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PIAA CLASS 4A STATE SOFTBALL: Live Championship Blog editor Tom Robinson is in State College and will provide updates on Tunkhannock’s Class 4A state championship game with Clearfield throughout the day.

By Tom Robinson,

EIGHTH UPDATE: 3:28 p.m.

STATE COLLEGE – Clearfield took at one flyball that got up into the sun and another that got down on the grass between the retreating infield and charging outfield to produce its third straight state tournament walk-off victory and spoil Tunkhannock’s title hopes, 3-2, in Friday’s state Class 4A final.

The teams were tied 2-2 going to the bottom of the seventh.

Ruby Singleton singled off the third baseman’s glove to lead off.

Kaya Hannon got Lauren Ressler, whose fifth-inning home run had accounted for the other two runs in the Clearfield rally, on a pop up to second base.

Olivia Bender then hit a deep, but high flyball to center where Hannah James lost her battle with the sun. It was the second hit in the last two innings where Tunkhannock fielders were unable to locate catchable flyballs in the sun.

Tunkhannock coach Bob Hegedty chose to issue an intentional walk and face slumping Alexis Bumbarger.

Hannon got another soft fly ball, but this one was out of reach of the left side of the infield and the left and center fielders, falling to the grass for the game-winning hit.

Tunkhannock also lost the state finals in 2017 and last year.


STATE COLLEGE – Repeat performances led to Clearfield winning the state Class 4A softball title with a 3-2 victory over Tunkhannock.

It was the second straight game that the Bison rallied to tie late, then won the game in the bottom of the seventh against one of last year’s state finalists.

Tunkhannock lost in the final for the second straight year.

SIXTH UPDATE: 2:42 p.m.

STATE COLLEGE – Clearfield has tied the state Class 4A softball championship game at 2-2 on a two-run homer by Lauren Ressler with one out in the bottom of the fifth.

Ruby Singleton singled, then Ressler pulled a 2-1 pitch down the right-field line for the home run.


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FIFTH UPDATE: 2:25 p.m.

STATE COLLEGE – Clearfield pitcher Emma Hipps has retired eight of the last nine batters, four by strikeout, but her defense let her down, allowing Tunkhannock to add a run for a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth.

Emily Schultz led off the inning with a 40-foot dribbler down the third-base line for an infield single.

An attempt to throw out Schultz at first instead turned into a throw over the first baseman’s head and past the right fielder’s back-up attempt. As the ball went all the way to the right-field corner and was relayed in slowly, Schultz circled the bases for the 2-0 lead.

Kaya Hannon threw her first 1-2-3 inning, allowing Tunkhannock to stay in front by two through four innings.


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FOURTH UPDATE: 2:04 p.m.

STATE COLLEGE – Tunkhannock took a 1-0 lead over Clearfield during an eventful second inning of the PIAA Class 4A state softball final at Penn State’s Beard Field.

Gabby Wood was hit by a pitch to begin the top of the inning and she took second on a pitch in the dirt.

When Kaya Hannon singled up the middle, Wood tried to score, but was thrown out by center fielder Ruby Singleton on a close by the plate, which was well blocked by Olivia Bender.

Tunkhannock took the lead on the next batter when Sydney Huff doubled off the chalk down the right-field line.

Hannon, who had taken second on the throw home, scored.

Emma Hipps recovered with two straight strikeouts to keep Huff at second base.

Hannon retired the first two batters for the second straight inning, but the Bison loaded the bases on two walks and a hit just beyond the reach of diving second baseman Ella McNeff.

Clearfield left the bases full when Hannon responded with her first strikeout, getting Lauren Ressler, the No. 3 batter in the order.


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THIRD UPDATE: 1:48 p.m.

STATE COLLEGE – The PIAA Class 4A softball final is underway at Penn State’s Beard Field with Tunkhannock and Clearfield scoreless after one inning.

This is the seventh straight season in which the Wyoming Valley Conference has sent a team to the state final.

