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BEA’s Albright tossed no-hitter in pitcher’s duel with PV’s Bumgardner

By Kenny Varner

WINGATE – They meet again.

With a spot in the District Class AA championship game on the line, two former Mountain League teams met up for the third time this season in a winner-take-all showdown Friday.

This contest belonged to the Lady Eagles in an instant classic!

“I thought as much. I was up to like 2 am going over their (Penns Valley’s) line up trying to figure out where we wanted to be in the seventh,” said Bald Eagle coach when asked about the pitching duel the two hurlers had. “It ended up where we wanted to be. Their strength in 1-5 and I thought Sierra handled things well. If you no hit them that’s pretty good.”

Bald Eagle sent its ace pitcher Sierra Albright to the circle to do battle with Penns Valley veteran hurler Taylor Bumgardner.

It was a pitcher’s duel from beginning to end with Albright besting Bumgardner 1-0.

Albright finished the game with a no-hitter while Bumgardner tossed a 1-hit contest in the loss.

“This came down to actually one pitch. Sydney Thompson actually plays summer ball for me and I thought I had her on her front foot. It was a1-1 count and I had her throw that change up and I should have never thrown it,” said Penns Valley coach Terry Bumgardner. “I should have never thrown the change up and to her credit she hit it and that right there ended up being the game.”

“Credit to them. Sierra pitched a great game. I thought Taylor (Bumgardner) was unbelievable. She was just unreal. I don’t think you’re  going find two pitchers in the state of Pennsylvania duel it out better then that right there.”

Sydney Thompson’s triple in the second followed by a sacrifice bunt by Alexis Baney.

Both team’s defenses sent each team down 1-2-3 in the first.

In the second, Penns Valley were able to manufacture base runners.

Sydnie Dalton led off with a walk.

With one out, Gracie Riddle layed down a bunt. The Eagles tried to get the force at second but were unsuccessful.

But Albright ended the threat, striking out two consecutive batter to keep the game scoreless.

Bald Eagle left fielder Sydney Thompson roped the first hit of the game, blasting a triple off the right field fence.

She scored on a text book RBI sacrifice bunt by Baney.

Penns Valley threatened again in the second. Elle Dinges was hit by a pitch and then Bumgardner was intentionally walked.

Albright took care of things as she picked up strike out five and six, holding tight to the 1-run lead.

Bumgardner also got things done in the third as she picked up strike out four and five in a 1-2-3 inning.

Despite the Thompson triple both starting pitchers controlled the narrative as they both went into the fifth with seven strike outs and one hit total.

Albright had her pitches working the entire contest.

In the fifth, Albright struck out 2-of-3 once again making it nine on the night.

Bald Eagle threatened to score another run in their part of the fifth.

Thompson reached on a scoring ground ball that would lead to a Rams miscue.

She moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by Baney.

With two outs, Thompson stole third

as Bald Eagle knocked on the door once again.

Bumgardner had the last say as she ended the inning with her ninth strike out.

Down to their last six outs, Penns Valley was looking for a rally from its offense.

As both teams walked off the field both teams knew they left everything they had on the field.

Bald Eagle will play for the District 6 Class AA championship on Wednesday.

Bald Eagle Area 1, Penns Valley 0

PV    000 000 0 – 0 0 1

BEA  010 000 x – 1 1 0

WP: Sierra Albright

LP: Taylor Bumgardner

Multiple hits: PV –  None. BEA –   None.

HR: PV –  None. BEA –   None.

3B: PV –  None. BEA -Sydney Thompson   .

2B: PV –  None. BEA –   None.

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