Clearfield softball stuns WPIAL champion Beaver, ending 42-game winning streak

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Monday, June 13, 2022 | 6:02 PM


LORETTO – Beaver’s 42-game winning streak and hopes for a second consecutive PIAA Class 4A softball title ended shockingly Monday in a semifinal round game at St. Francis University.

District 9 champion Clearfield scored single runs in the sixth and seventh innings, both with two outs, and rallied to stun the WPIAL champions, 2-1.

The game-winner in the seventh was a bases-loaded infield single by Ruby Singleton to score Alexis Benton, who reached base with two outs on a questionable hit by pitch.

The controversial call allowed Clearfield to keep the inning going. Alexis Cole followed with a single to right field, which moved Benton to third.

After the first pitch to Emma Hipps was ruled a ball, Beaver coach Amy Haggerty decided to intentionally walk Hipps to load the bases.

The decision did not please one of the best softball players in the WPIAL — senior pitcher Payton List. She wanted the ball in her hands and a chance to get Hipps.

“I know she wasn’t pleased, but I wanted to get a force out at any base,” Haggerty said. “Hipps is one of their better hitters. We held her down, but you never know. One pitch is all she needed”

List got Singleton to hit a grounder up the middle, but second baseman Taylor Young didn’t handle it cleanly, which allowed the winning run to score.

“Payton is a competitor and I knew she was upset,” Haggerty said. “I’d probably be upset if I was her. But I stand by my decision.”

Beaver (21-1) had its problems solving Hipps, a four-year starter and Clarion commit. Hipps allowed four hits, struck out eight and walked two.

Beaver grabbed a 1-0 lead in the third inning when List was intentionally walked. She moved to second on an infield hit by Young and scored on a single to right-center by Sami Springman.

List kept Clearfield (21-3) off the scoreboard until there were two outs in the sixth inning when Lauren Rissler doubled and scored on a single to left by Oliva Bender to forge a 1-1 tie.

“Before the game, I told them to play hard from the first pitch to the last pitch and that’s what they did,” Clearfield coach Derrick Danver said. “I had nothing but confidence from our team. We’ve been in this position before, and they’ve come through.”

Clearfield is going for its first state title.

“We knew they were undefeated and had won 42 games in a row,” Hipps said. “But I told my teammates nothing is impossible. A team can have a bad day and we could have a very good day. I’m so proud of my teammates.

“We just had quality at-bats and got timely hits. Tying the game was huge.”

List, a Virginia Tech commit, struck out eight, walked four and allowed five hits, four in the final two innings.

“It’s hard to believe that we lost,” List said.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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