DuBois Central Catholic and Clarion Meet in D9 Class A Softball Title Game Tuesday

BROCKWAY, Pa. (D9Sports) – It’s experience vs. youth when top-seeded and unbeaten DuBois Central Catholic meets third-seeded Clarion in the District 9 Class A softball championship game at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Brockway High School.

The game will be broadcast on ExploreClarion.com, ExploreJeffersonPa.com and D9Sports.com as well as Radio 13, 1300 AM in a partnership between the two local media outlets.

DCC (21-0) isn’t an old team – a lot of the Lady Cardinals key players are only juniors – but it’s an experienced team with those same key players playing large roles in the the Lady Cardinals 2014 District 9 Class A championship run as freshman and sophomores. DCC lost in the semifinals last year to eventual state champion Elk County Catholic.

Clarion (15-7), on the other hand, hasn’t been to the District 9 title game since winning the title in 2011 on its way to a state runner-up finish. And this year’s club wasn’t looking like a championship-caliber team at midseason when it lost six in a row to fall to 6-7.

But the young Lady Cats – Clarion has only three seniors while relying on a host of freshmen and sophomores including a pair of sophomore pitchers – have rolled off nine straight wins while avenging a regular-season loss to Curwensville in the quarterfinals, 3-2, and then beating second-seeded Coudersport, 4-2, in the semifinals.

DCC is pretty much the complete team.

The Lady Cardinals can mash – they hit .474 as a team with a 1.192 OPS – and they can pitch – they have allowed 23 totals runs, 12 earned, on the year.

The offense starts with Jordy Frank, who is hitting an incredible .722 (57 of 79) with 12 home runs, 11 doubles, eight triples and 41 RBIs. She has an OPS of 2.254.

Frank is one of three Lady Cardinals hitting over .500 on the year.

Ashley Wruble checks in at .594 with 35 RBIs and a 1.441 OPS, while Macy Hanes is hitting .592 with 22 RBIs and a 1.407 OPS.

Two additional starters are hitting above .440 with Riley Assalone coming in at .466 with a 1.123 OPS and Stephanie Rossi checking in at .449 with 1.124 OPS.

The worst hitting starter for DCC is Caitlin Drahushak, who is batting .327 with an .806 OPS.

Assalone is one of the top pitchers in District 9 and sports a minuscule 0.53 ERA and has currently gone 53 consecutive innings without giving up an earned run.

On the year, Assalone has pitched 92 ⅔ innings giving up just 52 hits and 16 runs, seven earned, while striking out 119 and walking 19.

If Assalone, who is 16-0 on the season, would struggle for any reason, Wruble is waiting in the wings with a 1.50 ERA in 23 ⅔ innings of work.

Assalone will be tested by a Clarion offense that is strong one through nine.

In fact, the bottom third of the Lady Cats offense has carried the load on more than one occasion this year including in the semifinal win over Coudersport.

As a team, Clarion hits .344 and has scored 153 runs.

Maya Thornton leads the offense hitting .443 with two home runs and 12 RBIs. She has an OPs of 1.132.

Keanna Over, one of the three seniors, is also over .400 at .408 with a 1.003 OPS. She has driven in 14 runs, while second baseman Anna Reed, one of the top defensive second baseman in the District, leads the Lady Cats with 20 RBIs while hitting .373 with a 1.062 OPS.

Cora Zerfoss adds a .357 average and has stolen 10 bases, while freshman Carly Best is hitting .333 with three triples and has been one of the keys to the bottom of the Clarion lineup.

Sadie Rudesyle has grabbed the reigns as the No. 1 starter for Clarion. In 17 games she has pitched 93 innings allowing 58 hits and 33 runs, 20 earned. She is 10-4 with a 1.51 ERA and has struck out 85 while walking 29.

Alexis Constantino is 3-3 with a 2.06 ERA with 14 strikeouts and 13 walks.

Both teams move into the PIAA playoffs with the District 9 champion playing the second-place team out of District 5, which can be one of four teams – Meyersdale, Hyndman, Windber or Shade. The District 9 runner-up will play the WPIAL champion, which will be either West Greene or Chartiers-Houston.

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