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Red Raiders cruise to D6 title

By Kenny Varner

UNIVERSITY PARK – Ready, set go!!!

The Bellefonte softball team was in pure go-mode as it went into its District 6 Class AAA championship contest.

No stranger to the post season or District 6 championship games, the Lady Raiders methodically defeated Greater Johnstown to crown them the 17-time D6 champs.

Greater Johnstown seemed a little nervous throughout committing numerous miscues in the Lady Raider coronation.

Up and down the line up, Bellefonte had its bats going and were very opportunistic on the base paths in the victory.

Defensively, the Lady Raiders were solid, failing to commit any errors in the early afternoon contest.

Bellefonte got started early as it posted its first run in the first.

Anglea Capparelle started things off with a smoking single to right field. She advanced third on a blazing shot to left by Vanessa Cooper, putting runners on the corners with just one out.

Erin Pugh slow rolling blooping infield hit, scored Capparelle on the play, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead.

First baseman Sarah Menna showed that she would take one for the team, diving for a slow pop fly, heading toward the ground. With the catch, the Lady Trojans went down one-two-three in the first.

After a scoreless second and third innings, the Lady Raiders were back at it in the top of the fourth.

With one out, Stevi Confer roped a gapper to right centerfield, landing in for a stand up double.

Her time there was limited as the next batter, Menna smacked an RBI single into leftfield, upping the Bellefonte lead to 2-0.

In the bottom of the fourth, Greater Johnstown picked up its only run of the contest when Shaylah Merriman hit a sinker that dropped beside a diving Bellefonte rightfielder and rolled back to the wall, allowing Merriman to round the bases for an inside-the-park homerun, cutting the lead in half, 2-1.

One run was not enough to phase the Red Raiders as they made the runs back up and then some, posting two in the top of the fifth.

Jenna Ault opened the inning when she smacked a single back up the middle.

Capparelle made the most of a bad situation as her bunt was not covered by anyone and she continued to second as no one covered second as well.

Olivia Ripka brought in Ault on a sacrifice, making it 3-1. Capperelle later scored on an illegal pitch called on the Lady Trojans pitcher, ending the inning with a 4-1 advantage.

Bellefonte added another run in the fifth, taking a 4-1 lead while holding Greater Johnstown scoreless in their at bats.

Offensively, the Red Raiders continued to scratch and scrape for three more runs while posting 10 hits and landing the victory with the 7-1 win.






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