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Bellefonte takes Senior night win over Penns Valley

By Kenny Varner

BELLEFONTE – Bellefonte pitcher Carley Clarkson and her defense brought their A-Game Thursday against a very dangerous Penns Valley team on Senior night.

But patience at the plate along with timely hitting put the Lady Raiders in the win column in an 11-0 six inning Laurel Highlands contest.

“She (Clarkson did really well on the mound. The defense behind her was really good too,” said Bellefonte coach Erica DeVinney. “It was a very good overall defensive effort tonight.”

For most of the contest, despite losing starting pitcher Taylor Bumgardner early in the contest to injury, the Lady Rams held their own for much of the contest before giving up a 4-run fourth and a 5-run sixth.

“Our kids battled tonight,” said Penns Valley coach Terry Bumgardner. “They played tough throughout.”

Penns Valley hit the hard in the contest but could only get one hit to show for it. Picking up the lone hit for the Lady Rams was Emily Wert.

Bellefonte had two batters finish with multiple hits. Sienna Barnhart went 2-for-3 and a run scored while teammate Maddie Ripka finished going 2-for-3 with a run along with 2RBIs.

Penns Valley saw Bumgardner leave the contest after two Bellefonte batters, handing the pitching duties to Elle Dinges.

After sending down the Lady Rams down in order in the first, the Red Raiders went to work manufacturing runs.

Sadie Ripka, who walked her first three times at the plate, walked and then advanced to second on a wild pitch.

Maria Cotter followed with a walk of her own.

With two out and runners on first and second,Taylor Brown hit a screaming grounder that took a bad hop, loading the bases.

Ripka took advantage on a second wild pitch to score, putting her team on the board.

But the Penns Valley defense stiffened and kept the scoring to one lone run heading into the second inning.

Bellefonte’s defense again kept runners off the base paths taking its lead to the bottom of the inning looking for more.

This time the Rams defense shined.

After a Maddie Ripka walk, Mackenzie Ellenberger bounced into a fielders choice catching Ripka at second. Taking advantage of another wild pitch, Ellenberger moved up to second.

But she was sent back to the dug out trying to advance to third on another

wild pitch. She was gunned down by the Penns Valley catcher.

Bellefonte used a little 2-out lightning to plate its second run in as many innings.

Sadie Ripka walked for a second time and later scored on a Penns Valley miscue on Grace Novitsky’s smash to short.

Both teams went quietly into the fourth as neither were able to get any kind of rally started.

Clarkson was on her game hitting her pitches and sending the Rams down in the fourth 1-2-3.

In the third, Barnhart collected the hit in the ball game by either team.

Offensively, the Red Raiders bats started to simmer.

Sadie Ripka again fanned the flames on her third and final walk. Cotter followed with her third one as well. Novitsky walk as well loading the bases for Ragan Manning. Manning did not disappoint as she roped a 2-run single into left field.

Novitsky and Brown later scored, upping the Lady Raiders lead to 6-0.

Going into the fifth, Clarkson was flirting with a perfect game.

After sending down the first two Rams in the inning, Wert hustled out a soft infield blooper that bounced in front of a Bellefonte player.

But Clarkson rebounded strongly forcing a fly out to center to end the inning.

The Bellefonte bats went quietly into the sixth, with the score still set at 6-0.

But the game ended quickly in the bottom of the sixth as Bellefonte ended the game officially on a 2-RBI single by Novitsky. Before the Novitsky at bat, Bellefonte had plated three already.

The Red Raiders are back in action Friday hosting another tough foe Phillipsburg -Osceola.

Bellefonte 11, Penns Valley 0 (6 innings)

PV 000 000 x –  0 1 3

BE 110  405 x -11  6 0

WP: Carley Clarkson

LP: Elle Dinges

Multiple hitters: PV –  None. BE –  Sienna Barnhart 2-for-3, run, Maddie Ripka 2-for-3 run, 2RBIs.

HR: PV – None  . BE – None.

3B:  PV –  None. BE – None.

2B:  PV –  None. BE – Maddie Ripka.

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