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Top 25 Countdown 2022

Top 25 Countdown Powered by Hunter’s Station Golf Course: No. 1 Clearfield Softball Wins PIAA Title in Dramatic Fashion

D9and10Sports/Yourdailylocal is counting down what we believe are the Top 25 moments/games/performances of the 2021-22 high school sports season in District 9 and District 10. The countdown is powered by Hunter’s Station Golf Course just outside of Tionesta

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CLEARFIELD, Pa. – Clearfield softball was truly a team of destiny in 2022.

The Lady Bison captured the first PIAA championship for the school, doing so in dramatic fashion, winning three of their four state playoffs games in walk-off fashion, including a 3-2 win over Tunkhannock in the championship.

Alexis Bumbarger’s bloop single delivered the state title for the Lady Bison, bringing in Ruby Singleton.

It started June 6 when the Lady Bison beat District 10 champion Franklin, 4-3 when pinch-runner Paige Houser score on a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh knocking the ball out of Lady Knights’ pitcher Trinty Edge’s glove in the first round.

In the PIAA semifinals against defending champion Beaver, winners of 42 straight games, the Lady Bison won the game in the bottom of the seventh when Singleton singled home Alexis Benton to give Clearfield a 2-1 victory. That came against pitcher Payton List, a Virginia Tech recruit considered to be one of the top pitchers in the nation.

“It was a lot of pressure,” Singleton said after the semifinal win. “I was actually hoping that Emma (Hipps) would get it, but I’m also glad I got the opportunity. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime type thing. I just went in the box and when I saw that pitch I hit it.”

They trailed in all three of those games, and in addition to the three walk-off wins, and held a 1-0 lead in the fourth game, a 4-0 win over Hamburg in the quarterfinals.

Hipps was a catalyst for Clearfield, earning D9and10Sports.com Player and Pitcher of the Year, as well as PaHSSBCA Class 4A Pitcher of the Year.

   

In the circle, Hipps went 21-2 with a 1.04 ERA. In 152 ⅔ innings of work, she struck out 285 and walked 28 with opponents hitting just .137 off her. She was at her best in the postseason going 5-0 with a 0.80 ERA. In 35 postseason innings, she struck out 59 and walked four.

She was also Clearfield’s top offensive player hitting .430 with eight home runs, eight doubles, two triples, and 30 RBIs while recording an OPS of 1.427.

She was joined on the All-Stat team by teammates Olivia Bender (Catcher) and Lauren Ressler (first base). Singleton and Bender also garnered All-District 9 honors as well.

Head coach Derek Danver was named the D9and10Sports.com Manager of the Year.

“It’s awesome, Danver said after the PIAA title game win. “They believed it the whole time. All year this was something that they were working for something that they believed, the coaching staff believed in these girls all year long.”

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