Jun. 11—PINE GROVE — It became, through one overpowering fastball after another, a staring contest for seven innings.
One run was clearly going to be enough. Scoring that run was the challenge.
An error. A bunt. A walk. It was going to take that type of thing. Or, as it turned out, all of those things.
District 4 champion Line Mountain finally broke through and defeated District 3 champ Brandywine Heights 4-0 in eight innings in the PIAA Class 2A softball quarterfinals at Pine Grove Thursday.
A long day that included the game being relocated and pushed back two hours shortly before the first pitch ended in disappointment for the Bullets.
Brandywine ace Meghann Schuster's gem wasn't enough to overcome the dominance of Line Mountain ace Kya Matter.
"Meghann kept us in the game," Brandywine coach Don Roach said. "That's for darn sure. A couple of nice defensive plays early. We just couldn't catch up to their pitcher. I give credit to her."
Schuster retired the first 17 batters until Emily Gonsar's bloop single to center ended the perfect game in the sixth.
Matter retired the final 16 batters after surrendering the Bullets' lone hit, a sharp grounder into right field by Aubrey Reinert in the third. That was all the teams managed through seven innings. Two hits.
Line Mountain's pitcher finished with 17 strikeouts. Fifteen of those were swinging.
"She was the fastest we've seen," Roach said. "We're basically an average hitting softball team. With a girl like that, with that velocity, that's a red light right there."
Line Mountain (17-3) snapped the scoreless duel when an error, a bunt single and a walk loaded the bases with one out. Matter's infield single brought home the first run. Kylie Klinger added a two-run single to extend the rally.
Brandywine (15-10) had its best chance to score in the first. Naomi Fay walked and stole second and third with one out. Matter struck out the side to avoid any damage.
The game was scheduled to be played at Lebanon Valley College at 1. A last-minute storm made the field unplayable and forced it to be moved about 30 minutes north. It started at 3:10.
Two hours later, Brandywine's season was over.
The Bullets dropped three of their first four games before gradually improving. They won Berks IV and their 10th district championship.
Roach said none of the players started and ended the season playing the same position. Eventually, the right formula was found.
"When we started the season we were looking around thinking, 'Holy cow, where are we going to end up?' " Roach said. "We really didn't know."
The Bullets finished among the final eight teams in the state. They were one run from making it even further.