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Swartz turns prediction into reality

March 28, 2003|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Before the first softball game of her senior season Thursday afternoon, Chambersburg senior Jen Swartz received a prediction from assistant coach Darren Fritz.

"In school today, Coach Fritz told me I'd go 3-for-3 today, and that was the goal," Swartz said.

Mission accomplished.

With an inside-out left-handed swing crafted during the preseason, Swartz needed only five pitches to rip three line drives and drive in the Trojans' first two runs - including the key RBI double in the sixth inning to break a 1-1 tie - as Chambersburg opened with a 5-1 victory over Northern.

"I just tried to be aggressive," said Swartz, whose double in the sixth and RBI single in the fourth both came on the first pitch. "Coach has been working with me to keep my hands in, and I step back from the plate a little to get the full bat on the ball."

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"We made an adjustment on her hitting early in the year, and it made a big difference," said Chambersburg head coach Harvey Staver.

Melissa Swartz opened the bottom of the sixth with an infield single back up the middle off Northern pitcher Jill Baer (0-1). October Smith followed with a knubber just in front of home plate that Jackie Rhoads fielded and threw to first, but Heather McDade couldn't hang on to the ball. The error allowed Melissa Swartz to go to third.

Jen Swartz followed with a rocket to the gap in left-center, scoring Melissa Swartz with the winning run.

Kylie Burnham drove in Smith with a groundout to second, and Lindsay Trita sent a laser over the head of right fielder Tabitha Fulmer for a triple to score Jen Swartz. Fulmer later scored on Ashley Rosenberry's sacrifice fly for the game's final run.

Jen Swartz gave Chambersburg (1-0) a 1-0 lead in the fourth on a single back up the middle that scored Smith from second. Smith had reached on a fake bunt that she turned into a bloop double over charging third baseman Missy Hoke's head and just past the third base bag before spinning foul.

Northern (0-1) tied the game in the fith when Christy Franklin walked, reached second on a groundout, took third on Amber Shatto's infield single to third and scored when the throw was mishandled by Burnham.

Chambersburg used three pitchers, and all had some success. Trita started and went three innings, allowing three hits and striking out four. Smith worked the fourth and fifth and gave up a run and two hits, and Rachelle Everheart (1-0) worked the final two innings, allowing one hit and fanning one to get the win.

All three pitchers figure to see plenty of action as Chambersburg looks to replace Steph Van Brakle, who graduated and is now pitching for Alabama.

"We're gonna use a lot of pitchers this year, there's no question about that," Staver said. "We're taking a look at them to see who's going to be the best."

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