Holy Redeemer won titles in 2015 and 2016 in Class 2A when the PIAA still used four enrollment classifications for the sport.

Tunkhannock has played in three of the finals.

The Lady Tigers made it in Class 4A in 2017, the first year of six classifications for softball. Hazleton Area also made it that year, losing in Class 6A.

Holy Redeemer returned in 2018 and won in Class 3A.

Hazleton Area was back in the 2019 Class 6A final where it lost.

There was no season in 2020 because of COVID.

Tunkhannock made it back last season, losing, 5-4, in nine innings to Beaver Area. District 2 was also represented by Lackawanna League member Mid Valley, which lost in the Class 3A final.

Paige Marabell fouled back the game’s first pitch, but then swung and missed at the next two as Clearfield’s Emma Hipps opened the game with her 276th strikeout of the season.

Hipps needed just seven pitches to retire Tunkhannock 1-2-3.

Kaya Hannon got the first out in the bottom of the inning on one pitch and needed just four total to get two outs.

Clearfield then worked a walk and reached on an error on a high throw to first by Hannon.

Tunkhannock escaped further when a groundout ended the inning.

The highlight of the first inning was the second Clearfield out when Hannah James came charging in to make a diving catch in shallow center field.

SECOND UPDATE: 12:58 p.m.

STATE COLLEGE – With grounds crews still working on the infield and teams making their way to the dugouts, first pitch has been moved back five minutes to 1:35 p.m.

Tunkhannock is trying to give District 2 its second state softball champion in as many days.


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FIRST UPDATE: 12:40 p.m.

STATE COLLEGE — Neshannock just finished off a 4-1, Class 2A victory over Conwell-Egan in the opener of today’s PIAA softball championship tripleheader at Penn State’s Beard Field.

Therefore, the Tunkhannock-Clearfield Class 4A final should be able to start on schedule at 1:30 p.m.

Tunkhannock will be the visitor, batting first.

In Thursday’s three games:

Montgomery defeated DuBois Central Catholic, 5-1, in Class A.

Avonworth topped Lewisburg, 7-2, in Class 3A.

Pittston Area then completed an unbeaten season with its 4-0 shutout of Armstrong in Class 5A.


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INITIAL POST: 11:36 a.m.

STATE COLLEGE – Tunkhannock made it back to its second straight Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class 4A softball state championship game, something coach Bob Hegedty has made sure to remind his players not to take for granted after just missing last season.

For details from last year’s 5-4, nine-inning loss to Beaver Area – after a dramatic, bottom-of-the-seventh rally – check out the game story at:

The Lady Tigers nearly got a rematch with Beaver Area.

Clearfield, the District 9 champion, spoiled that when it ended Beaver’s 41-game winning streak, 2-1, in the semifinals. It faces Tunkhannock at 1:30 p.m. at Beard Field.

Tunkhannock trailed early in the state opener before beating Shamokin, 2-1. The Lady Tigers have been rolling since with consecutive shutout victories ended in five innings on the 10-run rule.

For more on the Lady Tigers’ state tournament run, see the recent game stories and some key numbers about the team by checking out our Tunkhannock page at: and following the links there.

Tunkhannock is trying to make it two titles for District 2 and two specifically for Division 1 of the Wyoming Valley Conference.

Pittston Area won the Class 5A title Thursday. For details on how the Lady Patriots won, see:

The Thursday PIAA softball tripleheader barely beat the thunderstorms that briefly knocked out power in the Penn State University area after Pittston Area’s bus had already headed for the celebration at home.

The PIAA pushed up Thursday’s starting times to help make that happen. There will be no such issues today with hazy, hot and humid from yesterday replaced by a more comfortable 81 degrees with partly sunny skies, less humidity, winds approaching 20 miles per hour at times and zero threat of rain.


Return to this page throughout the day for coverage before, during and after Tunkhannock’s championship game.

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