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Maidens miss on best shot

April 18, 2001

Maidens miss on best shot



By DAN SPEARS

dans@herald-mail.com

No. 1 Chambersburg 5
No. 6 Waynesboro 0


Ch'burg0110030-552

W'boro0000000-024

VanBrakle and Stouffer, Cook (5). Wagaman and E. Hess. WP-VanBrakle (3-0). LP-Wagaman (4-3).



WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Her arsenal filled with unhittable pitches, Chambersburg's Steph VanBrakle makes people do all sorts of things they don't want to do on the softball field.

continued

Wednesday, she made Waynesboro coach Doug Stuart take a chance. Like most results against VanBrakle, it wasn't a positive one.

The No. 6 Maidens tried to push across a run on an infield error in the third inning, but Chambersburg second baseman Heather Rife gunned down Sondra Hall at the plate to erase Waynesboro's scoring chance as the No. 1 Trojans won 5-0 in the Mid Penn Commonwealth.

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"You gotta gamble against VanBrakle, she doesn't give you too many opportunities," Stuart said. "Maybe I hold her if it's 1-0, but 2-0 is usually good enough for Chambersburg to win."

On a blustery afternoon, 1-0 would have sufficed for the Trojans (6-0, 4-0) after VanBrakle shook off two weeks of rust to strike out 12 batters. She allowed just two baserunners after Rife gunned down Hall and found her change-up just in time to keep the Maidens (5-4, 3-2) off balance.

"Today, that was the best pitch I threw," said VanBrakle, last year's Herald-Mail Co-Player of the Year. "Usually, it's the second- or third-best, but I wasn't getting the corner with my curveball and the fastball was diving. So that was the one today."

The Trojans were in a fight. Jen Ortega led off the game with a single to set up a bunt by Trish Crider. Waynesboro fielded the bunt at third, threw out Crider at first, then threw back across the diamond to left fielder Kelly Carpenter, who sneaked in behind the play and tagged out Ortega going for third.

Later, shortstop Jana Reitz and second baseman Erika Besecker both saved runs with tough plays up the middle.

"We hit the ball well," Chambersburg coach Harvey Staver said. "But their infield, Jana and Erika ... without those two, we could have doubled that run total up. They saved a few runs today."

They just couldn't save enough.

Rife's single through the left side brought in an unearned run in the second and Trisha Crider had an RBI fielder's choice in the third when Brandy Brensinger beat a throw home for a 2-0 lead.

That's when Stuart's move backfired, and VanBrakle found fifth gear.

"I really thought Steph struggled early today," Stuart said. "We had the opportunity to push across a run or two. But unfortunately, we didn't."

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