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Lions show their seniority vs. Cats

March 27, 1999|By DAN SPEARS

WILLIAMSPORT - The Walkersville softball team has three seniors. Two of them - Lisa Abbamonte and Amy Burdette - are household names around the Monocacy Valley Athletic League.

The third, Erin Hiltbrand, could be well on her way.

Batting from the ninth spot against Williamsport on Friday afternoon, the left fielder had two base hits off Shannon Smiles that ignited the No. 3 Lions' offense in a six-inning 12-0 victory.

Hiltbrand led off the third with a single that painted the third-base line, and the Lions batted around for a 4-0 lead. Hiltbrand came back up to start the fourth and crushed a triple into the wind in left-center field that started a two-run frame. She also had a single in the fifth to finish 3-for-3 with three runs scored.

All three times, Abbamonte and Burdette reached base to prolong the inning, something Walkersville head coach Dave Schrodel has come to expect.

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"Lisa and Amy are seniors that have started all four years," Schrodel said. "But after that we're young and a little inexperienced. So I'm pleased that with all that we're picking it up."

But when the Lions (2-0, 2-0) were struggling with the bats early, Burdette was taking care of business on the mound. Even Lee Graff's triple to lead off the second didn't rattle the pinpoint left-hander, who struck out Steph Garlitz and Cristen Hobbs and popped out Steph Ritchie to allow no runs.

"I can't say enough about Amy," Schrodel said. "Even after that (triple), she came back and pitched excellent. That's when she's at her best."

Williamsport (0-2, 0-2) only had one runner in scoring position after that, as Burdette struck out eight and allowed only two hits - both by Graff.

Add that futility to Tuesday's 3-1 loss to Boonsboro, and the Wildcats have only five hits in their first two games this year.

But with two of the league's title contenders out of the way now, Williamsport coach Tom Dzur said the Wildcats aren't panicking over an 0-2 start.

"It's got to get better," he said. "Right off the bat, it helps. You know exactly what you need to know. It (the schedule) can't hurt; you won't get that false sense of security you would against other teams."

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