Cambridge Springs junior Kylee Miller knew what to do with a runner on base and the game scoreless in the fifth inning.
Blue Devils leadoff hitter smashed a line ball to the right field wall, circled second base, then went headfirst into third for a triple. Her hit scored Jaydan Simmons from second to give Duke a 1-0 lead.
The RBI triple helped Cambridge beat Cochranton 2-0 in the District 10 Class 1A semifinals at Allegheny College’s Robertson Softball Field on Wednesday. The Blue Devils advanced to Monday’s District 10 final game.
“Cochranton played well, but we persevered. “We were hitting and bunting to advance runners and being smart,” Cambridge Springs head coach Angela Mumford said. “We never quit. We persevered and scored.”
Miller’s triple followed Triniti Caldwell’s walk. Before Miller’s at-bat, senior Emily Boylan bunted to advance a runner.
I knew we needed a hit in a tie game. Miller indicated he wanted a straight drive. “My last time up I hit a pop fly so I knew I needed a line drive.”
She was met by ecstatic third base coach Mumford after jumping into third base.
“It’s the best feeling,” Miller remarked. “Seeing your coach happy for you and just knowing that they’re proud makes you feel great.”
Cambridge scored a sixth-inning insurance run. Cheyenne Mosconi replaced Jordie Klawuhn after Morgan Dunton’s RBI double.
After a Cochranton error put runners at second and third with one out, the Cardinals defense struck out and grounded out to escape the sixth.
Cochranton walked with two outs in the eighth, but freshman pitcher Kayla Crawford struck out a Cardinals hitter to end the game.
Crawford replaced senior pitcher Hailee Rodgers in the fourth. The combined-shutout included nine strikeouts and four hits.
“They believe in each other,” Mumford added. “Whoever is on the mound, the other pitcher supports that one and they trust each other.”
Six Cambridge hits. Miller had two, Rodgers, Dunton, Mosconi, and Maddie Dragosavac one.
Cambridge plays Iroquois for the D-10 title on Monday. The Braves won 10-3 on May 7 to split the season series.
“The next couple days we will work on the little stuff, work hard and have fun because we really love each other,” Mumford added.
Cochranton’s season and five seniors’ careers are gone.
“I told them they have to reflect tonight or tomorrow and think back on a great four-year career,” Cochranton head coach Mark McGuire said. They played in these huge games several times and beyond.
That’s what they’ll remember. One game doesn’t make a career.”
Cochranton had four hits. The Cardinals had their best opportunity in the fifth. Freyermuth and Claire McCartney singled for two Cardinal runs with one out.
Crawford struck out two Blue Devils.
“They got the hits when they needed to have them and we didn’t,” McGuire said. Simply put. We didn’t get the major hits they did.”