Jun. 11—SLIPPERY ROCK — Cambridge Springs lost a heartbreaker in extra innings on Thursday.
After climbing back into the game to force extra innings, West Greene's Kiley Meek hit a controversial two-run homer in the 10th inning to give the Pioneers a two-run lead.
Cambridge scored once in the bottom half of the inning, but that was as close as the Devils would get as they saw their season come to an end with a 6-5 loss in the PIAA Class 1A quarterfinals at Slippery Rock University.
"I can say that I am proud of every single girl on this team," Cambridge Springs head coach Angie Mumford said. "I'm proud of how far they've come."
The Devils got on the board first. In the first inning, Kenzie Miller drilled a double to the warning track. A Chloe Shultz RBI single scored Miller and gave Spa a 1-0 lead.
Neither team would score again until the fifth inning. Pitchers Hailee Rodgers and Meek kept each team's offense off the bases.
After a hit batter and two quick outs in the fifth, the Pioneers started to strike the ball. Back-to-back RBI singles gave West Greene a 2-1 lead. Meek followed with a RBI double to the left field wall.
Cambridge answered with a run of their own. Taylor Smith scored on a Myranda Finley groundout. A Devil strikeout stranded runners on base and sent the game into the seventh with a one-run deficit.
In the seventh, Cambridge completed its comeback and tied the game at 3-3 off a Smith RBI single. After the game-tying run was scored, it felt like the momentum of the game shifted. In the bottom of the inning, Miller made a diving catch in left field and sent her team into a frenzy.
"We never ever give up," Mumford said. "These girls just don't give up and that battle today showed that."
Each team scored a run in the eighth and after a scoreless ninth, the game entered the tenth and the international tiebreaker rule went into effect.
With a runner already on second due to the rule, Meek drilled a high fly ball that appeared to sail to the left of the foul pole in left field. But the ball was called fair and gave the Pioneers a two-run advantage. Spa downed the next three batters and was up to bat with the season on the line.
Aly Acosta-Reyes scored an RBI single with two outs to bring the Devils within one, but the team wasn't able to muster another run and lost 6-5.
"The fight in us is amazing and that perseverance will pay off when they become adults and tough things come their way and they just keep pushing and pushing," Mumford said. "We hope to produce successful adults who have confidence in themselves and these girls do."
Leading the Devils at the plate was Miller and Smith. Miller went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and Smith went 3-for-4 with one run scored and one RBI.
In the circle, Rodgers struck four batters out and walked zero in 10 innings of work.
Meek led the Pioneers at the plate and in the circle. She hit two-for-five with three RBIs and struck out seven batters in ten innings.
West Greene advances to the semifinals and will play Dubois Central Catholic on Monday.