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GANT: Lady Bison Softball Falls to Highlands in State Playoffs, 7-1

DUBOIS, Pa. – The Clearfield Lady Bison’s impressive 2021 campaign came to an end on Monday afternoon as Clearfield fell to Highlands by a 7-1 score in a game held at Heindl Field in DuBois.

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Clearfield struggled to find offense in this one as Ruby Singleton and Alaina Fedder accounted for all four hits in the ball game with two singles each to their credit. The lone run for Clearfield came from Lauren Ressler as she scored on an RBI groundout by Alexis Bumbarger in the sixth inning. At this point, the Lady Bison trailed 7-1 in the game and it was too little and too late to mount a comeback.

This state playoff game was the first in program history for Highlands (17-5-1) and also marks its first-ever state playoff victory. Highlands, the District 7 runner-up, moves into the state quarterfinals and will play the champion out of District 3, Bishop McDevitt at a time and place yet to be determined.

Despite the loss in the first round of the state playoffs, Clearfield was able to collect their highest finish ever in the Mountain League as they finished third in 2021. This also marked the program’s first-ever winning season in the league. The Lady Bison moved up to Class AAAA and were able to win a District 9 championship and win a sub-regional game to make the state playoffs. The Lady Bison’s 16 wins this season is also the most in a campaign since 2006.

Individually, Emma Hipps set the program records for career strikeouts and home runs in a season while Lauren Ressler set the record for doubles in a season in program history. Hipps also concluded the season with 234 strikeouts in all and threw two no-hitters with one being a perfect game.

While the ultimate goal was not accomplished for Clearfield, a 15-6 mark is a great year and gives the team confidence heading into the 2022 campaign. With a great collection of talent returning to the diamond next season, the Lady Bison will look to make it a three-peat for District 9 gold and advance deeper into the state playoffs.