Sarah Spencer covered Thursday's PIAA Class 6A softball championship between Hempfield and Hazleton.
(Photo: Hempfield raises the trophy after winning the 2017 PIAA 6A softball championship. Antonella Crescimbeni/Post-Gazette)
"Hempfield pitcher Morgan Ryan faced chants of "overrated" coming from the Hazleton stands throughout the PIAA Class 6A championship.
Those chants picked up speed in the second inning, as Hazleton jumped out to a 2-1 lead, but eventually fell silent. The Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year and Notre Dame commit led the team to its second consecutive PIAA championship with a 5-3 win Thursday at Nittany Lion Softball Park in State College.
Ryan held Hazleton to three runs on seven hits, drawing encouragement from the noise.
"We kind of used it as motivation and fire, because any team who has to yell at the kids playing, it's just a game, we're all just kids playing, so that really just fueled our fire," Ryan said. "We really wanted to give it to the team and kind of shut their fans up.""