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VanBrakle virtually unhittable

May 16, 2002|BY DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

NEWVILLE, Pa. - This we know about Chambersburg pitcher Steph VanBrakle: She's good.

Oh, how good.

VanBrakle, who will head for Alabama this fall, was her usual dominating self in the Mid Penn softball tournament Wednesday night, striking out 17 and allowing only two hits in a 5-0 shutout of Waynesboro in the Class AAA title game at the Heishman Softball Complex - a little more than six hours after no-hitting Red Land for the second time in a week with 17 strikeouts in a 3-0 semifinal win.

"My changeup was really working, my curveball was working and my rise pitch, those were the three I had working," VanBrakle said after the final.

Little worked for those trying to hit against her.

In the final, the Indians' leadoff hitter, Helen Tayman, slapped a two-strike VanBrakle fastball up the middle and just out of the reach of second baseman Brittany Carr for a single.

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"I didn't get mad about it," VanBrakle said.

Uh huh.

With her no-hit bid done in on the first batter, VanBrakle struck out the next nine Indians straight, and proceeded to allow only Sondra Hall's high-chop infield single with two outs in the seventh.

"I was in focus, and I guess (the leadoff single) woke me up," VanBrakle said.

"We knew the (leadoff) hitter can hit her ball, and she'd put the ball in play," Chambersburg coach Harvey Staver said. "(But) she knew how to pitch them, and she did a good job."

VanBrakle's first-inning single drove in Jen Swartz, who doubled leading off, for the game-s first run. Chrissy Cline hit an RBI single in the second, while two walks, a groundout, Brandy Bresinger's sacrifice fly and Jen Ortega's RBI single led to two more runs in the fifth as the Trojans pulled away.

"We started off the game with a leadoff single, and that was one of the first hits off her in the tournament," Waynesboro coach Doug Stuart said. "Then we can't lay a bunt down. ... We had no confidence in ourselves to beat her."

The Indians had to survive a 12-inning, 2-1 nailbiter against Shippensburg to reach the final, with Tayman singling and scoring the winning run on an error in the 12th.

Then Waynesboro took their swings against VanBrakle in the final, and like most teams, came up short.

"We go up there and just start hacking, and what else can you do?" Stuart said.

The answer: Not much.

Mid Penn Tournament

Class AAA final

Chambersburg 5, Waynesboro 0

Waynesboro 0000000-020

Chambersburg 110021x-581

Stymiest and Besecker. VanBrakle and Cook. WP - VanBrakle (13-0). LP - Stymiest.

Class AAA semifinals

Chambersburg 3, Red Land 0

Chambersburg 0102000-340

Red Land 0000000-001

VanBrakle and Cook. Brezinsko and Hartman. WP - VanBrakle (12-0). LP - Brezinsko.

Waynesboro 2, Shippensburg 1

Shipp. 000001000000-164

Waynesboro 001000000001-222

Finkey and Strager. Wagaman and Hess. WP - Wagaman. LP - Finkey.

Class AA loser's bracket

J. Buchanan 11, Bishop McDevitt 4

J. Buchanan 3220202-11150

McDevitt 0012100-486

S. West and C. West. Sears, MacDonald (2) and Rhodes. WP - S. West. LP - Sears. HR - BM: Serech (3rd, none on).

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