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C-L Softball Tops Clarion to Advance to States

DUBOIS, Pa. – A clutch seventh-inning double by Abby Knapp proved to be the difference-maker in C-L’s 6-2 win over Clarion in the Class A second-place game, advancing the Lions to the state playoffs.

After a pair of errors and a walk loaded the bases for C-L in the top of the seventh with one out, Knapp came up clutch, smacking a ball down the line in left to drive in a pair of runs. Knapp’s hit was mishandled by the left fielder, allowing a third run to score and Knapp to move to third base, giving C-L a late 5-2 advantage. Knapp would later score on a wild pitch to set the 6-2 final score.

Knapp Talks About her Clutch Hit

Knapp and Kendall Dunn each had a pair of hits for the Lions in the win, with Dunn also reaching base on a walk. Cassidy Makray had a hit and pitched a gem for C-L, allowing six hits and two runs in seven innings, striking out seven. Makray did a stellar job hitting the up-and-in spot with her pitches, keeping Clarion’s big bats from making solid contact. Her strong bounce-back performance in the win exhibited exceptional mental toughness, as she struggled in the loss to DCC in the championship game two days earlier.

Makray Talks About her Strategy, Bouncing Back

Clarion was led at the dish by Mackenzie Aaron, who had two key hits and a run scored from the bottom of the order. Noel Anthony doubled in the game. Payton Simko had a solid day in the circle for Clarion, striking out 10 in seven innings, allowing one earned run and six hits.

C-L scored one run in the second and third innings, with an error bringing home Alyssa Wiant for the first run, and Wiant doubling home Dunn for the second run. Clarion scored one run in the third and one in the fifth, as Aaron drove home Brianna Forrest in the third, and Noel Anthony doubled home Aaron in the fifth. After C-L broke the game open in the top of the seventh, Makray retired the Bobcats in order to seal the win.

With the victory, C-L will advance to the state playoffs, where they will face the champion of District 10.