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Buterbaugh clutch for Lady Vikings

Buterbaugh

By Todd Irwin

sports@altoonamirror.com

FLINTON — Locked in a 2-2 tie with Ferndale with two outs and the bases loaded in the fifth inning of the District 6 Class 1A semifinal, Glendale sophomore Alyson Buterbaugh was feeling the weight of the moment.

“I was under a lot of pressure, and I knew I had to do something,” Buterbaugh said, “and I did it.”

She certainly did. The Lady Viking cleanup hitter ripped a single to right field to plate two runs and cap off a four-run inning. Freshman pitcher Madison Peterson got out of a jam in the top of the seventh with her 14th strikeout, preserving a 4-2 win on a sunny Thursday.

“It feels so good just to get this win,” Buterbaugh said. “We came in thinking it was going to be really close. It was a little close, but we pulled it off. We had a lot of clutch hits, and we did great.”

“I didn’t expect that kind of game,” Glendale coach Bruce Vereshack said. “I thought we’d get a little bit better start than we did. These girls believe they’re the best team in District 6. They’re so resilient. They do whatever it takes. It’s always somebody else who steps up.”

The win over the fourth-seeded Yellow Jackets (12-8) lifted the top-seeded Lady Vikings (16-1) into the District 6 championship game for the second straight year. Glendale will take on Conemaugh Valley at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Saint Francis University.

“I am so excited,” Buterbaugh said. “We went last year, and I think we’re going to win it again.”

Peterson, who pitched a five-hitter and walked none, struck out seven of the first nine batters until Ferndale pitcher and leadoff hitter Angelina Wagner hit a home run over the right-field fence. It was the first of her two home runs.

Her second home run was another solo shot — this time over the left-field fence — in the sixth to cut into the Glendale lead.

The next hitter, Samantha Himes doubled, and was on third with cleanup hitter Aubrielle Leverknight up with two outs.

Peterson, who just turned 15 last week and was behind the now injured Hannah Noel to begin the season, gloved Leverknight’s hot grounder back through the middle and tossed to first for the third out.

Wagner limited the Lady Vikings to four hits, and pitched a shutout through the first four innings.

“My daughter played travel ball with her, and I knew she was the real deal,” Vereshack said. “I tell the girls every game eventually the dam is going to break.”

In the bottom of the fifth, Kelly Kasaback led off with the first walk of the game, an error on Koltlyn Cavalet’s bunt put runners on. After Cavalet stole second, Abigail Williams delivered a single to center to score two runs and give Glendale a 2-1 lead.

Walks by Riley Best, who hit two homers against Bishop McCort, and Peterson loaded the bases for Buterbaugh. Her big hit gave Glendale a 4-2 lead.

“That’s what she’s been doing all year,” Vereshack said. “She has the second highest batting average on the team. She’s one of the girls who I want to put the bat in her hands in that situation. If it wasn’t Riley, I’d want it to be Alyson.”

Ferndale’s Deajah Chapman doubled to center to lead off the top of the seventh. But Peterson struck out the next two hitters. An error and a stolen base put runners on second and third.

“Going through my head, I was just saying do what you do,” Peterson said. “You’re capable of doing this. You’ve been in this situation, so just keep pitching.”

No. 9 hitter Abby Barley was looking to extend the drama with Adams on deck. Instead, Peterson struck her out to end the game.

“If they would have gotten the bases loaded with Angie up, I was going to (intentionally) walk her and let a run score,” Vereshack revealed afterward. “Guaranteed she wasn’t swinging the bat. I had my mind made up. You’re not getting a third home run.”

FERNDALE (2): Wagner p 323, Himes ss 301, Stancombe c 300, Leverknight 2b 300, Chapman 1b 301, Tillman 3b 300, Buksa cf 200, Grassa pr 000, Berg lf 300, Barley rf 300. Totals: 26-2-5.

GLENDALE (4): Best ss 211, Ka. Cavalet 2b 200, Peterson p 200, Buterbaugh 3b 302, Sutton pr 000, Taylor rf 300, Kasaback cf 210, Ko. Cavalet dp 210, Williams 1b 311, Rydbom c 200, Richards lf 000. Totals: 21-4-4.

SCORE BY INNINGS

Ferndale 000 101 0 — 2 5 2

Glendale 000 040 x — 4 4 1

E — Wagner, Chapman; Ka. Cavalet. 2B — Himes, Chapman. HR–Wagner 2. RBIs–Wagner 2, Buterbaugh 2, Williams 2. SAC–Ka. Cavalet, Ko. Cavalet. SB–Berg, Ko. Cavalet. HBP–Buksa. DP–Ferndale. LOB–Ferndale 4, Glendale 4.

PITCHING

Ferndale: Wagner (L)–6 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO.

Glendale: Peterson (W)–7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 14 SO.

Records: Ferndale (12-8); Glendale (16-1)

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