Clarion Softball: Golden Eagles Wrap First Week of PSAC Play, Split with Cal

The Vulcans won the first game by a 10-0 score in five innings, but Clarion matched them in the nightcap with an 11-3 five-inning win.

Joanne Bauer

Joanne Bauer

Published March 30, 2024 12:49 am
Last Updated: March 30, 2024 9:50 am
Clarion Softball: Golden Eagles Wrap First Week of PSAC Play, Split with Cal

CLARION, Pa. — The Golden Eagle softball team concluded a strong opening week of conference play on Friday afternoon, earning a home split with California (PA) at Memorial Stadium.

(Pictured: Billie Aguglia. Photo Credit: Nick Elfvin / Clarion Athletics)

The Vulcans won the first game by a 10-0 score in five innings, but Clarion matched them in the nightcap with an 11-3 five-inning win.

Game 1: California (PA) 10, Clarion 0 (5 inn.)

RECAP: In spite of the gaudy final score, the first game was in some ways closer than one would think. After allowing eight runs on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning the Golden Eagles kept the Vulcans off the scoreboard for the next three frames, not allowing any more runs until Cal scored a pair in the top of the fifth.

Having said that, the lead the Vulcans built in the first inning was more than enough to maintain a firm hand on the game. Cal sent 14 batters to the plate in the opening frame and chased starter Megan Anderson after she recorded just two outs. Emma Hipps provided 1.1 innings of shutout relief to get things stabilized again, and Ashley DeWeese was effective as well, throwing three innings and allowing just two runs in the fifth.

The Golden Eagles had opportunities to score off Vulcan starter Caleigh Rister but were unable to capitalize. In the first inning Desi Allen advanced to second on a wild pitch to represent Clarion’s first runner in scoring position, but Tori Martrano was unable to bring her across the plate.

The best chance to cut into the lead came in the bottom of the fourth inning. Martrano and Haylie Rimmey both lined singles to the outfield, and the pair each advanced a base on a passed ball to put two runners in scoring position. Rister extinguished the threat by inducing Billie Aguglia into a grounder to second base.

Game 2: Clarion 11, California (PA) 3 (5 inn.)

RECAP: Cal once again jumped out to an early lead, but this time the Golden Eagles were able to minimize the first inning damage and then did some of their own in the home half of the inning to keep things within reach. The Vulcans’ Jordan Pinneri broke things open with a two-run triple to the right-center gap to give her side a lead, and starting pitcher Alyssa Rose hit a grounder to shortstop that allowed her to score and made it 3-0.

Some timely hitting – and a couple of California miscues – put the Golden Eagles right back into the game in the bottom of the first. Emily Buchleitner and Kathryn O’Horo reached to lead off, but Rose retired the next two batters and appeared to be out of the jam. Rachel Helsley hit a low pop-up to shortstop but Brianna Sersevic couldn’t make the over-the-shoulder catch, allowing Buchleitner to sprint home from second. Rose was very nearly out of the fire again when she struck out Haylie Rimmey, but a dropped third strike allowed Rimmey to reach first and O’Horo to score, cutting it to 3-2.

Now with new life, the Golden Eagles tied the score in the bottom of the second on an RBI single from Buchleitner that scored Alexis Valencia. In the pitching circle, Emma Hipps settled into a nice groove, allowing just three baserunners over the course of the final four innings to keep things knotted up. She surrendered just two hits after the first inning, a two-out infield single in the top of the third and a double in the top of the fifth.

A wild pitch in the bottom of the fourth inning allowed pinch runner Lauren Hartman to score from third, making it 4-3, and Martrano busted things open with a two-run single up the middle to give Clarion a 6-3 lead. To cap things off in the fourth, Helsley lifted a deep fly ball to center field that Lexy Hasbrouck could not quite handle, allowing O’Horo to score.

Clarion made sure things didn’t need to go any longer than the bottom of the fifth inning, posting four more runs to wrap the action. Alexis Valencia rapped an RBI single through the middle to score Billie Aguglia, and O’Horo brought Annika Smith home with a grounder to the middle infield to make it 9-3. Desi Allen had her own productive out later in the inning, grounding out to second to score Valencia, and Martrano called game with a long fly ball to deep center field that overshot Hasbrouck and turned into an RBI double.

Buchleitner went 3-of-4 with two runs scored and a stolen base, while Martrano drove in a team-high three runs.

Recent Articles