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Lady Bison downed by Bellefonte
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
By Rich Murawski Assistant Sports Editor
HYDE - After striking out 18 times against Bald Eagle Area pitcher Megan Dudish in a 13-1 setback on Friday, Clearfield head coach Bob Lewis was hoping his Lady Bison would have a better time making contact Monday against Bellefonte.
And while Clearfield did collect five hits and struck out just seven times against Lady Raider hurler Stevi Confer, it still didn't do enough damage to come out with a win at the Bison Sports Complex.
Led by Erica DeVinney, who was a double short of the cycle, Bellefonte downed the Lady Bison, 6-1, to send them to their sixth straight defeat.
"We're still struggling to put the bat on the ball," Lewis said. "And when we put the ball in play, we're not hitting it hard. That will probably come with time.
"I've been telling the kids to keep their heads up and not get discouraged. You're never happy with a loss, but I was happy they put the ball in play more. (Confer) doesn't throw as hard as (Dudish), but she threw strikes."
Confer allowed just singles to Rachel Hoffman and Heather Picard and issued a walk to Devynn Ireland through four scoreless inning before the Lady Bison bats came alive in the bottom of the fifth.
Lauren Butler led off with an infield single and moved up on a wild pitch before Mikayla Ebeling's blooper fell just in fair territory behind the first base bag two batters later to move Butler to third.
Megan Vanderburgh followed with a single to left field to plate Butler with Clearfield's lone run.
Bellefonte tallied an unearned run in the first inning and added two more runs in the third to take a 3-0 advantage.
"That just puts pressure on everybody to step up," Lewis said of falling behind the Lady Raiders early. "Generally, when we start early and we get on top of people, we're OK."
Clearfield committed two more errors in the third frame, but both Bellefonte runs ended up being earned. DeVinney's triple scored Vanessa Cooper and later trotted home on a Sarah Menna base hit.
"A few defensive miscues cost us early," Lewis said. "We just can't do that, and that's something we have been working on in practice. We're trying to stay sound defensively and support our pitchers. And I think we did a better job of that today than we did on Friday."
The Lady Raiders picked up another run in the top of the fourth when Cooper's sacrifice fly knocked in Olivia Ripka, who led off with a triple.
DeVinney blasted a solo homer to lead off the top half of the fifth, and Menna added an RBI double later in the inning to account for the final Lady Raider run.
DeVinney was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Menna had two hits and two RBIs.
"She's a good ball player," Lewis said of DeVinney. "She's a small girl, but she's not batting third for no reason."
After Clearfield closed the gap to 6-1 in the bottom of the fifth, Confer enjoyed a 1-2-3 sixth inning and, after issuing a leadoff walk to Picard in the seventh, retired the final three Lady Bison to clinch the victory.
She allowed one earned run on five hits, while walking three batters and striking out seven.
Hoffman took the loss for the Lady Bison. She gave up eight hits and a walk, while fanning six Lady Raiders.
Clearfield dipped to 3-10 with the loss.
"We'll just proceed and continue on and watch the younger kids continue to grow," Lewis said. "We've accepted the fact that we are where we're at, and we'll move on."
Clearfield travels to Punxsutawney on Wednesday.

Bellefonte-6
Cooper c 2111, McClenahan 3b, 4110, DeVinney ss 4232, Chambers lf 2100, Menna 1b 4022, Maurer pr 0000, Allen cf 4000, Confer p 3000, Ripka 2b 4111, Pugh dp 3000, Linn (flex) rf 0000. Totals: 30-6-8-5.
Clearfield-1
Vanderburgh ss 4011, Leigey rf 4000, Hoffman p 2010, Kovalick 1b 3000, D. Ireland 3b 2000, Wallace c 3000, Butler 2b 3110, Picard lf 2010, Ebeling cf 3010. Totals: 26-1-5-1.
Score by Innings
Bellefonte 102 120 0-6 8 0
Clearfield  000 010 0-1 5 4
Errors-Hoffman 2, Picard, Butler. LOB-Bellefonte 8, Clearfield 7. 2B-Menna. 3B-DeVinney, Ripka. HR-DeVinney (solo, 5th). SAC-Chambers. SF-Cooper. SB-Allen. HBP-Cooper, Chambers (by Hoffman). WP-Hoffman.
Pitching
Bellefonte: Confer-7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO.
Clearfield: Hoffman-7 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO.
WP-Confer. LP-Hoffman (1-6).
Time-1:47.
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