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Baseball and Softball Notebook - Apples to apples

April 12, 2002

Starting this spring, the Apple Valley League has expanded into boys sports. Previously a girls sports-only conference, it will crown its inaugural baseball champion, then expand to boys golf and soccer this upcoming fall.

The league will consist of the same seven schools that participate in all girls sports: Clear Spring, St. Maria Goretti and the five Eastern Panhandle schools of Jefferson, Hedgesville, Martinsburg, Musselman and Berkeley Springs.

"We just started, and we're going to see how it goes," Goretti athletic director Carol Brahshears said. "Most of us already play each other anyway."

True enough. On the 2002 schedule, only Jefferson and Clear Spring don't play each other in baseball at all. Goretti plays Martinsburg and Hedgesville once, but plays Jefferson for the first time. The league standings are now included in the weekly baseball statistics package on the left side of this page.

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As schools' schedules clear out for 2003 and beyond, expect a normal double round-robin schedule. The only flaw could be Clear Spring's possible entrance into the mid-Maryland superconference in the fall of 2003, but Brashears said the league would worry about that in the future.

One (or two) and done

Waynesboro baseball coach Greg Chandler has seen it before - four times before in 2002 alone. The Indians stand at 3-5 overall and 2-3 with one game left in the first half of the Mid Penn Commonwealth. Their five losses are by a combined seven runs - including three one-run defeats in the division.

They're going to need a strong second half just to get into the Mid Penn playoffs, and could miss District 3 play for a rare second straight season.

"Our defense is doing OK and the pitching is doing a pretty good job," Chandler said after Wednesday's 3-2 loss to Carlisle, where Waynesboro had the tying run thrown out at the plate despite a poor relay home. "But after awhile relying on them, every pitch means something and every ground ball means something. There's no room for mistakes."

In a season where players are knocking the cover off the ball at a higher-than-average rate, the Indians' pitching staff has allowed more than five runs in a game just once. But the offense has only gotten over five runs three times, including seven runs in a dramatic loss to Greencastle last Saturday.

"We keep hoping and hoping, but no one's getting multiple hits," Chandler said. "That's been killing us."

News and notes


- Congratulations to Chambersburg softball coach Harvey Staver, who won his 400th career game Monday against West Perry. Now in his 19th season with the Trojans, he's been a part of two state championships (1994 and 1997) and 10 District 3 titles. And his team has won 87 - yes, 87 - straight games in division in the Mid Penn Conference. The team's worst season? A "rough" 17-5 in 1990.

- Southern Fulton pitcher Kelly True threw a four-hit shutout against District 5 rival Everett on Wednesday. That's not the surprise, it's how she did it - by not walking or striking out a single batter. For a pitcher that's averaged almost nine strikeouts per game for her career, that's an odd, and impressive, feat.

- Berkeley Springs, Martinsburg and Jefferson all head to the Cabell Midland Sluggerfest this weekend in Huntington. The three Panhandle teams will get a taste of what to expect if the Indians and Bulldogs make repeat trips to the state tournament next month in Summersville.

- The 11-1 loss for the Walkersville softball team on Wednesday against Middletown was the Lions' first 10-run loss since the 2000 Frederick County Tournament championship against Thomas Johnson.

- Despite all the rain and cold temperatures that postponed games in the first three weeks of the season, somehow the North Hagerstown baseball team played every game on schedule.

Dan Spears is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-733-5131 ext. 2334 or dans@herald-mail.com

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