change in pitch speed clearly had an impact on our hitting. I think that was the key. It was a tough loss.”

DUBOIS CENTRAL CATHOLIC (4): Wruble p 312, Gulvas ss 310, Semancik rf 411, Meholick c 311, Bitner 1b 401, Miller pr 000, Cogley 2b 300, Busatto dp 100, Kosko cf 100, Kunselman ph 100, Nasuti lf 201, Sabatose 3b 000. Totals — 25 4 6.

CLAYSBURG-KIMMEL (5): Claar ss 211, Grabill 2b 211, Knisely 1b-p 201, Mikenlee Bauman cr 020, Mikalynn Bauman cf 312, Cavender c 300, Reed 3b 300, Frye dp 300, Weyandt lf 200, Kennedy rf-1b 200, Bushore p 000, Hartman rf 000. Totals — 22 5 5.

SCORE BY INNINGS

DuBois Central Catholic 300 000 1–4 6 2

Claysburg-Kimmel 000 104 x–5 5 0

E–Gulvas, Meholick. 2B–Knisely, Mikalynn Bauman. HR–Meholick. RBI–Semancik, Cogley, Meholick, Mikalynn Bauman 2, Cavender, Reed. WP–Knisely. LP–Wruble. SO–Wruble 5, Knisely 2. BB–Wruble 3, Bushore 6, Knisely 1.

Records: DuBois Central Catholic (20-3); Claysburg-Kimmel (19-4).

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