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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.

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"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




Hedgesville0000000-022

Martinsburg0010000-131

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

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