List’s 5-inning no-hitter leads Beaver past Freeport, into WPIAL Class 4A semifinals

Monday, May 23, 2022 | 12:01 AM

Chalk up another victory for Beaver Area and senior Payton List.

The Virginia Tech-bound List gave up no hits and allowed just one Freeport baserunner as the Bobcats blanked the Yellowjackets, 10-0, on Monday in a WPIAL Class 4A quarterfinal at Mars Centennial Field.

List struck out 10 in five innings as Beaver won its 38th consecutive game. The defending WPIAL and PIAA champions (17-0) move on to the semifinals Wednesday against Montour at a site and time to be determined.

List had two hits and was intentionally walked twice, but the game was scoreless into the bottom of the third.

The Bobcats then sent 14 batters to the plate as part of a nine-run explosion. Ashlee Karas started it with a walk, and List followed with a single. Taylor Young bunted the runners up, and Samantha Springman was intentionally walked to load the bases.

Hannah Crowe walked on a 3-2 pitch to drive in Karas, Kayla Cornell hit a bloop that landed behind third base and Beaver was on its way. After a two-run double by No. 8 hitter Alexandria Slipko, the lead grew to 6-0.

“One through nine in the lineup, I have confidence and faith in all of them,” Bobcats coach Amy Haggart said.

It was back to Karas at the bottom of the order. The senior left fielder sliced a ball into foul territory that Yellowjackets second baseman Aimee Heasley ranged far to her left and made a diving catch on for the second out. Grace Thompson was able to tag up and come home to make it 7-0. A two-run single by Taylor Young drove home two more for a 9-0 lead.

“A couple little flare hits there, but that’s softball,” said Freeport coach Sam Ross of the lightning-quick Beaver outburst. “We’ve won games like this, and we’ve lost games like this. It can all happen pretty quick.”

Autumn Powell relived Freeport starter Sydney Selker and got the final out to end the third and shut out the Bobcats in the fourth.

But in the fifth, List led off with a double, and courtesy runner Meghan Boyd came around to score on a base hit and an error to conclude the game.

“We focus a lot on hitting, making sure we hit the pitches where they needed to go,” Haggart said. “I knew once we got started, they were going to be on top of them.”

List allowed only a one-out walk to Selker in the first.

Added Haggart: “I said it all last year, and I’m saying it this year: Payton seems to get better every game. She got sharper as the game went on. That’s her. That’s what she does.”

Ross said goodbye to five seniors who have led the Yellowjackets to a 30-18 record and three WPIAL playoff berths.

“We had Autumn Powell, Maddie Shanta, Savanna Urik, Natalie King and Jenna Selker,” Ross said. “They came in right away as freshmen and had to deal with the covid year. No excuses. I believe we had a great season as a small 4A school.”

Freeport finished at 10-7 and will drop to Class 3A for the next two years.

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