Highlands softball beats Bishop McDevitt, earns rematch with Beaver in state semifinals

·2 min read

Jun. 11—EBENSBURG — The Highlands softball team had to wait through a four-hour delay from the original 4 p.m. start of its PIAA Class 4A quarterfinal game Thursday against Bishop McDevitt.

It also practiced patience as the game was moved from Mt. Aloysius College to nearby Central Cambria High School.

In the end, the wait for the Golden Rams was worth it.

Highlands won for the 18th time this season and advanced to the PIAA semifinals for the first time with a 6-1 victory over the District 3 champion Crusaders.

The Golden Rams are set for a WPIAL title game rematch with Beaver.

The Bobcats defeated Elizabeth Forward on Thursday to punch their ticket to the semifinals.

"It is amazing," senior second baseman Joie Beacom said. "We knew we had an opportunity. We knew we were playing, no matter what. We stayed focused through it all. I am just so glad we are still going (in the state playoffs)."

An RBI single from Kylie Zourelias and a two-run homer from Jess Cekada in the bottom of the sixth gave Highlands three insurance runs.

Golden Rams starter Jaycee Haidze pitched a complete game, striking out nine and giving up just four hits in seven innings.

An RBI single from catcher Liz Safford in the top of the sixth accounted for McDevitt's lone run. The Crusaders left the bases loaded in that same inning.

The Golden Rams finished the game with nine hits.

Highlands got on the board in the bottom of the second as Haidze led off with a triple and came home on a ground out to short by Abbie Deiseroth.

The Golden Rams added to their lead in the bottom of the fifth as Cekada and Maera Williams connected on back-to-back one-out singles.

After a strikeout, Beacom came through in the clutch with a single to center to drive in both Cekada and Williams.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .