STATE COLLEGE – Unfinished business. A motto that has fueled the Clearfield Lady Bison throughout the season. Some of the team’s themes in recent weeks have unintentionally become comeback queens and walkoff winners. No matter what the monicor is, the bottom line is that the Clearfield Lady Bison are PIAA state champions in Class AAAA after the 3-2 walkoff victory over the Tunkhannock Lady Tigers on Friday afternoon.
For anyone who has followed their journey to the game for the state title, the Lady Bison have been down many times, but have never been out of the game. Strong throws, clean defense and timely strikes were the magic formula that led this team to the first state title in a team sport in the history of the Clearfield Area School District.
Similar to the Franklin and Beaver games, Clearfield was in the state title game. Tunkhannock came to play in his own right and started scoring at the top of the second inning. A Hipps pass hit Gabby Wood to start the innings, and the Lady Tigers made Hipps pay for one of the few mistakes he made throughout the postseason. A brace from Sydney Huff gave the visitors a 1-0 lead.
That was all for now, but Tunkhannock added his second round to the top of the fourth inning. Emily Schultz hit an Alexis Bumbarger mistake to start the innings, but it was Bumbarger who would get the last laugh in that. However, at this point, Tunkhannock had all the momentum on their side. The mistake was costly as Schultz scored on the game and gave the Lady Tigers a 2-0 lead. However, this momentum did not last long.
Trailing 2-0 at the bottom of the fifth inning, a two-run blast on the right field wall scored the score 2-2. The blast came courtesy of Lauren Ressler who has been growing strong all season, with no bigger moments than her two-run shot and fourth homer of the season that scored Ruby Singleton who had scored in the previous serve.
Now, it was time for Clearfield to turn back to Emma Hipps in the circle. As usual, it wasn’t a problem for Clarion University’s efforts. Hipps recorded strike outs for four of his last six outs, helping bring his total to 10 for the game and his season total to 285. Keeping the game tied at 2-2 until the end of the seventh, he was a familiar point. this the team has been in the last few weeks of this campaign.
Once again, this team proved that the moment wasn’t too big for any of them. Starting the inning, Ruby Singleton reached her second base hit in the game. After a pop-out, Olivia Bender scored a double in the center right to put two in scoring position with only one out. This brought to light Alaina Fedder, who was intentionally stalked to charge bases and force into any base.
This brought to light Alexis Bumbarger, who wasted little time while doing the first swing. The result was a pop-up loft in the shallow left center court over the head of the shortstop and out of reach of the left fielder. After making sure she was about to land, Singleton scored her second run of games, this one, the state title race when the Lady Bison walked away with a 3-2 win.
The Lady Bison beat Tunkhannock nine-on-three in the game, with Singelton, Bender and Alexis Cole reaping afternoons of two hits each. Fedder, Ressler and Bumbarger each got a shot each, with none greater than the bloop hit making it the second win of the day for a Clearfield County team when the DuBois Central Catholic baseball team won the state title. Class A in convincing fashion, 12-2.
Today is truly a special day to be a Lady Bison and a high school sports fan of the area teams. This program made history as the first to win the title of a state team in the history of the Clearfield Area School District. It is undoubtedly something these girls, their coaches and the community will always remember. Fittingly, they returned home escorted by fire trucks to celebrate this incredible moment for the community. The 2022 softball season has come to an end and Clearfield Lady Bison was one of only six PIAA softball teams left standing at the end.
TUNKHANNOCK – 2
Paige Marabell (C) 3000, Ella McNeff (2B) 3010, Emily Schultz (SS) 3100, Gabby Wood (1B) 2000, Kaya Hannon (P) 3110, Sydney Huff (3B) 3011, Erin Van Ness (LF) 3000, Emily Patton (DP) 2000, Hannah James (C) 2000, Elaina Kulsicavage (RF) 0000. TOTAL 24 2 3 1.
2B: Sydney Huff
TB: Ella McNeff, Kaya Hannon, Sydney Huff 2
RBI: Sydney Huff
EGG: Emily Schultz
HBP: Gabby Wood
SB: Ella McNeff, Gabby Wood
AND: Sydney Huff
FREE FIELD – 3
Emma Hipps (P) 3000, Ruby Singleton (CF) 4220, Lauren Ressler (1B) 3112, Olivia Bender (C) 4020, Alaina Fedder (SS) 3010, Alexis Bumbarger (3B) 4011, Kylee Hertlein (2B) 3000, Alexis Benton (RF) 2000, Alexis Cole (LF) 3020, Anna Twigg (LF) 0000, Paige Houser (CR) 0000. TOTAL 29 3 9 3.
2B: Olivia Bender
human resources: Lauren Ressler
TB: Olivia Bender 3, Alexis Bumbarger, Alexis Cole 2, Alaina Fedder, Lauren Ressler 4, Ruby Singleton 2
RBI: Alexis Bumbarger, Lauren Ressler 2
EGG: Olivia Bender
AND: Alexis Bumbarger
Tunkhannock 0 1 0 1 0 0 0.
Clearfield 0 0 0 0 2 0 1.
Emma Hipps 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K.
Kaya Hannon 6.1 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 1 HR.
W – Emma Hipps (21-2). L – So is Hannon (19-5).