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Still together: Reed's pitching, Powell's homer put Smithsburg in region final

May 17, 2000|By DAN KAUFFMAN

Still together: Reed's pitching, Powell's homer put Smithsburg in region final

SMITHSBURG - Three words. Two meanings. One result.

With South Hagerstown up one run in the fifth inning of Wednesday's Class 1A South semifinal against Smithsburg, Leopards coach Brian Getz turned toward his dugout and kept saying one thing.

cont. from sports page

"Keep it together."

On one hand, Getz wanted his team to hang in there after losing an early 1-0 lead. On the other, Getz specifically said it to Katy Powell, who came up in the fifth with no outs and a runner on first.

"I've got a lot of girls that will pull their head out (on the swing), Getz said. "She knows now ... to keep it together, head down, shoulder to shoulder."

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When Powell followed her coach's advice, the result was a line drive into the left field gap that resulted in the game-winning, two-run homer as Smithsburg advanced to the regional final with a 6-2 victory over the scrappy Rebels.

"He always says to keep it together and swing hard," Powell said. "I was looking for a pitch in my zone, and (South pitcher Alison Higgs) gave me something I could hit."

Powell's drive lifted the Leopards' spirits, and Smithsburg had everything go its way afterward. Before the blast, neither Smithsburg nor South could gain a solid advantage.

"We got one, they got one ... it was a fight back and forth," Getz said. "One of us had to come out on top."

"It was a good game," South coach Sabrina McCoy said. "They came up with the key hits when they needed them. Give Smithsburg credit for what they did today."

Smithsburg scored the game's first run in the third when Powell hit a single to left and advanced to third on a two-base error by the left fielder. She scored two batters later on Lauren Reed's sacrifice fly.

South responded with runs in the fourth and fifth. Emily Middlekauff tripled to lead off the fourth and scored on a groundout, sliding into home to beat the throw home from first.

Higgs' double in the fifth scored Kelsi Waltemire from second, giving South a 2-1 lead and disheartening the Leopards, prompting Getz to try to fire up his squad.

"For a second, when South came back on us, I saw the heads go down," Getz said. "That (Powell's home run) helped bring the fire back to us."

Emily Crunkleton hit a bloop single down the first base line to lead off Smithsburg's half of the fifth, setting the stage for Powell.

"We played well as a team," Powell said. "We stuck it out and hung in there."

Once Smithsburg reclaimed the lead, Reed made it stand up. After allowing the double to Higgs in the fifth, she retired the final seven batters she faced. She finished with seven strikeouts and allowed four hits.

Smithsburg added insurance runs in the sixth on a two-run single by Crunkleton, who later scored on an error.

Smithsburg 6, South 2




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Higgs and Waltemire. Reed and Waldron. WP-Reed (13-5). LP-Higgs (8-9). HR-Sm: Powell (5th, one on).

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