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Hoping to add to the hardware;Lady Eagles look to take title over Undefeated Pine Grove

It all comes down to one game.

After a season that saw the Bald Eagle Area pick up yet another District 6 title and battle through the PIAA post season en route to playing in the 3A Championship game against Pine Grove.

Pine Grove comes in with a record of 27-0.

The Cardinals comes of 17-0 beatdown of Bloomsburg while the Eagles come into the title tilt beating familiar foe Clearfield, 1-0.

The Eagles will send Maddie Peters to the mound against senior ace Olivia Lehman.

“At this point of the game everybody has a pretty good thrower,” said Lucas. “She (Lehman) really compliments their whole offensive scheme. Obviously, she is a pretty good offensive player too. They have a very strong team up and down the line up. So it’s going to be a huge challenge for us.”

Peters when she is hitting her spots is also near impossible to hit and can rack up the strike outs very quietly until finding out out she finishes in double-digit strike outs.

“I don’t think there is any doubt that Maddie takes a back seat to anybody. When she steps on the rubber, she loves to compete. She is one of the girls that you have to pry the ball out of her hands.,” said Lucas. “She really thrives on competition. She doesn’t really get uptight when she gets under stressful situations. She is also one of the girls who doesn’t get too high or two low. She embraces that type of atmosphere.”

The Cardinals also bring with them a very potent offense. Pine Grove averages double-digit runs per game.

The only game that the Cardinals found themselves in a contest was a 3-2 8-inning contest against Glendale on April 6th.

Their only other single digit scoring effort came against Warrior Run in an 8-0 victory on June 6th.

It will be the Bald Eagles’ toughest team they will play this season, despite Bald Eagle Area playing in a very tough Mountain League Division. The game should turn out as an instant classic.

It will be patience against power as the Eagles have shown that they will wait for the right pitch before swinging at possible bad pitches.

Up and down the Eagles’ line up, the group has a knack for coming up with clutch hits no matter where they stand in batting order.

“We have to be patient but here’s where it’s going to be tough. We have to be aggressive and when I say that I mean when you a pitch you have an opportunity to drive, you have to go after it because you can’t get yourself in hole,” Lucas said. “But we have to be patient meaning that you have to be a disciplined at the plate. We need to patient and be looking for good balls to hit and can’t let them go by.

The group has grown up quickly this season and has impressed their coach Don Lucas on many occasions, producing numerous big hits. With a team consisting of mostly freshman and sophomores, the group has been playing above expectations for the entire season.

Close wins have been a staple for the Eagles as they can pull out a victory when facing defeat.

Most recently it was Madison Perry that posted the game winning hit that launched her team into the title tilt.

“They don’t seem overly excited. Not that they’re not excited but they seem to be this is just the next game we play right now. They don’t get too high or too low. They don’t get overwhelmed at playing at a venue or a stage that might overwhelm some players,” said Lucas. “We’ve played a lot of games that went into extra innings and they never were ever out of it and I think that personality has helped them through the season.”

Another who have had a game-winning hit was Marilee Caldana with a game winning home run against the up and coming Penns Valley team.

Other players to watch at the plate are Peters, Mara Hockenberry, Maegan King, Madison Eckley, MaKenna Baney, Autumn Tobias, Perry and Kayleigh Kinley.

This team, even when trailing late against last year’s State Champion Philipsburg-Osceola, managed to produce a big inning to secure the District 6 early playoff win.

Don’t tell the Eagles that they come in as underdogs because the team seems unflappable and hasn’t ever given up no matter what the state of the game is.

The list of tough teams the Eagles have gone through to get here were Bellefonte, P-O, Penns Valley, Tyrone, Clearfield and Central. Most of not all of them posted a playoff nod.

The two will go head-to-head for the PIAA Class 3A title today at Penn State University’s Beard Field at 1:30.

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