By Kenny Varner
WINGATE – This one was for bragging rights!
The Bald Eagle Area softball team hosted rival Bellefonte in Tuesday Softball action.
It would be a pitcher’s duel and would not be decided until the bottom of the seventh when Bald Eagle’s Kailey Eckert blasted an RBI single to left scoring teammate Alexa Baney from third for the game winning run, 2-1.
“They played very well. That’s the type of game you needed. Bellefonte’s a great program. It’s such a rivalry as we’re real close,” said Bald Eagle coach Don Lucas. “Sierra pitched another great game. Their line up is brutal and she pitched very smart tonight. We had some great hits tonight.”
Picking up the win was Sierra Albright who held Bellefonte to three hits while striking out 11.
Bellefonte’s Jossalyn Nau had a strong outing, scattering six hits and striking out eight. She was tossing a no-hit shut out going into the fourth before Alyssa King broke it up with a single back up the middle.
“I’m just waiting for one to go our way,” said Bellefonte coach Beth Devlin talking about her team’s second late seventh inning loss and the team’s close contests they have had this season. “Again, we had some absolute beautiful line drives but right to them.”
In the first, the Lady Raiders brought four to the plate but could not score.
Bellefonte’s only hit in the inning was a double by Madison Melius.
But that would be as far as the Red Raiders’s would get as Albright and her defense shut it down.
Nau found her spots early, striking out the side in the bottom of the inning.
With two outs in the second, Bellefonte picked up a single by Jaylee Lose.
Albright again would get the last out and send the Red Raiders back without a run.
The game remained scoreless when the Bald Eagles scored a run in the fifth.
Baney, who came in as a replacement in right field, got the inning started with a soft dropping fly ball that just landed behind first. She stole second to move up into scoring distance.
On a picture perfect SAC bunt, teammate Kendra Uberti moved Baney to third.
With the stage set, Alexis Yoder roped an RBI single putting the Eagles in front 1-0.
Bellefonte managed to get the last out to put its offense back to plate.
Grace Novitsky hustled out a single to shortstop. She was replaced by pinch runner Carly Clarkson. Clarkson later scored on an Eagle miscue, tying the game at one.
Things would not be settled to the final stanza.
After holding the Red Raiders at bay in the top of the inning, the Eagles went right to work.
Baney led off with a single and an error by the left fielder allowing her second base.
She reached third on a fielders choice Rachel Bryan.
Eckert finished the game off as she sent a high screamer over the left fielder’s head to end the contest.
With the win, Bald Eagle improves to 5-1 while the Red Raiders fall to 2-4.