One unearned run in the sixth inning made the difference for District 2 champion Old Forge, which secured a 1-0 win over Bristol in yesterday's quarterfinals of the PIAA state Class A softball playoffs at Patriots Park in Allentown.
Bristol, which won the state title in 1990 and reached the semifinals in 2000, got an 11-strikeout, two-hit pitching performance by sophomore Kiersten Cain.
But one hit was a sixth-inning single by Nicole Giacometti, who scored the decisive run. Giacometti went to second on a sacrifice bunt, advanced on a misplayed popup, and scored on a sacrifice fly by winning pitcher Jess Armillay.
Cain (17-3), aided by a solid defensive game from freshman catcher Kaley Crohe, finished with 210 strikeouts this spring.
"We hit the ball hard," Bristol coach Mike Lalli said, "but we hit it right at people. It was a real good pitchers' duel."
Old Forge will meet Claysburg-Kimmel in the state semifinals on Monday.
Class AAA. Nazareth Academy's playoff run ended with a 4-1 state quarterfinal loss to Bethlehem Catholic (16-8) at Allentown's Patriots Park.
The Pandas (22-2) suffered their second loss of the season, managing only a fifth-inning run by Megan Fields against winning pitcher Kelly King.
Leadoff hitter Erica Cipolloni singled, tripled, and drove in Fields, and freshman shortstop Mel Kalesse, the No. 2 hitter, also had two of Nazareth's six hits.
Pandas pitcher Amanda Fernandez struck out three, walked one, and allowed 10 hits by the District 11 champions.
Class AAAA. Spring-Ford (21-3) was shut out for the only time this season, 2-0, by District 11 runner-up Parkland in a quarterfinal matchup at Fleetwood.
J. P. Norris had two of the Rams' three hits off winning pitcher Deanna Stinner, poking singles in the second and fourth innings.
Bethlehem Catholic had six hits off Spring-Ford pitcher Mandi Rush.
Leadoff hitter Katie Gross ignited the Golden Hawks' offense, scoring both runs. After a leadoff single in the third, Gross scored on a single by Stinner, and Gross walked in the fifth inning, stole second, and eventually scored on a fielder's choice.
St. Hubert, the District 12 champion, also suffered a quarterfinal defeat, dropping a 6-2 verdict to Waynesboro at Lyons Field in Fleetwood.