Bulldogs defend perfect mark vs. Eagles

May 10, 2000|By DAN SPEARS

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Hedgesville pitcher Jessica Shade can't pinpoint what it will take to beat Martinsburg: "A couple more hits?," she said Tuesday. "Throw it a little harder? I don't know."

cont. from sports page

Right now, she's in pretty good company.

The No. 3 Bulldogs did it again in the winner's bracket of the Class AAA Region II Section 2 tournament, scratching out a run in the third and playing solid defense to beat the Eagles 1-0 at Charlotte Prather Park and keep their undefeated record.

"When you're not having a good night at the plate, sometimes you'll take it back on the field with you," Martinsburg coach Mike Mackey said. "We didn't do that tonight."

The Bulldogs (23-0), ranked No. 23 in the country in this week's USA Today poll, got 10 more strikeouts from Christee Anderson, but it was Martinsburg's defense that impressed Hedgesville coach Sparky Anderson.


"This wasn't one of those 15-strikeout games," Sparky Anderson said. "Everyone says it's pitching, and to a point they're right. But defense plays a big part, and their defense came up with the plays."

Second baseman Sam Hamer made two over-the-shoulder catches on shallow outfield balls and shortstop Leslie Henry gobbled up a potential base hit by Beth Beemiller to lead off the fifth.

"Even with all the strikeouts, you still need the defense," Christee Anderson (15-0) said. "They've come through all year for us."

Martinsburg got to Shade (5-5) only once. Designated hitter Tabi Merceruio was hit by a pitch to start the third and moved to second on a wild pitch. After a strikeout and a popup, Leslie Henry singled to right to drive in Merceruio, but was nailed at second trying to advance on the throw home.

The Eagles (14-7) got their best shot in the fourth. With two down and Christine Paxson on first, Keri Conner's fly was misplayed by three converging Bulldogs for a two-base error that put runners on second and third. Anderson, however, responded with a strikeout of Shana Custer, who had fouled off four two-strike pitches before going down.

Hedgesville faces Jefferson today in an elimination game, while Martinsburg waits for the winner, and must be beaten twice.

"It's a team loss, all we needed was one or two more hits," Sparky Anderson said. "We thought it would just be a couple of runs. ... We know if the man is on our side, we'll get a rematch."

Martinsburg 1, Hedgesville 0



Shade and C. Paxson. Anderson and Stocker. WP-Anderson (15-0). LP-Shade (5-5).

The Herald-Mail Articles