Leopards get by new-look Rebels

March 25, 1999

Smithsburg vs. SouthBy DAN SPEARS / Staff Writer

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer

Smithsburg softball coach Doug Bachtell said his team's 10-9 season-opening victory over South Hagerstown on Wednesday afternoon was a typical early-season game.

But even afterward, Rebels coach Sabrina McCoy still wasn't quite used to things. The replacement of five starters - including both the team's pitchers - off last year's Class 1A state finalist is far from complete after one game.

"This is such a different team," McCoy said. "It's a young team that just isn't used to that spirit level, that different level of play."


This year's edition of the Rebels did its best impression of their predecessors in the seventh inning Wednesday.

Down 10-5 entering its final at-bat, South strung together four straight hits to start the inning to drive in two runs and knock out Smithsburg starter Lauren Reed in the process.

The Rebels scored a third on Mandi Winters' groundout off Emily Crunkleton and got a fourth on a single by Shilo Fletcher, which put the tying run on base. After wild-pitching the tying run to second, Crunkleton coaxed Ashley Herr into a lazy popup to first base to end the game.

It gave the win to Reed, who handcuffed South all day with a good fastball and effective changeup. She struck out six and had 12 groundball outs in six innings.

"I'm really proud of the team today," Bachtell said. "She (Reed) threw a lot of pitches today, and Emily came in and did the job. We were hoping to get five good innings out of Lauren, and she gave us six."

While the Leopards got more than they bargained for on the mound, the Rebels are still trying to find their bargaining chip. McCoy used three pitchers in an effort to stem the tide.

"They're young pitchers - two juniors and a sophomore," McCoy said. "That's the main thing; they just don't have that experience yet.

"But their attitude is right. You ask them to do something, and they'll do it 110 percent. ... It'll come around, I think. And they believe that."

Fletcher finished with three RBIs for South, while Rachel Bachtell drove in two and scored three times for Smithsburg despite going 1-for-5.

Those numbers summed up the day for Smithsburg.

"We could have won by four or five, but in a first game, there's going to be errors, both mental and physical," Bachtell said. "As the weather gets warmer though, we'll get even better."

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