It was a good old-fashioned pitchers’ duel in Monday’s District 6 Class 3A quarterfinal game, but it came down to an error that advanced the home team.
The game was tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the 10th inning. Bald Eagle’s Kendra Uberti advanced to third base following a sacrifice bunt. With two outs and a ball batted to Central Cambria’s Karlie Heeney, Uberti scored following the former’s errant throw to push the Lady Eagles past the Red Devils 2-1.
“I knew that we could do it, I knew that we could stick together and go win it as a team,” Uberti said. “It felt amazing knowing that the team has my back and even though things don’t go our way, they’ll still have my back … It was definitely very aggressive. You have to go quickly when it’s two outs. So, it was pressuring (me).”
The right-handed Sierra Albright dazzled for the Lady Eagles, allowing just two hits and one run over 10 innings while striking out 18 batters.
Kami Kamzik battled for Central Cambria, but took the loss. The junior pitched 92/3 innings, allowing four hits and one run while striking out 15 batters and walking one.
“I was feeling really good today,” Albright said. “At the end, I was seeing stars when Sydney (Thompson) hit it and they overthrew it. It was a really good game. I was hitting my spots well and my changeup was working.”
Madison Perry, Ava Stere, Marina Shawley and Katelyn Smitchko each had one hit for the Lady Eagles. Bald Eagle had a clean day in the field, making no errors and Kailey Eckert finished with 19 chances in the field.
Bald Eagle got on the board first when Shawley singled to score Smitchko in the second inning. Central Cambria evened things up at 1-1 in the top of the third inning when Central Cambria scored one run on a stolen base. Both teams went back and forth, but couldn’t break the tie in regulation.
Kamzik, a Notre Dame commit, was intentionally walked five times during the game. With her dangerous bat neutralized through the walks, the Lady Eagles forced the Red Devils to beat them with other players. Bald Eagle’s defense continued its strong play behind Albright’s stellar pitching — allowing no hits over the final three innings and seven strikeouts — hanging around enough for Uberti to get the game-winning run in the 10th.
Lady Eagles head coach Don Lucas was impressed with his team’s fortitude and the ability to hang around against one of the top pitchers in Pennsylvania.
“You have a freshman (Albright) and a freshman catcher (Eckert), you have a freshman center fielder (Taylor Habovick), a freshman left fielder (Thompson), who got the ball in play, what more do you say about them,” Lucas asked. “They’re a great team. It was just a matter of who would have the last at-bat and fortunately for us, it was us and we like to bunt. So, it put us more in our element than some teams.”
Bald Eagle is set to travel to Central for the District 6 semifinal on Thursday.