Blue Mountain stops Elizabeth Forward in PIAA Class 4A championship game

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Friday, June 14, 2024 | 7:09 PM


STATE COLLEGE — Elizabeth Forward lost the PIAA Class 4A softball championship game 4-0 to Blue Mountain on Friday afternoon at Penn State’s Beard Field.

The Warriors (23-2) managed five singles but never got a runner to third base.

The Eagles (27-1), who won their second-straight state title, scored single runs in the first and fifth innings and two more in the seventh.

The Warriors could not reach base until one out in the bottom of the fourth inning, as they had issues with popping out against Blue Mountain starter Marla Freiwald.

“That’s a good pitcher,” Elizabeth Forward coach Harry Rutherford said. “I can’t take anything away from her. She kept popping us up. … She’s probably the hardest pitcher we’ve faced all year, and she got us swinging up in the zone.”

Friewald had two strikeouts while getting 11 of the 21 total outs via fly outs or pop outs.

The fourth inning proved to be the Warriors’ best scoring chance, when they were down just 1-0. With one out, Shelby Telegdy and Carlee Soukup hit back-to-back singles. Freiwald got a fly out and a popup to end the inning. The popup was ruled interference against the batter for passing by the first baseman in fair territory while she was trying to field the ball, but in any case, it was the third out.

The Eagles scored quickly, taking a 1-0 lead after three batters in the top of the first inning.

Madison Helm led off and worked a 3-0 count. Though she struck out, it was a sign that Telegdy would struggle in the first inning. Addyson Fishburn followed with a single. After Fishburn stole second, Freiwald reached on an infield error that allowed Fishburn to score.

“That’s a good team out there, so you have to come back from that,” Rutherford said.

In the short term, the Warriors did come back from that. It took 28 pitches, but Telegdy got out of the first inning with no further damage. Then she retired 11 of the next 13 batters she faced.

Blue Mountain doubled its lead in the top of the fifth after a controversial call. Hailey Place led off with a fly to right-center that center fielder Hannah Evans dove for. The ball landed in her glove and popped out. She tried to get it with her bare hand before it hit the ground. The umpire ruled that the ball did reach the ground, despite protests from the Warriors coaches. With two outs, Helm singled to left to score Place for a 2-0 lead.

The Warriors did get the tying run to the plate in both the fifth and sixth innings, courtesy of singles by Alivia Grimm and Soukup. However, Friewald ended both innings by inducing foul popups.

The Eagles added a couple of insurance runs in the top of the seventh. Courtney Cavadini doubled in one run, and Helm singled in another for a 4-0 cushion. Blue Mountain then loaded the bases with one out, but Telegdy struck out one batter and snared a line drive to stop the bleeding.

Telegdy took the loss, pitching the whole game with nine strikeouts for the WPIAL champs.

The game started after a rain delay of 2 hours, 30 minutes.

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