Hedgesville follows right orders to give Anderson No. 300

April 29, 1999

Hedgesville vs. MusselmanBy DAN SPEARS / Staff Writer

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer

INWOOD, W.Va. - Hedgesville softball coach Bill Anderson has had plenty of intuitions during his 23 years in the coaches' box for the Eagles. He's also used plenty of strategies to win games.

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On Wednesday afternoon, he used every last one of them for his 300th career victory.

Down one entering their final at-bat, the Eagles got a two-run single from freshman substitute Tiffany Allen and finally took advantage of 14 Musselman walks to plate four runs in the seventh inning for an 8-5 victory.

"It (No. 300) was a long time coming," a relieved Anderson said. "I told them before the season, 'Win nine, and you've got it.' They finally got it."


The Eagles (9-11) were getting everything for six innings. Everything but runs.

Musselman pitcher Julie Chandler ran the count full 10 times in the first five innings and handed out 10 free passes in the first six - and allowed none of them to score.

"She just pitches with so much heart and enthusiasm," Musselman coach Carol Kamensky said. "She had a tough outing last night, and I asked her if she wanted to go, and she said, 'Yeah.' She was real confident out there and that is outstanding."

It looked as though Musselman's 5-4 advantage, thanks to Cat Reaves' two-run single off the glove of pitcher Nikki Wood-small in the fifth, would be enough.

Until Anderson changed the strategy.

"It was really unusual ... here she is having some trouble finding the plate, and we're swinging at the first pitch," Anderson said. "We finally said, 'Don't swing until you have two strikes.' That's why we rallied."

Then part two of Anderson's plan kicked in. Allen entered in the fourth, had lined out to center and singled in the sixth.

After Chandler started the seventh with three walks and a fielder's choice grounder, Allen had the bases loaded. She followed her coach's scheme to perfection, watching a ball and two strikes go by her. On Chandler's fourth pitch, Allen ripped a single to right to drive in two runs and send Hedgesville on the way to its sixth straight win.

She topped it with a great running catch to rob Brooke McDonald of extra bases in the bottom half of the inning.

"You've got to credit them," Kamensky said. "When push came to shove, that girl made the great play on us, and she was the same one that got us in the top half."

Maybe it was coincidence, or maybe it was Anderson remembering things from the past.

"She had been sick. ... I asked her, and she wanted to play," Anderson said. "I think so. Sometimes, you've just got to count on players to come through for you."

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