Big hit from Peyton List lifts Beaver past Elizabeth Forward in softball showdown

Thursday, June 10, 2021 | 5:26 PM

All year, Beaver junior Peyton List has been dominant in the pitcher’s circle.

She entered Thursday’s PIAA quarterfinal softball game against Elizabeth Forward with a 13-0 record and an ERA of 0.45.

However, in the state playoffs, List is proving that Peyton’s place is also in the batter’s box.

List had a bases-loaded double that highlighted a five-run fifth inning for Beaver that erased a three-run deficit and led the Bobcats to a 5-3 victory.

“Right before Peyton came up, I looked at her and said, ‘P, you’re swinging for the green and not for the fence,’ and she said, ‘I got you coach,’” Beaver coach Amy Haggart said. “She knew her job, and she did what she had to do.”

It was the fourth hit of the state playoffs for List, who was 3 for 3 in an 11-0 first-round win over Eastern York.

“It was a changeup outside, and I was way out in front of it,” List said. “Luckily, I kept my hands back enough and reached out and hit it in the gap, which is what I wanted to do.”

The first half of the game was all Elizabeth Forward.

The Warriors jumped out early with a run in the first inning on a Grace Smith two-out single that scored Anna Resnik.

EF senior pitcher Kailey Larcinese factored in on the Warriors’ next two runs.

Larcinese walked in the fourth inning and came around to score an unearned run on a RBI single by Mackenzie Kearns.

In the top of the fifth inning, Larcinese dropped a two-run single into right-center field that scored Brooke Markland and Elizabeth Forward was in control, leading 3-0.

Larcinese had retired eight straight batters but seemed to hit a wall in the fifth inning.

“I could tell she was getting a little tired, just watching her approach at the mound,” Haggart said. “The girls came in and said she wasn’t spinning the ball as tight as she was, so we started taking advantage of it.”

Bailey Nicol walked and after a fly out, Chloe List walked and Hanna Crowe was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Another walk to Mackenzie Boyd forced in the first Bobcats run, setting the stage for List.

“The way she was pitching, I was going to make her throw a strike,” List said. “She came at me with two early (strikes), so I knew I had to attack the next pitch.”

List doubled to the fence in left-center field to tie the game and set up the Bobcats with runners at second and third with one out.

Emilee Hohenshel went the opposite way with a single to left field that gave the Bobcats the lead. List then scored on a sacrifice fly by Kayla Cornell to make it 5-3.

Larcinese was lifted after the fifth inning. She pitched five innings, allowing five earned runs on three hits with five walks, a hit batter and two strikeouts.

Freshman Shelby Telegdy allowed two walks, but pitched a scoreless sixth inning for EF.

“We were watching (Larcinese’s) pitch count,” Elizabeth Forward coach Harry Rutherford said. “Maybe if I make the change a little earlier, maybe Shelby could have held them down, but who knows? She didn’t warm up enough for me to put her right in the middle of an inning with the bases loaded and throw that on a freshman. We had to get Kailey to get us out of the inning.”

List retired the final four Warriors in order to seal the win. She allowed two earned runs on seven hits with three walks and 11 strikeouts.

The eight total runs with double-digit hits by both teams against List and Larcinese definitely was not what one of the star pitchers expected.

“I was expecting this to be like the WPIAL (championship) game, more like 2-1 or 1-0. That was the kind of game I was expecting,” List said. “We both had to battle through the heat and the sweating of our hands, but I don’t mind the outcome.”

Elizabeth Forward (18-4) saw its season end without district or state silver or gold for the first time since 2017.

“The seniors have done an outstanding job. I can’t complain,” Rutherford said. “They’ve contributed so much over the last four years. You can’t complain one bit.”

Beaver remained the WPIAL’s only perfect team with a 19-0 record. The Bobcats advance to the PIAA semifinals for the first time in school history.

“We’ve told them all along, you can play with anybody,” Haggart said. “In the first round of the (WPIAL) playoffs, we played Yough. We came from behind and won the game. These kids don’t quit. Just when you think they’ve had enough, they find that little extra and they do it.”

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