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Rockets go east with West to beat Blue Devils

April 29, 2003|by JACK HILL III

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Even though Rockets junior Susan West wasn't trying to get strikeouts, she still managed to fan 12.

West (9-3) hurled a two-hitter as she retired 21 of the 25 Greencastle Blue Devils' batters in a sparkling performance that led James Buichanan to a 6-1 win Monday afternoon in the Mid-Penn Conference.

"My goal was to just throw something that wasn't too hittable and let my defense do the work," West said.

"My focus wasn't on strikeouts. I was just trying to mix stuff around so when they did hit it, it would be ... fieldable."

"Susan West is a very good pitcher," Greencastle coach Jamie Richardson said. "She has wonderful ability. I think she has improved a lot over the last year. She is only a junior and James Buchanan has a very bright future with her."

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Greencastle (8-5, 6-5) took a 1-0 lead in the third when Jessica Thomas reached on a throwing error and scored on a single by Jamie Izer.

James Buchanan (9-4, 9-2) came back to take the lead for good with three runs in the fifth. With one out, Jess Stough reached on an infield error and advanced two bases on a pair of wild pitches. Jess Vance walked and stole second. Courtney West singled to center to knock in Stough with the tying run. After Courtney West stole second, Susan West helped herself by driving in Vance on an RBI groundout for the go-ahead run. Allison Holland doubled to center to bring home Courtney West for the final run.

The Rockets raised their lead to 5-1 with two more runs in the sixth. With two outs, pinch-hitter Sara Rentz walked and Stough slugged a two-run homer to center.

James Buchanan got its final run in the seventh when Sara Cristofano reached on a fielder's choice and eventually scored on a fielding error.

"I thought that our girls put forth the effort, Richardson said. "We just have to cut back on the errors."

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