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PO softball dominates in D6 finale

By Pat Rothdeutsch

PHILIPSBURG – It rained hard during Philipsburg-Osecola’s District 6, AAA playoff game against Penn Cambria on May 25 in Philipsburg, but it all missed the Mounties’ parade into the D-6 Championship Game and the PIAA Tournament.
The Mounties hit three home runs, scored seven runs in the fifth and sixth innings, and ran off with a 10-0, six-inning victory over the highly-regarded and 19-2 Lady Panthers.
The win not only secured a place for the Mounties in the District 6 final against Ligonier Valley, but it gave them a ticket to the PIAA, AAA tournament, which will begin on June 5.
Senior Maggie Peck hit two home runs—adding on to her career best total at P-O–Maddie Lucas hit a two-run shot, and Kam Harris pitched five innings of no-run, six hit softball to record the win.
“I’ve been pleasantly surprised with Maggie (Peck),” P-O coach Jim Gonder said, “and Madison (Lucas) is hitting the ball, and Kam (Harris) has hit a couple. All throughout the lineup we’ve had home runs at key times.”
Penn Cambria was also a victim of timely Philipsburg long balls. After a scoreless first two innings, and with two outs in the third, Peck lofted one over the left-center field wall against PC starter Casey Reese for a 1-0 P-O lead.
Hannah Thompson followed with a line-drive double, and then Lucas made it 3-0 with a rainbow hit almost in the same spot as Peck’s.
Two innings later, Peck went yard again. With DH Kylie Adams on first base after a single, Peck followed with her second homer of the day. This time it flew over the center-field wall to put P-O ahead 5-0.
“Every time I get into the box, I say to myself I just want to hit the ball,” Peck said about both of her home runs.
The long balls gave Harris all the support she needed, although she pitched with base runners in every inning.
“Coming into this game, you have to see for yourself what they’re (the Panthers) like,” Harris said. “I think you can’t take them lightly. I was happy with the way I threw, and (the home runs) made things a lot easier, took the pressure off and helped me relax a little bit.”
Peck changed hats and came in to pitch the top the sixth inning in relief of Harris. She pitched a 1-2-3 inning going into P-O’s decisive turn in the bottom of the inning.
With the rain falling harder, Penn Cambria in general began to unravel. In the bottom of the sixth inning alone, four P-O hitters walked, another was hit by a pitch, one reached on an error, and Annie Kost hit a single. In all, it all ballooned into a five-run, game ending rally. Mountie catcher Kylie Thal walked with the bases loaded to drive in the final P-O run.
That D-6 championship game is scheduled for May 31 at the Nittany Lion Softball Park, and, win or lose, the Mounties will be moving on to the PIAA tournament against a team yet to be determined.

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