Jun. 14—The Union City Bears softball team has already made it farther than any team in program history — but they want more.
The Bears play Ligonier Valley today at Slippery Rock University at 2:30 p.m. in the PIAA Class 2A semifinal. Ligonier Valley is the WPIAL's No. 3 seed.
UC earned the chance to punch a ticket to the state championship with a trilling win on Tuesday in the quarterfinals. The Bears defeated Laurel, the WPIAL Champion, 6-5 in a 10-inning affair.
In the win, pitcher Abby Tingley and a talented Bear defense was able to handle everything the Spartans threw their way.
"Abby will speak to her defense as quick as anybody. Her defense is solid and one of the most solid in the state," Union City head coach Jerry VanZandt said after Tuesday's victory. "We don't hide anybody because we have no weaknesses. When the ball is in play, unless its on a line, we usually feel like we will make the out."
Leading the Bears at the plate were Jordyn Brozell, Eliza Reynolds and Julie Burger. All three had multiple hits in the win.
Ligonier Valley advanced to the semifinal with a 1-0 win against Chestnut Ridge, the District 5 Champion. The game began at Mount Aloysius but after a long rain delay in the sixth inning, PIAA officials moved the gave to Central Cambria High School, which has a turf field.
Both teams traveled about 10 miles to Central Cambria, but the weather never let up and neither team took the field. The PIAA ruled the game complete and awarded Ligonier Valley the win.
In the victory, pitcher Madison Griffin was dominant in the circle. She threw 11 strikeouts and allowed one hit in five innings.
VanZandt said the team is excited to test their mettle against a worthy opponent.
"The girls are looking forward to seeing how they match up against one of the best teams in the state," VanZandt said. "The key to a win is to continue to play great defense and timely hitting."