Baseball-Softball Notes - Indians OK at one short of dozen

April 27, 2001

Baseball-Softball Notes - Indians OK at one short of dozen

He probably has the smallest team in the Tri-State area, but Southern Fulton softball coach Brown Cutchall really doesn't mind all that much.

With just 11 players on his roster, he just has less names to worry about.

"One nice thing is that I don't have many changes to make," Cutchall said on Wednesday evening after the Indians' sixth straight victory. "And tonight I didn't use a DH, so I had two pinch hitters."

Southern Fulton has had all sorts of options at their fingertips this season, despite losing All-Area pitcher Michelle Golden, who holds school records in wins ans strikeouts. While the Indians returned six starters from last season's Class A state quarterfinal team, it's almost a whole new look.

"Jodi (Appel) came back after a knee injury last season, so it took her awhile to get back into softball shape," Cutchall said. "We moved our third baseman to second, an outfielder to third base ... Now they're comfortable with their spots."


The most comfortable, however, has been Kelly True, who has replaced Golden and barely missed a beat. She's 5-2 with a save.

"She's a really good basketball player, but she still took the time to throw on the weekends in the winter," Cutchall said. "We said back then, 'You're the one they're going to be looking at. It's time to either sink or swim.'

"And she's swimming."

Without floaties, even.

Say whatever you want

The linescore reads: 21 innings, 4 hits, 0 earned runs, 36 strikeouts.

His last three starts say otherwise, but St. James coach Mick Kerns doesn't think pitcher Billy Keyes is at 100 percent right now.

Excuse me?

"He's not all the way there yet," Kerns said. "He's not up to 90 or 91 ... when you throw hard, that extra mile or two makes a difference."

Hasn't made THAT much of a difference, even though the Saints dropped a 5-4 decision to Potomac on Thursday thanks to six errors.

This is the Keyes people remember last season, the one that struck out 18 in a win over Mercersburg Academy - sort of.

"He's not putting anyone on (this year)," Kerns said. "He would strike out 14. but walk eight. It's a different game when you don't walk anyone."

It's still almost the same result, though. Keyes is 2-1 in those three starts, the team's only two wins this year.

"He's kept it down and thrown strikes. And when you get ahead, let's face it, some kids are going to struggle with an 88-mph fastball," Kerns said. "He threw a no-hitter (vs. Musselman on April 14) and was under 100 pitches. That's almost unheard of."

Where less is more

Mike Mackey's voice was filled with resignation - and excitement.

"It's been a long time since we've been 9-6," the Martinsburg softball coach said Wednesday night. "But (this) was the best thing for us."

The thing in question is the Bulldogs' brutal schedule this season, one that has seen them play three teams that played in a state championship last season and another that is tops in its state.

Last year, Martinsburg rode into the state semifinals at 24-0, got ranked in the USA Today national poll ... and then got unceremoniously dumped in its first two games at Summerville.

If the Bulldogs return, they don't see that happening again.

"We had the good run (last year), but this schedule, that will prepare us," Mackey said. "But I'd also like to see us get back on track, too."

Turn of the centuries

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Jefferson coach John Lowery goes for a milestone in possibly the neatest way today. The Cougars' 29-year skipper goes for career victory No. 800 at 10 a.m. today at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, N.Y. when Jefferson takes on James Wood (Va.).

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> With a win today, Chambersburg baseball coach Bob Thomas can go for win No. 600 Saturday night in a non-league showdown with the Tri-State's No. 1 team, Greencastle, at Henninger Field. Thomas is in his 37th season at Chambersburg.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Martinsburg softball coach Mike Mackey picked up career win No. 100 Thursday night when the Bulldogs beat James Wood. He's in his sixth season in charge.

Change of profession

"I feel like the world's biggest guidance counselor right now. ... We're young and we know it."

- Waynesboro baseball coach Greg Chandler, whose team has lost two straight in the Mid Penn Commonwealth.

Well, so much for that ...

It was a bad week to be ranked in the top 10. Of the 20 teams ranked in The Herald-Mail's polls, only three have survived the last six days without a loss. Kudos to baseball No. 7 Jefferson and softball No. 1 Chambersburg and No. 9 Southern Fulton for avoiding the wrong side of the ledger. The softball rankings took their biggest hit at the Frederick County tournament, where all six area teams lost at least once.

Not fans of binary code

When the South Hagerstown girls softball team scores more than one run in a game, it hasn't been beaten yet this year, going 8-0. The only problem is, the Rebels have been shut out five times and scored only one run once - and they've lost all six of those games.

Staff writer Dan Spears compiled this week's notebook. He can be reached at or 301-733-5131 ext. 2334.

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