Wilkes, Cougars fence in South

April 25, 2001

Wilkes, Cougars fence in South


Ridgeway steels second base


Staff Photographer

No. 4 Catoctin 4

South 0



Higgs and Line. Wilkes and Ki. Stiles. WP-Wilkes (4-1). LP-Higgs (6-6).

THURMONT, Md. - Catoctin pitcher Shawna Wilkes could have been the victim of a setup Tuesday afternoon. Instead, she ambushed South Hagerstown.


A stiff wind blew out to left field, and the Cougars unveiled a new outfield fence that shrinks the ballpark. So Wilkes limited the Rebels to two hits overall and just three fly balls as No. 4 Catoctin stayed in the Monocacy Valley Athletic League title chase with a 4-0 victory.

"It's pretty difficult (to focus), especially with the wind coming in your face," said Wilkes, who also struck out nine. "You just try to concentrate, but it's hard when it's like this."

Wilkes did make it look easy, though, despite the shiny new outfield fence that is just 191 feet down the lines and less than 200 feet to dead center. Wilkes said she was uncomfortable because of the weather. Her coach, Sue Weaver, said otherwise.

"That fence has scared the heck out of her," Weaver said. "She doesn't want to be the one in the history book that the first ball out of here came off of her."

And if it didn't happen in Tuesday's wind tunnel, chances are it won't happen any time soon. While Wilkes was shutting down South (7-6, 5-6), Alison Higgs was pulling the same trick against Catoctin (8-2, 7-1). The left-hander struck out six in her own two-hitter and kept everything on the ground.

But Catoctin got three extra runners on dropped third strikes and used a couple of RBI groundouts from Ashley Cregger and Kelly Stiles to keep the Rebels out of reach.

"It's not that we're not trying hard, the kids have been trying very hard," said South coach Sabrina McCoy, whose team has lost three straight. "We just aren't scoring. If we can get a couple of runs, I think Alison and everyone will feel more comfortable out there.

"That's only common sense."

Common sense also says that the Cougars have a great shot at their first league title since 1995. They finished second last year, but are tied in the loss column with Middletown this year and have already beaten defending champion Walkersville.

"That's the goal right now," Wilkes said. "We want this a lot more because we were so close last year."

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