Bermudian Springs ran into a red-hot opponent on Monday in the opening round of the PIAA Softball Championships. Facing a Cambria Heights team that was riding an 18-game winning streak, the Eagles yielded nine hits and had an uncharacteristic day in the field as they dropped an 8-1 decision in Class 3A action at Saint Francis University that brought their season to a close.
Bermudian (12-12) entered the game as the District 3 runner-up while Cambria Heights (21-1) was fresh off its first District 6 championship in program history. The Highlanders wasted no time, pushing a run across the plate in the bottom of the first inning. Paige Jones led off with a walk, followed by singles from Ari Westrick and Karli Storm to pack the sacks.
Eagle ace Tori Murren struck out the clean-up batter but Madison Bender’s ensuing grounder was misplayed, allowing a run to score.
Berm avoided further damage but Cambria went right back to work in the second, pushing its lead to 3-0. A pair of errors and a sacrifice fly from Storm, who went 3-for-4, keyed the offense.
The Eagles trimmed the deficit to 3-1 in the fourth. Hannah Chenault singled to left and moved to second on a sacrfice by Murren. The speedy Chenault would eventually come around to score on a fly ball off the bat of Maddie Reever.
The Highlanders squashed any potential shift in momentum by scoring five times in the home half of the fifth. Storm, Lexi Griak and Bender strung together three straight singles for the hosts, who entered with 17 players on their roster who had at least one RBI this season. A pair of errors allowed Cambria to take full advantage of the potential big inning.
Berm was unable to cut into the deficit over the final two frames as Jones closed out a five-hit, complete-game effort that included four strikeouts and a walk. She threw strikes on 72 of 103 total pitches.
Murren worked four frames for Berm, yielding three earned runs while striking out a pair of batters and walking one. Reever logged two innings of relief, allowing one earned run.
Chenault went 2-for-3 while Ashlyn Smith, Maya Kemper and Briella Riley all singled for Bermudian.
Bermudian Springs 000 100 0 — 1 5 6
Cambria Heights 120 041 x — 8 9 1
Tori Murren, Maddie Reever (5). Paige Jones. WP: Jones. LP: Murren. SO-BB: Murren 2-1, Reever 0-1, Jones 4-1. 2B: CH-Lexi Griak