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Younker drives Hancock

March 30, 1999

Hancock vs. GorettiBy MIKE SIRBAUGH / Staff Correspondent

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer




HANCOCK - Lauren Younker slugged three hits and scored two runs to lead the Hancock Lady Panthers to a 5-3 win over St. Maria Goretti (0-4) Monday.

"This was one of my best games," Younker said. "They were line drives, and that was nice. After the first inning, coach reminded us that you have to respect your opponent, and that turned it all around."

[cont. from sports page]

The Lady Gaels jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning with the benefit of only one hit and two Hancock (3-1) errors.

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Hannah Chambers led off with a base on balls and moved to second on Julie Bockrath's sacrifice bunt. Senior Jennifer Cook legged out an infield hit to shortstop Alicia Barnard to put runners on the corners. Holly Turner hit a grounder up the middle that Barnard couldn't handle, and Chambers crossed the plate for the game's first run.

Kerstyn Haram hit into a fielder's choice to force Turner out at second and move Cook to third. Cook came home on another Barnard error on Kelly Berkley'sgrounder. But Haram was thrown out at the plate.

In the bottom of the second, Younker led off for the Panthers with a shot through the hole on the right side. Younker went to second on a passed ball and to third on a wild pitch. Rebecca Thomas walked to put runners on first and third. Thomas promptly stole second and, on the throw from Turner, Younker broke for the plate and put Hancock on the board.

Heidi Moats led off the Hancock third with a walk and stole second. Moats went to third on a single from Amanda Bingaman and tied the game on a passed ball.

With two outs and Bingaman on third, Younker stepped to the dish and drilled the first pitch deep down the right field line for a run-scoring triple. Younker then crossed the plate on another passed ball.

"Lauren Younker's triple was basically the difference," said Hancock coach Kim Horvath. "That was huge. When she does connect, it goes."

Hancock completed its scoring in the fourth when Kate Pittman walked, Monica Fox singled her to second and both runners moved up twice on passed balls.

"They scored three runs on passed balls," said Goretti coach Jim Martin, "and that was the difference. And Younker was the one that really hurt us. We hit OK, and we did field better. That was the first game we've been that close. We played much better today."

Meanwhile, pitcher Beth Sterner and the Panther defense recovered from the first inning and held the Gaels to one run the rest of the way.

"After the first inning,'' Horvath said, "I was happy with the defense. Hannah (Chambers, Goretti's pitcher) was faster, but Beth had good control. That made the difference.''

In the Goretti fifth, Bockrath and Cook singled with one out. Turner hit a grounder to third and Bingaman gunned down Bockrath at the plate. Haram lined a clean single to left to bring in Cook, but Sterner fanned Berkley to end the inning.

Sterner gave up only one earned run and improved her record to 3-1. Younker went 3-for-3 with one RBI. Cook led the Gaels with two hits and two runs scored.

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