NEW BETHLEHEM — Shutting out Brookville the second time this year, the Redbank Valley Lady Bulldogs softball team will get another crack at powerful Moniteau.
Last year’s PIAA Class AA runner-up awaits the Lady Bulldogs on Wednesday at 4 p.m. after Monday’s 4-0 win at the New Bethlehem Little League complex.
The 12-6 Lady Bulldogs have lost twice to Moniteau and were knocked out of last year’s playoffs in the same semifinal round they find themselves in again this time around. Their last meeting was a 9-1 loss in New Bethlehem May 15.
“We had a good mindset when they came up here,” Lady Bulldogs head coach John Sayers said. “I think it was only 2-0 going into the fifth inning. We have to go down with the mindset of swinging the bats, being aggressive and not let (pitcher) Kennedy DeMatteis, as she’s done in the past, to intimidate us.
“We need to go down with the confidence and see what happens. They’re a very good team, but we’re going to show up.”
Lady Bulldogs senior pitcher Alyssa Burkett set the tone on the mound against Brookville, tossing a two-hitter, giving up a one-out single to Lauren Hergert in the fifth inning and a one-out single to Marcy Schindler in the sixth.
The only other baserunner was a one-out walk to mound foe Carlie McManigle in the second inning. She struck out six.
“She keeps us in every game,” Sayers said. “In the second inning, she struggled a little bit with something in her arm but it seemed to go away in the third and she was fine and focused. She’s been here four years and we’ll miss her when she leaves.
“(Alyssa) hit her spots and moved the ball around. She’s been doing really well with that the last part of this season.”
The Lady Raiders managed just one hit off Burkett in a 10-0 seven-inning loss in Brookville back on April 3.
“We just couldn’t hit the ball, and when we did it was right at them,” Lady Raiders head coach Carl McManigle said. “There was nothing hard, and she moved the ball around, so hat’s off to Ms. Burkett. She pitched a fine game, their team played a fine game and they put the ball in play.”
Meanwhile, the Lady Bulldogs had 10 hits off Carlie McManigle, scoring single runs in the first, fourth, fifth and sixth innings. With the way Burkett was quieting the Brookville lineup, that seemed like a much larger lead.
Kaia Rearick singled with one out and scored on Maycee Shumaker’s two-out single in the first inning. Kara Hicks, Shumaker and Kristen Shaffer each singled to start the fourth with Shaffer’s driving in Hicks.
Doing the same thing int he fifth, Sami Leasure, Burkett and Lexi Holt singled to start the winning with Kaia Rearick’s forceout grounder to shortstop bringing home Leasure.
Kristen Shaffer singled to start the sixth and scored when Lauren Rearick followed with her RBI double to right-center field.
The loss ended Brookville’s season at 8-12. It was the Lady Raiders’ eighth straight loss to end the year, but it was the program’s first trip to the postseason since 2010. McManigle was happy with somewhat of a turnaround season.
“I’m very proud of our girls,” McManigle said. “Carlie pitched a great game. She did a fantastic job and all the girls did. I can’t say enough about how the girls played this year and how they responded. I’m very proud of them all.
“Honestly, I was just hoping to be .500 this year. The playoffs were icing on the cake and I told the girls that today. Just relax. This is something we haven’t seen in a few years. Enjoy it, embrace it and play ball and for the most part we did today.”