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Been there, done that

Lady Bulldogs capture another district title

LORETTO — Claysburg-Kimmel and Glendale have owned the District 6 Class 1A bracket the past three seasons and met once again in the championship game at Saint Francis University.

The teams both play in the Inter-County Conference, had split the last two district titles and both beat the other during the regular season.

The deciding factor in Friday’s rubber match seemed to be the Lady Bulldogs’ experience.

C-K jumped on Glendale freshman pitcher Kyla Campbell for two runs in the first inning and then battled back after the Lady Vikings claimed the lead after four innings. The end result was a second consecutive title for Claysburg, 8-5.

“It’s always a big game when we play them,” Claysburg-Kimmel shortstop Emily Claar said. “But there was something bigger today, and that was getting this repeat. We came out with the attitude that we were not going to lose.”

Campbell, pitching in place of regular Glendale starting pitcher Alexis Mulhollen who was unable to pitch due to a broken finger, showed some nerves early as the first pitch of the game slipped out of her hand and landed behind her.

A single and a walk later, Haileigh Reed drove in her first of three runs with an RBI single, and another run came home on a wild pitch.

“It’s hard when you bring a freshman with minimal experience into this situation,” Glendale interim coach Beth Campbell said. “I’m not sure how many innings she’s had, but it’s not what the other pitchers who are still playing have. She’s been nervous.

“If Lexi is healthy, maybe things go differently. Lexi would have really liked to be (in the pitching circle), but that’s the hard part about that. If she doesn’t break her finger, does that make this game different?”

Glendale, which outhit Claysburg 10-6, rallied in the third inning with three runs to take the lead. Alaney Vereshack singled and went to third on an error. Lilley Vereshack brought her home with a fielder’s choice, and after another error, Kyla Campbell hit a two-run double.

Reed tied the game in the top half of the fifth when her RBI double fell in front of a diving Glendale outfielder. Reed later scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.

“We were playing a little too deep in the outfield,” Beth Campbell said. “We gave up some hits that we shouldn’t have. We expected them to hit it harder. They were better than us today.”

Claysburg-Kimmel added four insurance runs in the top of the sixth inning to all but put the game away.

“We knew early we were going to hit (Campbell) and score some runs,” Claysburg-Kimmel coach Mike Barbarini said. “We didn’t execute as well as I hoped we would offensively, but I knew we’d score some runs. The girls knew that too and were able to relax.”

The victory means the Lady Bulldogs got the District 6 title for the second year in a row, even though the Lady Vikings claimed the ICC championship just before the playoffs.

“There is a rivalry there,” Barbarini said. “Their coach and I are close friends, and we talked all year about not wanting to be on the same side of the bracket so we didn’t have to play before the finals. It’s a friendly rivalry, and we know we’re both moving on, so we just had to relax and play.”

Glendale was again without normal head coach Philip Barroner, who Campbell is filling in for indefinitely according to the school’s superintendent.

“They really wanted it bad,” Beth Campbell said. “It’s been a tough year for them with a lot of weird things, and they just really wanted it. We had a few hiccups that kept them from getting it.”

The Lady Vikings will continue their season with a first-round state playoff game in Somerset Monday at noon against District 5 champion, Shanksville Stonycreek.

Claysburg-Kimmel, which reached the state semifinals last year, is hoping to make it one step further when it begins PIAA play on Monday against WPIAL runner-up Union.

“They are hungry for it,” Barbarini said. “It’s going to be a tough road with the bracket we are in now, but they have worked hard, they believe they can do it and we’re going to go and try do it.”

CLAYSBURG-KIMMEL (8): E. Claar ss 321, Kennedy rf 410, Cavender c 121, Reed 3b 212, Weyandt lf 400, Knisley 1b 300, Frye dp 300, Garver pr 010, Re. Claar 2b 300, Hartman cf 310, Walters ph 101, Bushore p 000. Totals — 27-8-6

GLENDALE (5): Mulhollen 3b 400, Reese 2b 401, A. Vereshack ss 322, L. Vereshack cf 411, Smeal c 300, Campbell p 402, Noel lf 212, Lukehart rf 301, B. Vereshack 1b 200, McElheny cr-ph 111. Totals — 30-5-10

SCORE BY INNINGS

Claysburg-Kimmel 200 024 0 — 8 6 2

Glendale 000 301 1 — 5 10 2

E–Knnedy, Re. Claar, L. Vereshack, Mulhollen. 2B–Reed, Noel, Campbell. RBI–Reed 3, Cavender, Campbell 2, L. Vereshack, Noel, McElheny. WP–Bushore. LP–Campbell. SO–Bushore 6, Campbell 4. BB–Bushore 2, Campbell 7.

Records: Claysburg-Kimmel (19-4); Glendale (20-4)

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