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Chambersburg struggles to 2-1 win

May 22, 2002|BY AL DITZEL

alfredd@herald-mail.com

NEWVILLE, Pa. - Coach Harvey Staver took his seniors aside Tuesday night after Chambersburg defeated Hempfield 2-1 in the Pa. Class AAA District 3 first round at the Heishman Softball Complex.

He said he stressed their focus.

"We're here to play softball and nothing else," he said of his conversation.

But for most of the night, Chambersburg relied on Steph VanBrakle. She struck out 18 and hit a solo home run, as her Trojans struggled past a young Black Knight team.

Chambersburg (22-0) took what seemed like control early. VanBrakle struck out two in the first, then drilled a homer to right center field in the bottom of the inning for a 1-0 lead.

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Her dominance on the mound continued. She struck out the side four times, including the final eight in the game.

Still, Hempfield remained in the game because of Chambersburg's inability to hit with runners in scoring position.

And, in the fifth inning, the Black Knights tied the game. Opposing pitcher Jenn Roberts ripped a triple into right center field. Hempfield tied the game on a right fielder-to-first base groundout.

"I knew it as soon as I let it go," VanBrakle said of the triple. "Funny thing about softball, you can't grab a bad pitch back."

"You can talk about VanBrakle's terrific game," Staver said. "But, it was B.J. Seilhamer who had the big hit."

Singles by Sara Cook and VanBrakle to start the fifth put runners on second and third for Seilhamer, who singled in Cook for the game-winner.

"We have to put the ball on the ground more when we have runners on," said Staver, whose Trojans stranded 10 runners. "We saw that when we put in on the ground, good things happened for us."

Chambersburg 2, Hempfield 1

Hempfield 0000100-112

C'burg 100010x-280

Roberts and Byers. VanBrakle and Cook. WP-Van Brakle (14-0). LP-Roberts. HR-C: VanBrakle (1st, none on).

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