It was a good old-fashioned pitching duel in Monday’s Class 3A District 6 quarterfinal game, but it ended in a mistake that sent the home team ahead.
The game was tied 1-1 in the bottom of the 10th inning. Bald Eagle’s Kendra Uberti made it to third base after a sacrificial bunt. With two outs and a batted ball to Central Cambria’s Karlie Heeney, Uberti scored after the former’s errant pitch to push the Lady Eagles past the Red Devils 2-1.
“I knew we could do it, I knew we could stick together and win as a team,” Uberti said. “It was amazing to know that the team was supporting me and even if things don’t go our way, they will still support me… It was definitely very aggressive. You have to go fast when there are two withdrawals. So that put pressure (on me).
Right-hander Sierra Albright dazzled for the Lady Eagles, allowing just two hits and a run in 10 innings while striking out 18 batters.
Kami Kamzik fought for Central Cambria but suffered defeat. The junior pitched 92/3 innings, allowing four hits and a run while striking out 15 batters and walking one.
“I felt really good today,” Albright said. “At the end I was seeing stars when Sydney (Thompson) hit him and they knocked him down. It was a really good game. I was hitting my spots well and my change 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 on the court, making no mistakes and Kailey Eckert finished with 19 chances on the court.
Bald Eagle came first on the board when Shawley singled out Smitchko in the second inning. Central Cambria tied it at 1-1 in the top of the third inning when Central Cambria scored a run on a stolen base. Both teams went back and forth, but couldn’t break the tie in regulation time.
Kamzik, a Notre Dame clerk, was intentionally stepped on five times during the game. With his dangerous bat neutralized over the steps, the Lady Eagles forced the Red Devils to beat them with other players. Bald Eagle’s defense continued its solid play behind Albright’s stellar pitching — allowing no hits in the final three innings and seven strikeouts — trailing enough for Uberti to get the game-winning run in the 10th.
Lady Eagles head coach Don Lucas was impressed with his team’s courage and ability to take on one of Pennsylvania’s best pitchers.
“You have a first-year receiver (Albright) and a first-year receiver (Eckert), you have a first-year center fielder (Taylor Habovick), a first-year left fielder (Thompson), who put the ball in game, what more can I say about them,” Lucas asked. “They’re a great team. It was just a matter of who would get last at bat and luckily for us, that was us and we like to carier. So that put us more in our element than some teams.
Bald Eagle is scheduled to travel to Central for the District 6 Semi-Final on Thursday.
This story was originally published May 23, 2022 9:31 p.m.