Gonder wins 500th game|
Thursday, May 05, 2011
By Jon Christoff Sports Writer
HYDE - After the final out was recorded in Wednesday's 11-1, five-inning win over Clearfield, the Philipsburg-Osceola softball team calmly lined up to shake hands.
The only celebration was the smiles the Lady Mounties wore, as the realization that their head coach had reached yet another milestone after their impressive outing.
Jim Gonder has achieved pretty much everything there is to accomplish during his 28-year career, as he's claimed district titles and a state title.
After the win over the Lady Bisons, though, Gonder scaled to the top of another plateau - the 500-win plateau.
For the long-time coach, it was just another workmanlike day at the ballpark, and he wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
Gonder and the Lady Mounties made quick work of Clearfield, as three P-O hitters hit home runs and Kate Burge stymied the Lady Bisons' bats from the pitcher's circle.
The win was P-O's 11th in 12 games and, maintaining his form, Gonder had nothing but praise for his squad and assistant coaches.
"It feels nice (but), obviously, I don't take any credit for it," said Gonder, who is 500-122 as the Lady Mounties' head coach, of his 500th win.
"I've been blessed with the best assistant coaches in the world and the best players who work hard and buy into what we do. It's more about what everyone does and contributes. I'm just a part of that contribution."
The Lady Mountie offense was a large part why they handled the Lady Bisons, as the top six hitters in P-O's lineup had two hits apiece off Clearfield pitcher Rachel Hoffman.
Chelsea Rex set the tone for the day with a 3-run home run in the top of the first. The blast was the 14th of Rex's career, which established a new P-O record.
Teammate Mackenzie Wilson followed with a 2-run blast, and Macy Harpster got into the act with a solo shot in the third to answer one from Hoffman in the bottom of the second.
In all, the Lady Mounties smacked 14 hits against the Lady Bisons freshman.
"We had some power from all over the lineup tonight," Gonder said. "They played real well and hit the ball solid. It was a cold night, but the bats were hot."
The early run support was more than enough for Burge, who rebounded from her worst outing of the season against Bald Eagle Area.
Burge was in control from the onset and only made one mistake - hanging a changeup to Hoffman in the second. The P-O sophomore allowed just one more hit the rest of the way, issued one walk and struck out eight.
"She threw a good game against us," said Clearfield head coach Bob Dixon of Burge. "What the coaches and I talked about tonight during the game was how well she located the ball.
"When she was down (in the count), she kept everything at the knees. She was making us hit her pitch. She got ahead and it was just tough. She was really good."
The Lady Mounties' run production was even more impressive, as long balls accounted for their first six runs.
Wilson and Burge plated runs with RBI singles in the fourth, while a wild pitch and an error allowed P-O to reach the 11-run mark in the fifth.
Burge took care of the Lady Bisons in the home half, as she recorded her final strikeout to seal Gonder's 500th win.
"He deserves it (because) he does an excellent job," Dixon said of Gonder. "His program is good from top to bottom. ... It's a tough program to say anything bad about - other than the fact I hate to see them beat us.
"That's the measuring stick. They're here and we've got to get there. I'll tell you what ... they're not going to let you get there. If they've got a chance, they're going to put a beating on you. That's what they do."
Both teams are back on the diamond this afternoon. The Lady Mounties will look for revenge when they host Central Mountain, while Clearfield (5-7) entertains Huntingdon.
Gonder c 4220, Arnold 1b 3120, Wilson ss 3323, Rex dp 4123, Burge p 3121, Harpster cf 3121, K. Knepp lf 3000, Goss rf 2000, Wisor rf 1110, Carpin 3b 2110, Miller ph 1000, Myers (flex) 2b 0000. Totals: 29-11-14-8.
Butler ss 1000, Owens 2b 2000, Bowman cf 2000, Colesar 3b 2010, Ebeling rf 2000, Hoffman p 2111, Moore c 2000, Kovalick 1b 1000, Graham ph 1000, Lewis lf 1000. Totals: 16-1-2-1.
Score by Innings
Philipsburg-Osceola 321 32-11 14 1
Clearfield 010 00-1 2 2
Errors-Carpin; Bowman, Lewis. LOB-P-O 5, Clearfield 1. DP-P-O. 2B-Wilson, Rex. HR-Rex (2 on, 1st inning), Wilson (1 on, 2nd inning), Harpster (solo, 3rd inning); Hoffman (solo, 2nd inning). SAC-Arnold. SB-Arnold. WP-Hoffman. PB-Moore.
P-O: Burge-5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO.
Clearfield: Hoffman-5 IP, 14 H, 11 R, 9 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO.
WP-Burge (6-1). LP-Hoffman (3-1).