RIMERSBURG, Pa. – A pair of big innings powered Clarion past Union in an 18-3 five-inning mercy-rule victory. Clarion scored seven runs in the third and fifth innings to take a large lead and cruise to the early win.
(Photo: Jordan Best led Clarion’s offense)
Jordan Best led Clarion at the dish, going 2-for-5 with a home run and five RBI. Brianna Forest, Noel Anthony, and Kylee Beers each had multi-hit games for the Bobcats, with Beers going 4-for-4. Beers also nabbed the win for Clarion, pitching four innings of four-hit, three-run ball. Morgan Cumberland took the loss for Union on the mound but battled hard, keeping Clarion off balance for much of the game.
Clarion head coach Dan Shofestall praised Beers for her ability to pitch to contact. “It’s all about strikes and pitching to contact. She pitched to contact, and our defense played as good as we’ve played in quite a while. I can’t say enough about [Beers’] effort.”
Kylee Beers pitched four solid innings for Clarion
The game started with a scoreless first, but the Bobcats got on the board with one run in the top of the second. With the bases loaded and no outs in the frame, Union forced a 1-2-3 double play to put the Damsels one out away from escaping the jam. A wild pitch to the next batter allowed Ava Kiser to score for Clarion, but Morgan Cumberland struck out the next Clarion batter to end the inning.
A solo shot to right field by Kiera Zitzman tied things up in the bottom of the second. Clarion asserted themselves in the top of the third, taking advantage of Union miscues to score seven runs in the inning. A two-run double by Best provided the finishing touches on the huge inning, which resulted from Clarion’s persistent offensive effort.
“We tried not to do too much with each pitch and stay on [them] for as long as we could,” said Shofestall. “Give [Cumberland] credit, she kept us off balance for a lot of the game, but we chipped away and broke through at the end.”
Clarion put up three more runs in the third inning, utilizing a mix of singles and errors to do the damage. Union fought back in the bottom of the fourth, tallying three runs to cut the lead to 11-3. Union’s patience was key in their solid inning, as they took a pair of walks to get their momentum rolling.
Clarion kept up their offensive pressure in the fifth, scoring seven more runs to pull away. An RBI bunt single got the scoring started for Clarion, and the inning culminated with a three-run home run by Jordan Best.
Noel Anthony pitched a scoreless final frame for Clarion to complete the five-inning victory.